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MEdMom2013
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Joined: 23 Feb 2012
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Location: Charlotte, NC
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:31 pm
Post subject: re Assessments
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I have a question for my graduate project:

Here is a case scenario: I have a little girl, elementary school, from Slovenia. She came here as a political refugee and doesn't speak a stitch of English.

She is in my class and I have been using various methods to work with her to learn the English alphabet, survival words, etc...

What assessment tools would you recommend - to assess her different levels of understanding throughout the year?

Are there any Internet sites where I can access simple assessment tools? - or is that something that is handed out by the public schools only?

I work in a language school for adults and so don't have the same knowledge that some of my fellow students have regarding assessments.

Thanks so much!

MEdMom2013
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Catherine
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djr33
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Joined: 08 Mar 2012
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Location: Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:42 pm
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What are you trying to measure? Overall proficiency? Why do you need a formal measurement? Can't you just tell based on talking to her?

With kids this can be hard. One basic method you could try is repetition-- have her listen to a sentence or paragraph and repeat it. The more she can repeat, the better at English she is (both comprehension and production). I've done some work with this (in another domain, but used to measure proficiency) so let me know if you have questions about that.

I don't have another suggestion except to ask an expert in this field, or ask whoever is telling you to measure it formally Smile
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MEdMom2013
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Joined: 23 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:28 pm
Post subject: re Assessments
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Thank you, Daniel. That helps. Now I know I am going in the right direction. I was thinking along the same lines but didn't know if that would be sufficient. I think it is, or would be.

MEdMom2013
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Catherine
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djr33
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:36 pm
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Again, it depends on what you want to measure exactly, but I think that would be reasonable. Let me know if you want to know details, but here's a quick summary of the research I was doing. I was working with L2 Spanish learners (adults) and looking at their performance in repeating certain parts of a recorded stimulus. What I found was that the scores on the proficiency test that I gave them and the overall measure of how much they repeated (basically how much of the meaning of the passage) was highly correlated. I based the scores on the following system, then averaged them (it wasn't very precise): for each sentence, 4) almost perfect, at most 1 missing word; 3) most of the content was there, maybe a few things changed; 2) about half of the content was there; 1) something was there; 0) the sentence was skipped. (This was done for 3 passages of about 8 sentences each.) I wasn't using that information in my final results because I was looking at a few details in the passages, but it turns out that the ability to repeat seems like a reliable measure of proficiency. And I'm planning to continue this work with kids this summer, so I'm going to try to find a way to adapt it to a style that will work for them. (The only downside as a proficiency test is that you'd need to deal with setting up the audio then recording the repetitions, but it's not so hard, probably.)
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MEdMom2013
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:56 am
Post subject: re Assessments
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Daniel,

That is awesome! Thank you for explaining how you do it with your Spanish speakers. In fact, the class I teach in the evenings at church is composed of Hispanics (Spanish) and Brazilians (Portuguese). Such a system might work with them. Among all my students, the Saudis, the Spanish and the Chinese seem to struggle the most. Such an assessment might help them, maybe even reassure them they are actually learning.

Thanks so much!

MEdMom2013
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Catherine
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enunciativo
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Joined: 02 Mar 2012
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:29 pm
Post subject: Assessments
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Some internet resources:

For children:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/css05rtq.asp
http://www.isbe.state.il.us/assessment/htmls/sample_books.htm
http://www.internet4classrooms.com/assistance.htm

For adults:
testprepreview.com/toefl_practice.htm
learn4good.com/languages/spec_english_toefl.htm
testmagic.com/knowledge_base/toefl/structure/index.htm
english-test.net/toefl
4tests.com/exams/examdetail.asp?eid=57
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djr33
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:37 pm
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The problem with those resources is that they are mostly for written English of native speakers, not for spoken English of non-native speakers. If you're looking for written measurements, they can probably also be applied to non-native speakers, and there has been plenty done on testing in written form.

The big remaining issue is what to do about spoken language. Usually it ends up just being a native speaker judgment, at least in practice, but we've discussed at least one other method here (repetition).
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MEdMom2013
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Joined: 23 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:35 pm
Post subject: re Assessments
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You are positively awesome!! Thank you SO much!! I know I will be able to use these, even if I have to tweak them a bit. I love resources! All kinds! My Internet bookmarks look like I belong to the CIA - I have so many.

I will be pulling these up and studying them for future applications in this class and future classes.

Thanks again!

Catherine
MEdMom2013
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Catherine
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