Multiple conceptualizations of the interrelation between assessment and learning yield three notions of assessment: assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning. This paper aims at uncovering roles and obstacles of assessment for learning and assessment as learning in English language classrooms in Hong Kong. Grounded upon the theory of constructivism and the notion of learner autonomy, assessment for learning and assessment as learning play vital roles in supporting students’ learning and nurturing autonomous learners in English language classrooms in Hong Kong, respectively. In particular, assessment for learning provides students with achievement targets prior to assessments, communicates assessment results with students by means of descriptive feedback, and guides teachers’ future lesson planning whilst assessment as learning equips students with abilities to set personal learning goals, monitor their own learning process, and conduct self-assessment in the course of learning. For all their desirability and perceived pedagogical efficacy, seldom are these two assessment practices operationalized in the implemented curriculum in English language classrooms, where assessment of learning prevails; such actualities can largely be attributable to local teachers’ lack of motivation to modify their existing assessment practices out of their conservative conceptualization of assessments, low metacognitive awareness as well as level of English proficiency of local students, and large class sizes in local classrooms, which are construed as local contextual factors hindering implementation of the two assessment practices. The aforementioned obstacles ought to be overcome so that the two assessment practices can be promoted and implemented in local English classrooms in distinct year levels for the sake of students’ language learning.
The Relationship between the Interpersonal Intelligence and Reading Comprehension Achievement of Iranian Bilingual and Multilingual EFL Learners
The present study aimed at investigating the relationship between interpersonal intelligence of Iranian bilingual and multilingual EFL learners and their reading comprehension achievement. To do so, 60 intermediate EFL students were selected from a group of 80 based on their OPT scores. They were non-randomly divided into two experimental groups. Data collection took place during the summer semester 2017. Once the interpersonal intelligence questionnaire and the reading comprehension test scores had successfully been collected, the results of Pearson product correlation coefficient analyses showed that there was a significant relationship between Iranian bilingual and multilingual EFL learners’ interpersonal intelligence and their reading comprehension achievement: higher interpersonal intelligence was associated with higher levels of reading comprehension achievement and higher statistical significance among bilingual learners. Therefore, it was suggested that Multiple Intelligence Theories could still serve as determining factors in planning programs to teach reading in spite of the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical criticisms of the idea.
Contributory Role of Critical Thinking in Enhancing Reading Comprehension Ability of Iranian ESP Students
The present study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between ESP learners’ critical thinking abilities and their reading comprehension. For this purpose, from the population of students studying in different fields of engineering at Amol Islamic Azad University, a sample of 202 ESP participants were selected based on a purposive sampling method. A critical thinking questionnaire was then given whereby the targeted respondents answered the prompts underlying the critical thinking construct. Subsequently, a valid reading comprehension test with an acceptable reliability index was administered and the data were analyzed using the related descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed that there was a robust and positive correlation between ESP learners’ levels of critical thinking ability and their reading comprehension. Moreover, it was found that ESP students regarded as high critical thinkers significantly outperformed those with lower levels of critical thinking on the reading comprehension test. Notably, the results may offer useful implications to both language teachers and English learners indicating that critical thinking strategies play a pivotal role in the reading comprehension process.
Problems English Majors Encounter in Learning Drama in English at Al Aqsa University in Gaza and Ways to Reduce Them
Drama courses are core at the English departments in the Palestinian Universities. Teaching drama properly will help students have an excellent command of English language and culture. The research aimed to find out the problems English majors at Al-Aqsa University in Palestine encounter in understanding drama. It also aimed to propose ways to reduce the problems students encounter in drama. In order to achieve the study objectives, the study used the descriptive analytical approach. A questionnaire consisting of (25) items was designed (25) items and distributed to (75) male and female English majors at Al Aqsa University. The researchers also conducted interviews with (3) drama teachers at Al Aqsa University to offer ways to help reduce problems in learning drama. The study revealed that more (73%) of the students believed that the major problem encounter them in learning drama is that there is no chance to act the play. The study also found that there is no statistically significant difference attributed to gender or the level of the students in learning drama, and English Language Education students face more problems in learning drama than English Language Literature students. The study offered a number of suggestions to reduce problems in learning drama.
This study sets as its purpose to explore Young Learners’ (YLs) channels to voice their perspectives on English language classroom-based assessment, schooling, and school experiences. Qualitative research design was used to collect data through focus group interview from 42 participants drawn from English-medium primary schools. Their selection was by purposive sampling from 7 schools. Field notes were also employed to highlight salient points and corroborate participants’ opinions. Findings indicate that pupils are afraid of answering a question in class wrongly; their peers give them this fear of being laughed and mocked. There is lack of solidarity amongst the pupils. They wish for a variety of assessment methods and techniques but parents seem to maintain a strong position in the children’s lives so that they would not want to disappoint parents by not doing well in their assessments. Teachers’ feedback does not seem to be transparent, even though pupils did not mention this in the group interviews. Pupils have many beliefs when attributing success and failure and some of these beliefs are superstitious, and they go to school for instrumental as well as for reasons of knowledge acquisition.
This study investigated the effect of role-play and simulation approach on Malaysian Polytechnic engineering students’ ESL oral communication skills. In addition, the study examined the students’ perceptions of the effect of the role-play and simulation on their oral communication skills. A mixed method design was employed, using both quantitative and qualitative data collection approaches. The quantitative data were collected from the quasi-experimental study (n=100). The data were collected using a set of questionnaires, a pre and post-test. The data from the questionnaires were analysed using descriptive statistics (percentages and means). The results showed that there was a significant difference between the pre-test and the post-test scores of the role-play and simulation group compared to the traditional group. The findings indicated that the students in the role-play and simulation group had performed better in the post-test compared to the pre-test after the exposure to the role-play and simulation approach in the ESL oral communication skills classes. An implication of the study is that role-play and simulation approach can serve as a possible strategy to improve students’ ESL oral communication skills.
The Impact of Using Podcasts on Iranian Autonomous /Non-Autonomous EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension Ability at Pre-Intermediate Level
The aim of the current study was to investigate whether Podcasts would have an effect on Iranian autonomous and non-autonomous EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability at pre-intermediate level. For this purpose, 60 Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners at some Iranian institutes participated in the experiment of the study. Then they were divided into two groups based on an OPT and an autonomy questionnaire. The participants of each group were assigned randomly into two experimental groups (N=15) and two control groups (N=15). A pre-test was administered to the four groups of the study and then, the experimental groups received 5 sessions of teaching podcast. After the treatment, a posttest of L2 listening comprehension was administered to all groups of the study and finally the data were analyzed via a series of paired sample t-tests to see whether there is progress between the pretest and posttest scores of the groups, and a Two-way ANOVA was used to see the differences between posttests. The results revealed that Iranian autonomous and non-autonomous EFL learners’ listening comprehension ability got better after the treatment.