Interesting Alternative Ways to Assess a Student’s English Language Skills

English is one of the most prominent languages in the entire world. Its wide scale usability in international business and diplomatic circles has increased many enthusiasts to learn this vital language.

Now-a-days almost majority of the schools across the world prefer to teach their students this influential language. But one area where most of them are lagging is in evaluating students’ real progress.

Many are still using traditional methods to evaluate student’s improvement. It is thus the need of hour to transform our student’s evaluation process that can match the speed, accuracy and efficiency of current times. There is a dire need to look out for some innovative evaluation techniques that can do justice with each individual student.

Oral Interview and Class Presentation

Listening and speaking skills are very important in a student’s journey towards learning English. But it is extremely difficult for a teacher to rightly assess these vital skills unless having a one-to-one meeting in closed door with each student as a single teacher has to look after several students spread across other classrooms. By taking a one-to-one oral interview a teacher can rightly evaluate not only a student’s listening and speaking skills but also how they react to open ended and close ended questions.

Further, by encouraging students to take part in activities like presentation can help you to understand what a particular student has learnt from your lecture. Such exercise not only helps teachers, but also students in terms of boosting their confidence level and enhancing their learning.

Role Play

Role play is another amazing thing to assess students’ performance in an interactive manner. Students like to learn in a fun manner as compared to traditional chalk & board method. By giving them different roles to play with some specific situation and constraints can help you analyse their sentence formation, grammar, vocabulary, thought process and speaking skills at large. For example, make one student a good cop and other a reputed lawyer and give them a situation to start a dialogue. Such an activity can be a real eye opener for teachers and help them realize where a particular student is lagging as far as English language is concerned.

Written Assessments

Creative and Structured Writing Assignments: English is a language that is used across the globe and many vital businesses run around this language. Various media like- newspapers, magazines widely use English language and hire individuals who possess flair of creative writing skills with robust vocabulary and grammar. It is thus important to nurture these traits among students and also evaluate their performance in writing skills. Therefore, conducting a creative writing session on quarterly basis gives you an idea about a student’s research skills, and writing skills. Moreover, how a student gives an introduction, title, conclusion and main body help teachers to understand the depth of students’ creative skills.

Further by giving students an opportunity to proofread others assignment helps you to test their grammatical skills and also help students to know the written skills of their fellow colleagues.

Non-verbal Assessments:

There are many popular methods to assess a student’s performance using this approach famously includes:

Charades: This is a very popular word guessing game where a person act out each syllable of a word or phrase in an order, followed by a whole phase together to which a group has to guess the hidden word. In this game, a player mimes their hints without using any spoken word with the help of some conventional gestures. A teacher can use this game at any random time to evaluate vocabulary of a student that too in a fun manner.

Pictures: Studies reflects that pictures have a profound effect on learning; then why not the same can be used to check how much a student has learnt. A teacher can ask student to collect pictures which is associated with latest topic taught. For e.g. if a teacher recently taught a lesson on noun and its various types then a teacher can ask students to collect 5 pictures associated with each types of noun. By checking out just their picture teachers can assess how much a particular student has learnt about the recent topic and thus rightly evaluate his/her performance.

Buzz Around Online Tests

Today, in the age of mobile technology and internet there are plenty of interactive online tests available in the form of MCQs, True/False, Fill in the blanks, sentence rearrangement format amongst many others at free of cost. A teacher thus can proactively assign a test after the completion of each topic to evaluate candidates’ reading comprehensions, grammar, vocabulary and overall written communication skills. With the help of such online tests- a teacher can evaluate performance of students on a click of mouse.

The other benefit of such exercise is that it gives good exposure to students from range of top level questions framed by professionals from all across the world and help boost their confidence once received a good score. Moreover, a student can give such tests at any point of time and if finding interesting, can practise more at their own convenience to achieve mastery into that topic.

With the introduction of such popular evaluation technique, a teacher not only can rightly assess the performance of a student in English language, but also help in creating more interest amongst the learners.

— Ashwini Deshmukh

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