Classroom Assessment Practices of Secondary School Teachers of English in Singapore

Project Number
OER 24/09 SCM

Project Duration
June 2010 - September 2013

Status
Completed

Abstract
Classroom assessment practices have been examined in general education for decades, but not in language education until recent years. In the past decade, several studies have focused on how English teachers at elementary schools and universities in the ESL/EFL contexts conduct classroom assessment. Surprisingly, very little research has investigated how secondary school teachers of English administer classroom assessment. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to investigate this subject in Singapore. The importance of this study is twofold. First, there is a need to better understand teachers' classroom assessment practices. In his article published in Language Assessment Quarterly, Cumming (2004) noted that a resounding number of journal articles and books focused on formal language testing, rather than routine classroom assessment practices. Although the former had played an increasingly important role in language education, teachers need to be cognizant with sound assessment practices and improve their assessment skills. He therefore opined, ''surely we need more studies that simply describe educators actually doing language assessment as well as critical analyses of the principles and variables these practices entail.'' (Cumming, 2004, p. 7). Second, assessment has drawn attention from researchers partly because it is universally acknowledged that improved classroom assessment practices can contribute to students' better learning outcomes. In recent years, the idea of ''assessment for learning'' has been introduced (e.g., see Harlen & Winter, 2004). As Singapore Ministry of Education strives to improve both formative and summative assessment practices, and enhance learning outcomes, in depth understanding regarding English teachers' classroom assessment is the first step. An investigation on this topic will cast light on how English teachers administer assessment, and understand what assessment knowledge teachers might need to learn. The results of the study will have implications for teacher education programs to train prospective teachers or in-service teachers.

Research Themes
Assessment

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
NIE Research Brief Series 13-010: Factors Affecting English Language Teachers’ Classroom Assessment Practices
ReEd Vol 4: Alternative Assessment in the Classroom

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