Title

Exploring classroom based assessment strategies to assess reading skills of young learners

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Teaching reading in the early years is highly emphasised especially in an EFL context like Pakistan; however, its assessment is often neglected. The current study is based on the concept that assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process and it should facilitate the child’s learning. The purpose of this study is to explore classroom-based assessment strategies to assess the reading skills of young children. To serve the purpose of the study, a Collaborative Action Research approach was employed, in which the researcher worked in collaboration with the teacher to apply reading assessment strategies in the classroom. The study comprised three phases starting from the pre-intervention in which the existing assessment practices were explored, then the intervention phase where different strategies were applied and last was the post- intervention phase in which the teacher assessed the children independently. As a research participant, one English teacher who had at least three years of experience of teaching young children was selected along with four students of 6-7 years as a focused group. The findings of the study confirmed that the assessment strategies ‘observation and retelling stories’ have the potential to assess the reading skills of young children, especially their understanding of reading as a meaning-making process. It was also revealed that these assessment strategies allowed the teacher to monitor students’ progress as well as guide her own teaching practice. Moreover, classroom-based assessment was found to be promising in providing a teacher a rich picture of children’s reading development by gathering and interpreting the assessment information. However, a teacher’s own education of assessment and time pressure hindered the implementation of classroom-based assessment. It is recommended that classroom-based assessment must be included as a part of teacher development programmes so that students’ learning could be supported during the course of the teaching learning process through effective use of assessment.

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