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Self assessment for young learners 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
Posts: 128
Location: Italy
Post Self assessment for young learners
I recently came across this is a course for young learners: at the end of each unit in the book, the kids have to award themselves a mark out of five for how well they think they've done in that unit.

I'm really not sure that's a good or workable idea. I imagine most will either put 5 regardless, or ask the teacher what they should put, which defeats the object of self-assessment.

And what about kids who aren't very good at English, but quite enjoy the lessons anyway? They've got to tick the box in effect marked "I'm a failure".

But apparently, this concept is considered sound, modern methodology.

Any thoughts on this?


Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:10 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:06 am
Posts: 2
I donĀ“t like that concept... I totally agree with you.

Teaching English at Open English

Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:25 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
I've seen that in the adult textbooks but to be honest, I spend so much time creating my own children's materials, I don't really have time to check out others.

It seems like it might be a good idea. It would get children to think about what they've learned and make a decision about how well they've learned it.

I agree with you that checking the 'poor' box isn't such a grand idea. I also don't think children can really grade their accomplishments so finely, and maybe they don't have to. What I mean is they might not be able to discern the difference between 'poor, with some difficulty, good, fairly good, great.'

I think I'd just have two options:

Good. ____Great!
_ :D ______ :-D

and younger children would just circle the face. In materials for older children I'd have a check box instead of the faces.

I think that just getting the kids to think about whether they accomplished that unit's goals is enough. In doing so they will self-assess and if they 'lie' on the assessment, that doesn't really diminish the effectiveness of the activity. The students know they are lying.

With those two choices they don't have to choose a 'poor' option and hopefully it wouldn't crush self-esteem and maybe function more as motivation to try to assess yourself as 'great.'

But, I'm not a child psychologist ...

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:26 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
A new thought that comes to mind is adding another option into the assessment section.

You could have a spot to the right of the assement or just under it for a student to think about any questions they might still have.

I have a question. ___ ____I don't have any questions. ___

They would check the line or box. Then leave a blank square where students could actually write their question or just copy the English sentence/structure that's giving them problems.

I think that might be a good way to reinforce positive study habbits. You are essentially training the students to think 'I still have questions.' instead of them simply thinking 'I don't understand.'

I like to train my students to search for help instead of waiting to be saved.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:35 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:46 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
The big thing for me with this type of assessment is in getting feedback on the methodology. I used to have many a lesson where I thought the kids were fantastic, but they thought they were terrible!

It was sometimes that they thought there was more to it, whereas it was actually quite simple, or that I just hadn't told them how good they were. Either way, bad me, but I learnt a lot!

Be genki,



Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:24 pm
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