Evaluation may sound a bit scary, but it doesn't have to be. "Evaluation" doesn't always correspond to "testing." Evaluation can and should be carried out both during and after instruction. It may be both formal and informal.
Formal evaluation done after instruction-testing-confirms whether the teacher and students have successfully accomplished the objectives, but its results often come too late to do the students much good. Formal evaluation is a bit beyond the scope of this module. It typically involves either creating or selecting an appropriate language test and then administering, scoring, and interpreting it.
|Informal evaluation done during instruction is often the most useful and influential type. Here are some ways to carry out informal evaluation during the presentation and practice phases of instruction: |
- Set up an in-class situation where students will need to use English that is related to the objectives of your lesson, and then simply observe them.
- Have students recite something (a dialog, poem, etc.) in English that you have taught them (or that they have memorized independently).
- After students read a short passage, ask them to tell you what the main idea was. You may also ask about important supporting points or details.
- Assign students to write a few English sentences (or paragraphs) on a topic that is familiar to them. You will learn a lot about their English ability by reading what they have written.
- Tell them a brief story in English. Then ask them questions about it, or ask them to tell the story back to you.
- As you talk with your students, make mental notes of words they misuse or pronounce incorrectly. Those observations will tell you how well your students have learned what you have taught them. (By the way, don't be discouraged if you have to teach some things several times before students finally start to use them correctly.) These informal evaluations may also give you ideas for future lesson objectives.
- Almost any in-class or homework assignment can serve an informal evaluation purpose, as long as you look at it with the purpose of learning where your students are having trouble with English.
|Whatever you do, remember that the evaluation should be related to your lesson objectives. It doesn't make much sense to aim at one thing and evaluate another.|
Whether it is informal or formal, evaluation is an essential part of every lesson and should be included in your planning.