Preservice English Teachers’ Assessment Awareness: Level of Readiness for Classroom Practice

Abstract

Only a few decades ago, language proficiency was assessed in various contexts in the area of vocabulary and in understanding and producing oral language. Today, language assessment has changed due to the widespread use of English in the business and academic worlds. This development has led to the emergence of new skills and competencies to the existing repertoire of language proficiencies -- such as processing information, reasoning for evidence, making decisions, solving problems, self-regulation, collaboration and learning. Considering the extent of the recent changes in assessment pedagogy, the purpose of the present study is to explore preservice English teachers’ assessment awareness and their level of readiness for assessment practice in language classroom. Forty-nine fourth-year pre-service English teachers from the Department of English Language Education of a state university were included in the study, which adopted a qualitative research design. The data were collected through open-ended survey questions administered in the spring term of the 2015-2016 academic year, and they were analyzed with a content analysis technique. The results showed that preservice teachers were aware of newly emerging skills and competencies in ELT and most of them reported an urgent need for more training and practice to implement various assessment models in the language classroom.

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