Formative v. Summative assessment:
Formative is during the race, summative is when you’ve crossed the line.
…the term ‘assessment’ refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment becomes ‘formative assessment’ when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet the needs.Black and William, 1998:2
My favourite metaphor Leo used:
Here’s a task for you:
Leo has separated them in this way though he acknowledges that some could be either:
Example activity 1: 3-3-3 Speaking activity
- In pairs, student A talks for 3 minutes on a topic may or may not have been prepared in advance. Student B listens. Students switch roles with Student B speaking and Student A speaking.
- Switch and speak to another A / B in your group.
- Go back to your original partner. Partner compare the original version you heard to the last delivery of the same monologue.
Finally assess your partner’s participation. We used an app called Wooclap to do this live:
Here are two other possible sets of assessment criteria for the same activity:
The idea of the original 4-3-2 activity is often attributed to Nation 1989, but Leo found it was originally in Maurice 1983 in ELTJ. It has recently been reassessed by Boers (2014) who found that the increased time pressure of reducing the time limit didn’t make a big difference – it’s fine to do it with the same amount of time for each repetition.
There has been a re-evaluation of the value of repetition:
Points to consider:
The first three topics here are more useful topics as they involve recounting something.
Practical example 2: mini debate
Two students had a debate. We asked one question to each of the speakers. Then each speaker had to summarise what their opponent said using lexical chunks from the slide:
Debating is usually considered an idea for working on speaking, but why not use it to test students’ listening as well?
This was inspired by a BBC video called Should we stop flying?
We watched part of the video and then had to summarise what the speakers said for 1 minute each.
The final section of the video asks the speaker to sum up each other’s arguments, which made Leo think of this idea.
Example 3: Oral cloze
Listen to the teacher and write the missing words. The teacher reads out the gap fill and the students write down the words. Like so:
[I had to leave at this point, so may have missed the end of the talk!]