The effectiveness of alternative assessment compared with traditional assessment in the oral performance at Intermediate Intensive English students at the University of El Salvador

Baires Arévalo, Santos Edith and Recinos Abarca, Abraham (2018) The effectiveness of alternative assessment compared with traditional assessment in the oral performance at Intermediate Intensive English students at the University of El Salvador. Masters thesis, Universidad de El Salvador.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if alternative assessment is more effective compared with traditional assessment specifically in the development of students Englishspeaking competences in the Intermediate Intensive I courses at the Department of Foreign Language School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of El Salvador. Nowadays, alternative assessment is getting more attention in the foreign language classroom because students are involved in tasks, performances, demonstrations, and interviews reflecting everyday situations within realistic and meaningful contexts. Therefore, the following research aims to find out if alternative assessment is more effective compared with traditional assessment specifically in the development of students English-speaking competences. The lack of adequate and appropriate alternative assessment strategies is one of the main problems encountered by the researchers of this study. There has been little systematic research investigating how teachers assess students’ oral performance in the classroom. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the status of classroom speaking assessment at the Department of Foreign Language School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of El Salvador and its effectiveness in students’ speaking competences. Based on the syllabus of the Intermediate Intensive I 2017 courses, it can be reflected that there is not an important application of alternative assessment strategies; in fact they are not even mentioned in the syllabus. This factor has called the researchers’ attention because the syllabus for the intermediate courses reflects an important emphasis on traditional assessment (paper and pencil exams). However, alternative assessment does not seem to be of equal importance as traditional assessment is. The study is targeted to students of (First- year BA in English Teaching and Modern Languages). The hypothesis states that the level of speaking competences will be higher with the use of alternative assessment than with the use of traditional assessment in students from Intermediate Intensive English courses, semester II 2017, at the FLD of the University of El Salvador. Another important aim of this study is to compare the role of alternative assessment and traditional assessment when assessing students’ speaking competences. The data was collected from questionnaires and interviews where teachers and students were the target population. Also, an intervention was developed to compare results between students under traditional vs alternative assessment strategies before the mid-term and final oral evaluation. The results have revealed that classroom speaking assessment currently conducted at the FLD of the University of El Salvador has broadly employed traditional assessment tasks. Therefore, there is still a strong tendency towards traditional formal testing to measure and report learning outcomes of students’ speaking competences. It is evident from this study that there is need for improvements in order to facilitate better learning outcomes in the classroom. The study provides a range of suggestions for an improvement of current practices, starting with a process to change the perceptions of teachers, students, and policy makers towards alternative assessment followed by practical actions such as teacher training, implementation of alternative assessment strategies to improve students’ speaking competences. In this study, both qualitative and quantitative analyses have been applied. This study was conducted from August 2017 to March 2018 in which a correlational research design was used. The hypothesis will be supported and the study findings suggest that most of the students prefer alternative assessment (86% see graphic 2) rather than traditional assessment in order to become effective and competent users of their target language. Therefore, this study focuses on the importance that alternative assessment strategies have in order to achieve a better speaking performance in the Intermediate Intensive I English courses at the FLD of the University of El Salvador. Finally, This study contains not only a quasiexperimental study demonstrating the utility of alternative assessment strategies in developing students’ oral competences but also useful recommendations addressed to authorities, teachers and students.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Enseñanza del idioma inglés
Subjects: 400 Lenguas > 420 Inglés e inglés antiguo
Divisions: Facultad de Ciencias y Humanidades > Master in Didactics of the English Language
Depositing User: Santos Sanchez Rodriguez
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2018 19:54
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2018 19:56
URI: http://ri.ues.edu.sv/id/eprint/18825

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