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Language Assessment What it measures and how Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Language Assessment What it measures and how Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Assessment What it measures and how Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D

2 Dimensions of L2 Fluency Talking The ability to talk at length with few pauses; to fill time with talk The ability to have appropriate things to say in a wide range of contexts

3 Dimensions of L2 Fluency Vocabulary & Syntax The size and range of a speaker’s vocabulary and syntactical forms The ability to talk in coherent, reasoned and “semantically dense” sentences

4 Dimensions of L2 Fluency Knowing the Rules Knowledge of the various patterns of interaction and discourse for various situations and context Knowledge of the rules of conversation

5 Dimensions of L2 Fluency Creativity with Language The ability to be creative and imaginative with language; to express oneself in novel ways. The ability to invent and entertain; to take risks in linguistic expression

6 Measuring Fluency Instruments Using commercially designed language assessment instruments Teacher observation using a rating scale Informal observations of students’ behaviors

7 Commercial Assessment Instruments Classify students’ on a standardized scale from 1 to 5; 1=limited proficiency & 5=native speaker equivalent proficiency Proficiency scale is interpretable across school settings

8 The Observation Matrix (Solom) Student Oral Language Observation Matrix allows teachers to rate students’ according to L2 language used in a classroom context for academic purposes.

9 Uses of Language Assessment Appropriate bilingual/ESL program placement Diagnosis of language strengths and weaknesses Detection of patterns of systematic errors

10 Pre-systematic versus Systematic Errors The important distinction between “goofs” in early L2 development or interlanguage versus errors that are consistent and form patterns of incorrect usage

11 Types of L2 Learner Errors Transfer Errors Involve application of rules that hold in the first language but not in L2 Use of lexical forms pronounced as cognates when no such equivalent exists in L2

12 Types of L2 Learner Errors Overgeneralization The application of a general principle in the case of an exception Demonstrate a basic understanding of syntax and grammar, misapplied with a particular form

13 The “beating around the bush” errors The “beating around the bush” errors with the use of an incorrect word or syntactic form The lack of a precise use of vocabulary or idiomatic expressions Lack of use of the appropriate verb tense

14 Idiomatic Errors An attempt to translate a phrase or expression directly from L1 when the forms are not equivalent A misuse of certain phraseology or vocabulary words in a common expression

15 Idiosyncratic Errors L2 learner language unique to the individual Part of a system of approximations to the individual’s interpretation of native speaker models A natural part of L2 development

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