Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The area of ‘assessment’ – and particularly that of ‘formative assessment’ – has attracted the increasing attention of educational researchers within the last decade. This article presents the findings of a qualitative research study that was conducted in a primary school in Oxford, UK. Data were gathered through classroom observations that were videotaped. The assessment strategies used by the teacher were the foci of observations. It was found that questioning and feedback were two key elements characteristics of a teacher’s formative assessment practice in the English Language primary classroom. Extensive questioning for assessment purposes invited pupils to contribute ideas, checked for understanding of concepts, clarified learners’ responses and extended pupils’ thinking. At other times, the teacher’s questioning acted as prompts that cued pupils for a viable response. Teacher feedback praised students’ efforts and correct answers; pointed out incorrect responses; and, more importantly, explained why specific responses were incorrect. Additionally, feedback extended pupils’ learning on a number of occasions through verbal prompts, visual clues and supplementary information provided by the teacher. The implication is that teachers need professional training and on-going support so that they can use questioning and feedback in a formative way to foster pupils’ learning in the classroom.
Journal of Research and Reflections in Education
(2007). Assessing formatively in the English language classroom. Journal of Research and Reflections in Education, 1(1).
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_ied_pdck/6