Of great benefit is the accompanying activity sheets that can be easily copied for use in the classroom setting. The work also goes even further by informing users through a presentation of the most important language skills to be learnt. This is supported by an excellent bibliography and answers to the questions. This book is an excellent resource for teachers and may even be used by some students based on their level of language competence. The work however could be more explicit in some areas as some of the directions are at times confusing. Additionally, there should be greater usage of online-based resources.
Frost, Richard. "Testing and Assessment." Teaching English: British Council, BBC. n.d. .
Frost draws on his personal experiences to demonstrate why testing does not work and what can be done to improve the assessment process. Testing becomes a problem because students may become nervous and other challenges. Testing is particularly problematic in ESL because students who cram to pass the test may not acquire the necessary language skills to be successful beyond the course. The author identifies multiple reasons for testing, many of which are very salient and show that testing will be around for a long time. Following this exposition on testing the reader is given a number of alternatives to testing from continuous assessment to teacher based assessment. The article strives for coverage of the subject rather than depth. The author appears to be focused on teachers mainly. The work however appears weak as a piece that could convince the reader of the need to relinquish testing. More support is given to testing than the alternatives to testing. The usefulness of the work is provided by its ability to give the reader a quick summary of the main contentions in the debate.
Gottlieb, Margo. Assessing English Language Learners: Bridges From Language Proficiency to Academic Achievement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. 2006.
This work is an engaging and dynamic scholarly work that draws the reader easily into the debate by presenting the variant positions with ease of style and clarity of thought. Gottlieb explores the contemporary situation by engaging the rival paradigms in the arena of educational assessment. The author also skillfully identifies and describes the linkages that must be created between those paradigms that must be produced if educators are to be successful. Of particular interest is the concentration on the changes that are occurring in both theory and practice and the necessary symbiosis that must occur between the two. Excellent coverage is done through a consideration of ELLs and the challenge of second language acquisition. The attention given to the documentation and the interpretation of the results of testing was well received. The interpretation of standardized testing provided the necessary conditions for further consideration. This work was directed toward teachers and administrators. The only weakness may be the inadequate assessment of standardized testing coupled with a hidden assumption that seemed to change subtly the role of the teacher in the teacher student relationship. However, this work is an excellent piece and is a good fit for the literature on assessment.
Grognet, Allene Guss and Judith Jameson. LifePrints 2: Assessment Tests and Tools for Measuring Achievement. New Readers: Syracuse, NY. 1995.
Hill, L.A. "Examinations in English." Selected Articles on the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. London: Oxford UP. 1974. 125-33.
Law, Barbara and Mary Eckes. Assessment and ESL: On the Yellow Big Road to the Withered of Oz. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Peguis. 1995.
Assessment is asserted to be an integral part of the learning process for Law and Eckes. In their focused work the authors present a compelling case for the assessment of ESL students. The work was shaped by the personal experiences of the authors and is directed toward teachers, parents, students, and school administrators. The reader is taken on a journey through the context of assessment and also on the type of assessment to be used. The authors present a balanced view of testing vs. other types of assessment. The chapter on oral assessment is of particular interest here as it provides a facet that has been absent in some of the other works reviewed. Of special note is the reminder of the emerging nature of literacy so that literacy is much more than words and meaning it is immersion in the culture and understanding of a people. This work finds a place of primacy amongst the other works in this compilation particularly because of the depth and insightfulness of the authors. If there is any weakness of the work it is the continuous shadow of the personal experiences of the authors that seem to be ever present throughout the work. Additionally some chapters seem to be in need of further expansion to provide greater clarity.
Leonard, John Paul. The Use of Practice Exercises in the Teaching of Capitalization and Punctuation. 1930. NY: AMS P. 1972
The study presented in the work of Leonard examined whether practice exercises improve the students ability to create compositions free from specific kinds of errors, in particular punctuation errors. The researchers identified three specific areas of focus for the study. Firstly, the study examined the effectiveness of teaching using practice examples on student achievement in capitalization and punctuation. The second objective was to determine how permanent any improvement actually was and finally the measurement of the validity and reliability of a test to measure student's ability in the respective area. The research sample included 98 students from the 8th and 9th grades who were examined at regular intervals. The research showed that the exercises were beneficial to the students and that the benefit was lasting. This work provided an empirical assessment of the problem that adds to the body of information on the subject. One concern with the work is the amount of time allowed to elapse between the testing since maturation effects may have developed. While this may be a concern, it does not seriously imperil the study.
Lowenberg, Peter H. "Testing English as a World Language: Issues in Assessing Non-Native Proficiency." The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. 2nd ed. Ed. Braj B. Kachru. Urbana, IL: U. Of IL P. 1992. 108-24.
The question of the role of linguistic norms is considered by Lowenberg in this article. The author posits that while there have been improvements in the testing of English language generally little attention has been given to the variability in norms for English. The concept of a benchmark for norms then appears to be a fallacy. The work identifies the role of non-English nationals in the development of English in English speaking countries. Using Malaysian English as a template the author demonstrates the development of normative elements within the English that may not be consistent with American English but are still valid constructions. The work is directed toward teachers and anyone who may have an interest understanding the development of English across the world. It is interesting to note that an underlying theme within the article is the development of alternative English forms by non-English speaking countries. The article seems to suggest that there is no such thing as correct English based on the variability in the normative elements; this point appears to be invalid. Even though English is changing, there is still a "correct form of the language."
Mayer, John S., Nancy Lester, and Gordon M. Pradl. "Responding and Evaluating." Learning to Write. Upper Montclair, NJ: Boyton. 1983. 121-43.
Managing the Assessment Process: A Framework for Measuring Student Attainment of the ESL Standards. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. 1998
The function of assessment tools that are anchored in specific standards are explored in this work. The authors explicate not only the role but also the role within specific contexts. The context involves students in an ESL program. This guide is constructed to assist users of the "ESL standards for Pre-K-12 students." The support provided by this document allows students and teachers to be informed on the requirements for students to become knowledgeable in English. The work is divided into multiple sections the first giving theoretical assessment models inclusive of descriptors and identifiers of the tiers of the process. This is followed by the rationale for assessment and how stakeholders may become involved in the complete process. The third section unveils the variant approaches to assessment from criterion referenced to indirect performance. The work ends with an exposition on basic uses for assessment. One of the http://www.coe.sdsu.edu/people/jmora/WritingRubrics most useful features of this work is the presentation of the various approaches to assessment. While the writing is at time labored and meanders, the work is very useful for this project as it fills in a critical gap in the knowledge base.
Mora, Jill Kerpa. "Using Rubrics to Assess L2 Writing." San Diego: San Diego SU. 1999. < / >.( No longer available)
Moya, Sharon S. And Michael O'Malley. "A Portfolio Assessment Model for ESL." The Journal of Educational Issues of Language…