–ефераты. Types of tests used in English Language Teaching Bachelor Paper






coastal National Park. Its beachesЕЕ great for sunbathing and the rock

pools and cliffs ЕЕ..havens for wildlife. Up in Scotland, the striking

white beaches of the west coast and islandsЕЕexcellent places for

explorative walks.

(Discovering Britain, Pavlockij B. M., 2000)

It is evident that the teacherТs aim by the help of the rational cloze

test is to check the studentsТ knowledge of the Present simple of the verb

Уto beФ. Thereof, the cloze tests could be successfully used for testing

grammar, as well.

We have come again to the point when we are going to mention the

advantages and disadvantages of cloze and gap-filling testing coined by

Weir. Regarding Weir, there are more disadvantages than advantages in

applying the cloze tests. He says that to design a cloze test is fairly

easy, and they are easy to evaluate, and it is the best means to check

reading comprehension. Concerning the drawbacks, we can emphasise that

randomly removed words usually will act as distractors and will not be of

true importance for the students to comprehend a message if, for example,

it is a reading task.

Compared to the cloze test, gap filling is more material based, for

it checks the studentsТ knowledge of a particular topic. Therefore, we can

speak about the first advantage that is the learners will know exactly what

they should insert. Moreover, the selectively deleted items allow focusing

exactly on them and do not confuse the student.

The last what could be said about gap filling tests is that this

technique limits us to check only a certain language skill, e.g. a

vocabulary on different topics.

5.4 C-Tests

It is worth mentioning that in the 80s German school introduced an

alternative to cloze test another type of testing Ц C-Tests. This test was

based on the cloze test system; however, every second word there was

deleted. It could seem quite a complicated type, though it is not.

According to Weir (1990:47) in this type every deleted word is partially

preserved. Thus, the students, if they possess a fairly good knowledge of

the language and can activate their schemata, or background knowledge of a

topic or the world, they will succeed in completing the test. Such test

format could look as follows:

Cats haЕ. always been surroЕЕЕby superstitions. In ancЕЕEgypt

caЕ.were consЕЕ. sacred, but in mediЕ..Europe maЕ.. people beliЕЕ cats weЕ.

witches in disguЕЕ A popular supersЕЕ... about caЕ. is that a blacЕcat,

crosЕ your paЕ from left to rigЕ., will briЕ you bad luЕ. However, in some

cultЕ.. a black caЕ is thought to be a goЕ omen ratЕ than a baЕ one.

(First certificate Star, Luke

Prodromou, p.134)

Definitely there are advantages and disadvantages of the following

test format. According to Weir, due to the frequency of the deleted items

there is a great possibility to include more tested items in the test.

Moreover, this test is economical. However, despite all the advantages, the

test can mislead the students as it is fragmented. The examples are

deprived from the context that could be very helpful for the studentsТ

guessing of the missing parts.

5.5 True/False items

This test format is familiar for all the teachers and students. Each

reading task will always be followed with true/false activities that will

intend to check the studentsТ comprehension of a text. The students will be

offered a set of statements some of which are true and some are wrong,

e.g.:

1. People went to see СCatsТ because of the story. T F

2. Lloyd WebberТs father helped his career. T F

3. Lloyd Webber comes from a musical family. T F

( Famous Britons, Michael

Dean)

They usually should be ticked, and in order to tick the correct variants

the students have to be able to employ various guessing strategies.

According to Weir (1990:48), the advantage of such test is found in

its applicability and suitability. One can write more true/false statements

for a test and use them to check the studentsТ progress or achievement.

Furthermore, the current sort of testing could be more motivating for the

students than a multiple-choice test. It will not make the students

confused offering just one possibility than a multiple-choice test, which

typically proposes more than one option to choose from. Moreover, it is

easy to answer for the students and check for the teachers.

5.6 Dictation

Another test format that could be applied in the language classroom is

dictation. We commonly use dictations to check spelling; nevertheless, it

could be applied to test listening comprehension, as well. It is obvious

that to dictate something we have either to speak or read. It means that

while writing a dictation the student has to be able to perceive the spoken

language efficiently enough to produce in on paper. For this purpose the

student will require a variety of techniques such as schemata and its

application, predictions, guessing and context clues, etc. Further, it also

is constrained that dictation help the students develop their abilities to

distinguish between phonemes, separate words and intonation. Besides,

dictations function in spoken language; thereof the students have an

opportunity to learn to understand the language through listening. To

conclude what has been mentioned above we can agree with Weir (1990:49)

that dictations will force the students to use the variety of skills:

listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.

Heaton (1990:28) advises that to enable the students comprehend

successfully, the teacher need to read carefully and clearly, however

avoiding slow, word for word reading. Moreover, to allow the students to

check what they have written the repetition will be required. The author of

the paper when giving dictations to her students had encountered the need

for repetition for a number of times. The following could be explained by

many factors, such as the students are not able to perceive spoken speech

through listening; they are not able to elaborate various guessing,

inferring of the meaning techniques or their pace of writing is simply

rather slow. Thus, we entirely support the next statement claimed by Heaton

that it is wise after the first reading of a dictation to ask a set of

comprehension questions to make the students aware of the general idea of a

text. It will simplify the process of the understanding.

Notwithstanding, even an ideal variant will definitely contain some

drawbacks. The same could be applied to dictations. First, to write a

dictation, the student requires a good memory. S/he has to retain

information they have heard in order to display it later; moreover, the

information should be identical to the original. Therefore, we can claim

that the student has to recognize at least seventy-eighty per cent of what

has been dictated. In that case we short-term memory should be well

developed.

Apart from memory, scoring could be problematic, as well. Weir

(1990:50) believes that is difficult to decide what to pay attention to:

whether to evaluate spelling and grammar, or just perceived information.

Thus, the teacher has to work out a certain set of criteria, as we have

already mentioned that in Chapter 1, the criteria s/he will be operating

with. Besides, the students should be acquainted with it, as well.

In addition, Weir (ibid.) says that dictating is more efficient if it

is recorded on the tape and is delivered by a native speaker. It could mean

that the students will have a chance to fell themselves in the real-life

situation; for this is the actual purpose they learn the language for. The

following has been expanded by Heaton (ibid.) that speaking face to face

with a speaker is even more beneficial, for we can compensate the lack of

understanding by his/her facial expression, gestures and movements.

Listening to a cassette does not provide us with such a chance, and

therefore, it is more challenging and requires more developed skills to

understand a recorded message.

5.7 Listening Recall

This test format is specifically applied to testing listening skills.

It differs from a dictation that it supplies the students with a printed

text. However, the text is given not as the complete script of the tape.

Certain words that carry the meaning load are deleted from a passage, and

the students after listening to the tape are supposed to insert them.

Hence, it could be related to a gap-filling test. Here the cassette is

usually played for two times; first, the students listen for information

and attempt to insert the missing details. The second time allows them to

add what they had failed to understand at the beginning. The author of the

paper had not used that as a direct test format but as a while-listening

activity during her classes. According to her scrutiny the students with

more advanced language abilities were able to comprehend the texts

immediately, whereas the weaker students sometimes could not manage to

understand the message even listening for the tape for the third time. That

again proves the significance of usage of pre-, while and post-listening

activities in the language classroom. Weir (ibid.) states that such type of

testing involves the studentsТ short-time memory, which they need to switch

while listening to the tape.

According to Weir (ibid.), one of the advantages of listening recall

is uncomplicated construction, administration and marking.

Nevertheless, there are several disadvantages, as well. There is a

danger, that the students will read the passage before listening to the

tape, thus we will not be able to evaluate exactly their listening skills.

The author of the current paper had encountered the similar situation,

where the teacher warns the students not to read but just listen. However,

they start reading immediately after receiving the text, even though the

tape record being still turned off.

5.8 Testing Grammar Through Error-recognition Items and Word Formation

Tasks

One of the test formats for testing grammar is error-recognition

items. Here the teacher writes sentences underlining various words. One of

the words is obligatory wrong, and the students have to identify what word

is wrong and should be corrected. Heaton (ibid.) introduces a variation of

that type, saying that the teacher can supply the students with incorrect

sentences asking the students to provide the right variant. This again

demands a fairly good knowledge of the subject from the students to

differentiate between the right and wrong variants. In that case the error-

recognition format could be compared with multiple-choice format and even

called a branch of it. Below you can find the example of error-recognition

items format:

1. I canТt come to the phone Ц I have / IТm having a shower!

2. I watched/ I was watching TV when suddenly the telephone

rang.

3. I had been waiting/ I had waited in the rain for ages when

she finally turned up.

(First certificate Star, Luke

Prodromou, p.12)

Further, for testing grammar and language structures we often use

word-formation tasks, e.g.:

Making friends and ЕЕЕpeople is a gift that some influence

ЕЕЕЕ.people seem to be born with, while for others it luck

is a skill that has to be ЕЕ..through practice and acquire

hard work. It is, however, ЕЕ.to know that most skills, comfort

particularly ЕЕЕЕ.skill, can be learnt and that it is never society

too late to start improving.

(First certificate Star, Luke

Prodromou, p.41)

or

|verb |noun |person |Adjective |

|Invent | | | |

| | |discoverer |- |

| |creation | | |

It is frequently used in centralized exams to know the studentsТ

ability to coin new words that displays the studentsТ advanced level of the

language. The students are demanded coining nouns from verbs, adjectives

from nouns, etc. This requires certain knowledge of prefixes, suffixes and

roots in order to create a necessary word. Word coinage is an inevitable

skill for recognizing new word items either.

5.9 Controlled writing

In order to check the students grammar and writing ability the

teacher can use different test formats: transformation, broken sentences,

sentence and paragraph completion, form filling, notes and diaries.

According to Heaton (1990:32), transformation deals with re-writing

sentences. For example, the students are asked to change a sentence in

Active voice into a sentence in Passive voice. To differ the task the

teacher can put the required word in brackets at the end of each sentence.

The students will need to transform a sentence to fit the word in brackets.

Or another example of transformation could be changing the focus of the

sentence, e.g.:

1. Berlin is not an easy city to move about in.

Difficult

ItЕЕЕЕЕЕЕЕЕin Berlin.

2. I wonder if you could open the window.

Could

You couldnТt ЕЕЕЕЕЕЕ.

3. When did you start to learn English?

Been

HowЕЕЕЕЕЕЕЕ.English?

(First certificate Star, Luke

Prodromou, and p.40)

Further, he discusses the sentences that are divided into fragments

(he calls them broken sentences), and the studentТs task is to arrange the

words in order to produce correct examples. Thus, the students have to know

grammar and syntaxes to make a right sentence with the correct word order.

Sometimes the students are asked to alter the words to make grammatically

correct sentences, e.g.:

1. a German/hunting/huge/black dog

2. a 25-year-old/Opera/tall singer

3. a brand-new/plastic/shopping/green bag

4. an English/young/interesting teacher

(First certificate Star, Luke

Prodromou, and p.80)

Afterwards, the students can be asked to complete the whole

paragraphs, finish dialogues, write diaries using the given information,

and fill the form, for example hotel check-in. The author of the paper had

used writing a diary in her 8th form, when the learners had to write the

diary of captainТs wife whose husband disappeared in the sea. They also had

to write the diary of the captain himself before the catastrophe. The

students liked the task immensely.

5.10 Free writing

Heaton (ibid.) believes that the most suitable way to check the

studentsТ writing skills is asking them to write a composition. The teacher

can include a variety of testing criteria there depending on what is really

being tested. The topics for a composition should be appropriate to the age

of the students and respond to their interest. However, the teacher has to

establish clearly what s/he is going to check (the material studied: e.g.

grammar) and what could be neglected. The students have to know whether

the teacher is interested in the context or may be s/he is concerned with

grammar and spelling, as well.

5.11 Test Formats Used in Testing Speaking Skills

We are not going to deep into details of test formats used for

testing speaking skills. Heaton (ibid.) displays that one of the most

essential elements of testing speaking is pronunciation. To check how the

students pronounce certain testing items the teacher may ask his/her

students to read aloud and retell stories. Moreover, the teacher will

receive the impression how well his/her students can operate with the

spoken language.

Afterwards, the teachers can use pictures to test the studentsТ

speaking skills. This is widely used task, and a lot of teachers use it to

check the students speaking skills and the knowledge of the vocabulary.

Moreover, while describing the picture the student will have to imply the

correct grammar and knowledge of the English sentence structure. The

description could be done on the spot and does not require a lot of time

for preparation, though Heaton (ibid.) stipulates that the teacher should

ensure his/her students with a time during which they can formulate their

ideas before presentation.

Apart from the pictures the students could be offered to describe a

person if their topic is peopleТs appearance or jobs, stay the sequence of

events basing on the provided information or pictures accompanying the

task, spot differences between two pictures and compare them. Further,

Heaton (ibid.) displays a rather interesting task. The students receive a

picture with speech bubbles. They are asked to write what they think people

are saying. This in turn involves creativity from the students and could be

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