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English Test Assignment: Outlining Course Structure for EFL/ESL Learners

Question

Task: You are required to design and create an examination based on the objectives of a syllabus or unit of work of an ESL/EFL course of study in this English test assignment. You need to design and create (write) the test; inclusive of instructions, test items (questions) and scoring systems etc. Importantly you need to justify and explain all choices made in the design and creation of the test (provide a comprehensive rationale based on the literature). In order to help you meet the requirements of this major assessment piece the following points provide some guidance for the content of your discussion. Note that the following is a guide rather than a recipe, so you have some flexibility in how you write up your discussion.

1. Describe the learning context (students’ age, level of proficiency, EFL/ESL, nature of the course, etc.). Explicitly state the objectives of the course of study.

2. Select two areas of language to assess (e.g., reading, writing, grammar, spelling, listening, oral interaction). Briefly describe the curriculum context over a period of several weeks during which time you would be teaching and assessing these areas of language (e.g., what will you be teaching during that time? What learning outcomes have been identified? What particular features/knowledge/skills will you are assessing?

3. Decide on the type of test you will create to assess students’ progress/achievement/proficiency in the selected area/s of language at some point in the program.

4. State explicitly how your test/examination will measure achievement/progress/proficiency based on the objectives of the course of language study.

5. Provide a description of the test as well as the actual test itself. Please include the actual test in the Appendix section of the paper.

6. Describe the process of how you created the test items (questions) and provide justifications on the types of items chosen.

7. Outline the criteria to be used in scoring the test.

8. Include a rationale for the test you have designed (e.g., what principles of assessment have guided the design of the test?).

Answer

1. Introduction
India needs a better human resource to sustain its growth and development. Communication is one of the major sources of nowadays. In a multilingual country like India, it is always important to communicate properly through a common language. In our case, English is always treated as a second language apart from our native language. To communicate properly we need to learn English efficiently. Indian Curriculum follows two language systems, native language, English as a second language.

The Education Commission, the government of India designed and develop a test for the assessment and evaluation of the skills of students of class ten in terms of English as the second language (ESL) / English as a foreign language (EFL). The test will be a classroom-based achievement test for every class of ten students of India with an intermediate level of proficiency in English after proper teaching. This test will provide a proper evaluation of the proficiency level of each student.

2. Learning Context
The test will be a classroom-based test conducted in government, private, and undertaking school where English is taught as ESL/EFL. The test will be organized by the Human Resource Department, Government of India. The main objective of this test is to access the student’s ability to read and understand English. The schools will be divided according to either ESL or EFL. The test will be conducted for class ten. For that, the students will be divided into age groups according to the class.

First, all students will have to give a test. After the test students will be divided according to their level of proficiency. The syllabus will be based on the class syllabus. The emphasis will be given on spelling, grammar, oral interaction, understanding of the language. The teachers will teach the students every day for one hour after school time. Teachers can take a surprise test at any time. Questions will be of short, multiple-answer type.

The students will have to read small passages from books, have to explain to class in the native language. The teacher will ask spelling, discuss grammar, short questions from the passage. The teacher will make a note of every student. After 3 months final test of 100 marks will be taken.

3. ESL/EFL Course Study based on Five Principles of Brown and Abeywickrama
The diversity and language barriers in Indian education makes it difficult for them to assess a course based on ESL/EFL. The principles of assessment help in providing guidelines in education courses based on different levels of classes. For the 10th standard students in India, ESL/EFL course is important in learning language and its pronunciation. Assessment practice has a significant impact on the education process and also plays a critical role in teaching functions in guiding, classifying, and grading their students (Tosuncuoglu, 2018). Brown and Abeywickrama has generates five distinguish principles in creating language assessment among the teachers, such as –

a. Practicality
Practicality in language assessment is consisting of understanding the cost barriers during the administration and construction process. The practicality in the assessment will enable students to generate feedback and immediate response during the assessment learning (Kent, 2019). According to Brown and Abeywickrama, language assessment should be economically viable to cover every section of learners to assess. It is also needed to be simple and time-efficient to learn.

b. Reliability
It refers to the score stability in the language assessments over time. Reliability is also the parameter for understanding the validity of language assessment and documenting the evidence for being consistent (Latief, 2016). There are some types of reliability available, such as – students with a personal physical or mental problem, biases, and subjectivity from the teachers, test administration in providing a particular environment for taking the assessment, and problems related to the test itself. In a diverse atmosphere like India, these barriers happen most of the time.

c. Validity
Validity is the claim for measurement in different parameters, such as consequential, content, construct, criterion, etcetera. Validation of ESL/EFL course will conceptualize the dependency in language assessment to include appropriate argument and adequate tests for achieving progress (Weideman, 2019). Adequacy will further support the theoretical understanding of the validity in a language test, where the generated scores will be meaningful and interpretable.

d. Authenticity
Authenticity within a language assessment or test comes with the contextualization of the course subjects or topics. It is related to the nature of the language, its relevancy, real-world experiments, and interest factors. From the starting of the communicative language assessment process, authenticity comes with the distinctive features associated with modern language assessment (Zheng & Iseni, 2017). The authenticity among the 10th standard Indian students will be related to the practicality, validity, reliability, impact, and interactive factors during a language test.

e. Washback
It is related to any consequences facing during the learning and teaching process in a classroom atmosphere. It can be both positive and negative. Teachers are looking forward to generating positive washback by creating appropriate instructional planning for language assessment. One of the positive washback in language teaching and test process is language assessment and its outcome (Beikmahdavi, 2016). The conceptual understanding of washback is associated with the learning behavior and perspective of the teachers. In a diverse environment like India, proper interaction, and outcome generation is important to provide progress to the students.

4. Objectivities of The Course
In India, students get familiar with their regional language from an earlier age that sometimes they faced difficulties in adapting to another language. English is a global language and students need to get fluent in this language in reading, writing, listening, and speaking to take advantage of their professional opportunities. According to (Fatah & Ibrahim, 2020), a significant number of tests related to the second language considers the concept of pragmatic or practical competence. It helps in assessing the language assessment result in both social and linguistic aspects. The non-native English speakers, especially the Indian students feel EFL/ESL as a prickly subject, which requires a practical curriculum and tests to understand the subject well (Fatah & Ibrahim, 2020). The objectives of the EFL/ESL course will be,

  • Students will improve their spelling and vocabulary after competing for the activities and tests in the language assessment
  • Oral interaction will be polished with the improvement of the pronunciation process
  • Teachers will provide grading or rating system to the students to measure the progress of the students
  • The rationale of the language assessment is related to the viability and reliability of the language test environment related to the students’ improvement in the English language

5. Language Areas
In the current ESL/EFL course, there will be two language parameter areas – spelling and oral interaction to understand the progress of the students. Students from India do not get a proper chance to develop their fluency in the English language, so the competition is higher. Advanced studies and professional sectors prefer fluency in English to sustain their operations with the global economy.

5.1 Spelling
In pronunciation progress, spelling is the most important factor that the Indian students need to rectify themselves. It serves the main role in an interaction. The errors in pronunciation from the lack of spell check in happened not only in 10th grade but in higher standard too. It is important to understand the learner's perception and consideration towards specific spells to identify their pronunciation problem (Ferdiyanto, 2019). Many structural strategies help the students at EFL learner from India to improve their spelling. One of the most impactful strategies is to providing with open and close sorts to make them analyzing the features and pattens of the spellings in different words. Classroom tests including the alphabetical hunt, practicing English writing, and word hunts are also impactful in making the progress of the students.

5.2 Oral Interaction
EFL course assessment has the motive behind making the Indian student fluent in the English language. In a foreign language classroom, the students are become shy or frightened towards understanding the English language and use it to communicate with others. The micro-teaching practices in form of teaching the students with English spelling and words develop a positive outcome in their professional perception (Sar?çoban, 2016). In the foreign language learning process, oral interaction is important in understanding the progress of the students and how they can enhance their knowledge more. Tests related to classroom interaction, andinteracting with friends and family make an integral impact on the progress in learning a foreign language.

6. Learning Outcomes
The objective of this test is to access every student’s ability to read, speak, and understand English. The human resource department, the government of India wants to take an assessment to get information about every student’s way of learning English under a given condition and the result generated after the course of study. Taking a test before the course will help teachers divide students according to their proficiency level. Teachers will design the syllabus and will modify it according to the need of the class. Regular reading, explaining, interaction all will helps to motivate a student to participate more in class. The language barrier a student always faces for a second language will be removed in their environment. Day-by-day learning and assessment will help to grow the confidence of a student. If a teacher gives extra attention to students getting a lower score in the first evaluating test, their performance will be improved on successive tests.

Everyday performance evaluation is very important to get a clear picture of a student’s improvement. After taking regular tests and evaluating the score regularly will grow a healthy competition on students. Regular reading and discussion will increase the ability and speaking and understand. The student will get confidence to give answers and they will get feedback from students as rewards. Reading skills and fluency will be improved. The vocabulary of students will be enhanced. Speed of reading and comprehension will be improved. The ability to write brief & correct answers will be increase. Students will get the confidence to communicate in English. Students will be aware of their grammatical mistakes and will try to minimize them.

There will be healthy competition among students. Students will get good scores after every evaluation as a reward. Students maybe wanted to know more apart from their syllabus. The course will motivate the students to increase their English reading habits. The four modes of literacy such as writing, reading, speaking, and listening will improve. The student will able to think independently. Children will able to communicate with their classmates and family members and also with teachers in English. They will be able to face other students having English-medium background.

7. Type of Test
The test will be conducted after finishing the lessons. A well-structured vocabulary test will help students correctly known their language, which will help them to write correctly in their paper. As Indian students adapt to the English language as the second language, vocabulary will help them to know the language correctly. The teacher will ask them simple questions at first and then try to increase the level (Ferdiyanto, 2019). Right pronunciation can also help the students to know about the language and helps to speak it correctly. The teacher should evaluate the students on their speaking skills to improve their English Pronunciation.

8. Test Measures Based on Objectivities
The course will be focused on vocabulary and pronunciation. For that first teacher will conduct an evaluation test based on a chapter of their curriculum. After the test teachers will divide the students according to category. The category will be,

Category A: 81-100 Marks
Category B: 61-80 Marks
Category C: 41-60 Marks
Category D: Below 40 Marks

Every day a new paragraph will teach in class. Reading will be done by the students. They will have to give answers to questions asked by their teacher. The teacher will give focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. The day-by-day evaluation will be done based on vocabulary and pronunciation. Students will get their weekly evaluation sheet.

The teacher will focus on the area of improvement in terms of vocabulary and pronunciation.
Regular reading and interaction will be key to this course. The objective of this test is to correct the pronunciation of a student and improves the vocabulary. There will be a separate evaluation for both vocabulary and pronunciation every week. After three months duration of the course will cover, there will be a common evaluation test of 100 marks, 50 for both vocabulary and pronunciation each. Students will get an evaluation report of vocabulary, pronunciation & common test.

9. Description of The Test
The test will be designed for the 10th-grade students of India. The test will be evaluating intermediate level students of EFL/ESL students. The vocabulary test will help the students to know about the language thoroughly and also help them to improve their English as a second language. The test will be consisting of two parts one is a vocabulary test and the other one is a pronunciation test.

The vocabulary test will consist of abbreviations, adjectives, and adverbs which will be confused often. It will also consist of business expressions, British to American English, Grammar, and punctuation words. It will also have phrasal verb quizzes. Lastly, there will be a vocabulary test on a particular comprehension.

The pronunciation test will consist of the learner’s skill for pronunciation. The evaluation will be based on homonyms and a quiz will be conducted for the test. The teacher will also create an imaginary conversation among the students to test their pronunciation skills. The test will help the students to know about the pronunciation well.

10. Describe the Process of Test Items
The test will be consisting of the vocabulary and the pronunciation test. It will consist of quizzes and reading comprehension and imaginary conversation. It will help to overcome the gaps of knowledge of the language (Snow, Jacovina, and Tanner, 2016). It will be helpful for the readers to understanding the text. Quizzes and imaginary conversations will also improve pronunciation skills and help to learn the vocabulary.

  • Abbreviations and Confused Adjectives and Adverbs Terms
    To evaluate the abbreviations skill, the teacher will give them a crossword puzzle to solve and students have to fill up the puzzle without the hints. In the test, the teacher will give them some blanks questions, which students have to fill up with the proper adjectives and adverbs. It will provide two options in each of the questions.
  • Business Expression
    In the part to evaluate the students, the teacher will divide the test into three parts. Each of the sections will have ten questions. The first section will be basic, the second one will be intermediate and the third section will be hard. Each of the sections will consist of four options. Students have to choose one correct answer from the given options.
  • British To American English
    The test will be divided into two sections, basic and intermediate. The teacher will give them two crossword puzzles and the students have to fill them within the proper time.
  • Grammar and Punctuation
    It will be also consisting of a crossword puzzle. The students have to feel the gap to give a proper answer.
  • Phrasal Verb Quizzes and Reading Comprehension
    To evaluate the phrasal verbs, the teacher will give the students sheets on particular subjects. Like the test will be consisting of different types of phrasal verbs. Secondly, the phrasal verb quizzes will consist of the other two parts as well. The teacher will give the students flashcards and students has to choose from the options.

In the reading comprehension section, the teacher will ask them vocabulary questions about the particular topic that has been teaching them before.

  • Imaginary Conversation
    For evaluating the pronunciation skill, the teacher will conduct an imaginary conversation among the students. It will be an important part of evaluating English language skills. The teacher will give the students a particular topic and they have to do the conversation among them about the topic (Cox et al., 2019). The main purpose of the task is to not only evaluate their pronunciation skills but also help to accurate speaking skills of the students.

11. Scoring of The Test
After the evaluation, the scoring will be the most important part of the test. The teacher will give students’ scores according to their performances. The marking criteria will be based on the level of proficiency. Students' performance and classroom activities will also be evaluated in the result. The grading system will help teachers to evaluate the students effectively. The result will be evaluated in the three months-based learning process. On the imaginary conversation part, the teacher will be evaluating how the student’s pronunciation skills have increased.

12. Rationale for The Test
The students will give answers on quizzes which will take time. The students have given fifteen to twenty minutes to solves the quizzes. Thirty minutes should be given to solve the crossword puzzles and for the reading comprehension part, the student will be given adequately twenty minutes to read the comprehension and then solve the vocabulary questions from it.

As it is a classroom-based test, the teacher will be controlling the students and give them a specific time to solve the questions about vocabulary. For the pronunciation part, the teacher will give the student, exactly thirty minutes to describe the topic and create an imaginary conversation among them. The first part of the test will be happening in the pen and paper mode, whereas the second part will not require any pen or paper. At the beginning of the test, the teacher will give them a brief about the test and demonstrate the way, the test will be happening. The ESL/EFL test will be based on the five principles of Brown and Abeywickarma. Their principles of learning are based on practicality, reliability, validity, authenticity, and the washback method. It will help the teacher to form a test for the intermediate level of ESL/EFL students of India.

13. Conclusion
A second language assessment test is very important to take a clear picture of an overview of how a student doing in other languages apart from the native one. After evaluation, it is clear to both students and teachers the areas that need to be focused on. Having a strong knowledge of vocabulary helps to give focus on a language. Proper pronunciation gives confidence in reading and speaking. This type of test should conduct regularly to give students the support required to cross the hurdle. It will also give confidence to a student to get a good score in ESL/EFL.

14. References
Beikmahdavi, N. (2016). Washback in language testing: Review of related literature first. International Journal of Modern Language Teaching and Learning, 1(4), 130–136.

Cox, J. L., Henrichsen, L. E., Tanner, M. W., & McMurry, B. L. (2019). The Needs Analysis, Design, Development, and Evaluation of the" English Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching Using Online Resources". TESL-EJ, 22(4), n4. Fatah, Y. S., & Ibrahim, N. M. B. (2020). The Importance of Utilizing Pragmatics in EFL/ESL Context. 2–4.

Ferdiyanto, F. (2019). Analyzing Error Pronunciation in Spelling Words. IJOEEL: International Journal of English Education and Linguistics, 1(2), 18–22.

Kent, D. (2019). Plickers and the Pedagogical Practicality of Fast Formative Assessment. Teaching English with Technology, 19(3), 90–104.

Latief, M. A. (2016). Reliability of Language Skills Assessment Results. Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan, 8(3).

Sar?çoban, A. (2016). Foreign language teaching practicum beliefs of student teachers. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 12(1), 166–176.

Snow, E. L., Jacovina, M. E., & Tanner, G. (2016). A reading comprehension and strategy instruction tutor. Adaptive Educational Technologies for Literacy Instruction. Tosuncuoglu, I. (2018). Importance of Assessment in ELT. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 6(9), 163–167.

Weideman, A. (2019). Degrees of adequacy: the disclosure of levels of validity in language assessment. Koers, 84(1), 1–15.

Zheng, Y., & Iseni, A. (2017). Authenticity in Language Testing. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 6(8), 9–14.

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