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Should we test young learners?

 
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Should we test young learners?
Yes
83%
 83%  [ 5 ]
No
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 6

Author Message
crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject: Should we test young learners? Reply with quote

There are reasons for and against testing young learners' ability to speak English (in an ESL context).

Reasons for testing might include:
* some parents expect a score (based on a test)
* the school might require a score
* teachers can use the results to alter their syllabus and/or place students
* the students might be motivated by an appropriate test at their level
* tests can be part of the learning process

Reasons for not testing might include:
* young learners often acquire a second language naturally and somewhat quickly anyway- why test when they just need some time?
* testing has "negative back wash" or negative effects (eg. students who do poorly are then categorized as a "bad student")
* poor results can lead to a fear of testing for students later on
* In multilingual classrooms, ESL students are often at different levels with different backgrounds- so is it possible to grade the students fairly?
* When it comes to language, what you teach is not necessarily what is learned; some say that students have to acquire language at their own pace when they are ready... so why test?

So, what do you think? Should we test young learners or not? If you have further comments about how you test and give marks to young learners as well, feel free to comment below. It'd be interesting to hear from you!
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Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
www.esl-lesson-plan.com
crueckert@eslemployment.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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