English Language Testing Of Technology College Education Essay

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The restrictions on the time and teaching contents to those involved in test construction. This may cause some difficulties in choosing the right teaching contents for the particular test papers. This study describes and analysis the real teaching contents of New Cutting Edge Elementary for junior students at Technology College (TC) to grasp how the real teaching content affects designing test; as well as strong and weak points of the teaching contents being used to procedure of test design. The methods employed in this study include: (1) questionnaire 1 has been investigated so far about the real teaching contents toward the designing tests which test papers given to the junior students at TC. (2) questionnaire 2 has given to investigation of teaching techniques that consist on procedure of test design. These results are needed to investigate the real teaching contents and teaching techniques that they consisted on the test papers. In my view, the majority of the correct responses regarding the teaching contents and techniques realized can not imagine the difficulties so of some missing in teaching contents and techniques with the designing for the test specifications of current test papers.

Pleae rewrite this whole abstract. Problems with the use of English in general.

Key words. Restrictions; teaching contents and teaching techniques; investigate; junior students; test construction: Key words reflect the field of English teaching and testing. Restrictions and investigate, for example, are not key words.

TÓM TẮT

Giá»›i hạn thời gian và ná»™i dung giảng dạy liên quan chặt chẽ vá»›i qui trình xây dá»±ng đề thi. Nó gây khó khăn cho lá»±a chọn ná»™i dung dạy khi soạn đề thi. Bài báo miêu tả, phân tích ná»™i dung thá»±c dạy trong "New Cutting Edge-Elementary" dành cho 2 năm đầu của sinh viên trường Cao đẳng Công nghệ. Để hiểu được ná»™i dung thá»±c dạy ảnh hưởng thế nào đến việc xây dá»±ng đề thi, chúng tôi nghiên cứu khảo sát ná»™i dung thá»±c dạy trong qui trình xây dá»±ng đề thi cho sinh viên và khảo sát kỹ năng giảng dạy trong qui trình làm đề thi. Những kết qủa này rất cần thiết cho quá trình xây dá»±ng đề thi. Điểm chính yếu của những phản hồi chính xác là Ä‘ánh giá được phÆ°Æ¡ng pháp và ná»™i dung thá»±c dạy, mà trong tiến trình làm đề thi, ta không thể lường hết được những khó khăn khi má»™t vài ná»™i dung và kỹ năng thá»±c dạy bị mất Ä‘i khi thiết kế chi tiết kỹ thuật làm đề cho những bài thi hiện hành.

Cần viết lại cho Ä‘úng 'tiếng Việt'. Phần này dịch từ tiếng Anh ra, nên tiếng Việt không được chuẩn.

Từ khóa. Giá»›i hạn; ná»™i dung và kỹ năng giảng dạy; khảo sát; sinh viên 2 năm đầu Cao đẳng; xây dá»±ng đề thi

Introduction

According to Alderson and Clapham (1995) referred to facts relative to the problems that the test constructors themselves based upon the teaching contents and teaching techniques. Alderson and Clapham have argued that "the problem for designers of achievement tests is to ensure that they adequately sample either the syllabus or the textbook in terms of content and method." (1995, p.23)

Nowadays, testing has become important. It has drawn a lot of attention not only because of the needs for assessment but also for its strong effects on teaching and learning. Thus, the centers of language testing and assessment have been established. These centers have been constructed to control testing activities, research language testing and assessment and supply test items from their test item bank for different language courses. However, not every college has given enough attention to assessment. This job in many institutions is either done by the teachers themselves without any guidelines from the college or is completed by a group of people who are not armed with adequate knowledge, even the proper awareness of testing and assessment. Unfortunately, our University is not the exception.

2. Literature Review

The main purpose of the test is to make measurements about test takers' language ability. Language ability underlies all language performance and therefore it is very important in testing. Bachman and Palmer (1996) argues that "language ability must be considered within an interactional framework of language use" (p. 62). We can define out construct language ability from a number of perspectives, including everything from the content of a language course to a theoretical model of language ability. Two aspects of language ability that are proposed to language testing by Bachman (1990), who defines language ability as involves language knowledge and strategic competence. It is this combination of language knowledge and metacognitive strategies that provides language users with the ability or capacity to create and interpret discourse, either in responding to tasks on language tests or in non-test language use.

- Language knowledge includes two board areas: organizational knowledge and pragmatic knowledge. The two areas reflect the distinction between knowledge of language as a code system-the internal structures of language, and on the other hand, knowledge of language as a tool for interaction.

"Organizational knowledge" includes grammatical knowledge -ie, knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, phonology, graphology and textual knowledge -ie, rules of cohesion and rhetorical or conversational organization.

"Pragmatic knowledge" is involved in functional knowledge and socio-linguistic knowledge. The component of functional knowledge is related to the ability to use language to perform different language functions -ie, to express or exchange information about ideas, knowledge, or feelings. The component of socio-linguistic knowledge includes knowledge of dialects or varieties, registers, natural or idiomatic, expressions, cultural references, and figures of speech.

- Strategic competence includes three general areas in which metacognitive components operate: goal setting, assessment, and planning. We conceive of strategic competence as a set of metacognitive components,or strategies, which can be thought of as higher order executive processes that provide a cognitive management function in language use, as well as in other cognitive activities

"Goal setting" involves the language use, the choice of tasks and attempt to complete the tasks.

"Assessment" provides a means by which the individual relates her topical knowledge and language knowledge to the language use setting or to the testing situation.

"Planning" involves deciding how to use language knowledge, topical knowledge, and affective schemata to complete the test task successfully.

Thus, the Bachman and Palmer model (1996) of language use and language ability specify the relationship with language test

Obviously, instances of language performance in a test indicate the emphasizing ability to use language of a test taker. Using language involves the language user's topical knowledge and affective schemata, as well as all the areas of language knowledge discussed above. With respect to language testing, this conceptualization of strategic competence as metacognitive components provides an essential basis both for designing and developing potentially interactive test tasks and for evaluating the interactiveness of the test tasks we use.

3. Research Findings

The questionnaires for teachers consist of two parts, each of which serves a particular purpose. Part 1 includes 2 questions aimed at the teaching contents that teachers have taught. Part 2 includes 8 questions aimed at the techniques of language teaching in teaching process.

3.1 Results of questionnaire 1

To achieve reliability of the two questions and the teachers' responses, the questionnaire 1 is contextualised by the table of teaching contents that it was copied from the first page of Elementary of New cutting Edge-Students'course book.

This section describes and analysis the teaching contents of New Cutting Edge - Elementary for junior students at Technology College (TC) to grasp how the real teaching content affects designing test; as well as strong and weak points of the teaching contents being used to procedure of test design.

Question 1 investigates the modules taught in 3 terms for the junior students at TC. 100% of the teachers (10/10) reported that they covered all modules in which did not have communication activities in the last of New Cutting Edge course book (136-142 pages) because they considered that not enough time for the covering all contents of course books.

This fact illustrates that the missing some parts of teaching contents will not have into the test papers. In other word, the teaching contents were distributed in the time planning and in the current test papers sensibly.

Question 2

We also recognized that the teachers did not teach all parts in one module. The question two investigates the parts that they cut down in each module.

The results of question two are as follows:

- Consolidation part: (after each 5 modules, there is the consolidation part)

. 80% of the teachers (8/10) did not teach part "listening" in which it consists the practices of listening and the songs.

. 60% of the teachers did not teach"conversation" and "vocabulary" sections.

- Pronunciation part:

. 50% of the teachers (5/10) did not teach part "pronunciation". They consider that the "pronunciation" is not important for these subjects, but still 50% of the teachers teach with little time of the period, or the training of pronunciation is accompanied with other sections.

- Listening and speaking parts:

. 80% of the teachers (8/10) did not teach of listening and speaking sections. Teachers were only to give the diagrams and little training. Almost of teachers were teach vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. They considered that, in testing items did not sections of listening and speaking, so in the teaching process, teachers consider lightly these sections.

In conclusion, New Cutting Edge-Elementary course books provides thorough coverage of the grammatical and lexical system of English, combined with extensive practice of four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The result of responses reveals the sections in the teaching contents were cut down that the cutting sections are concentrate on speaking and listening skills.

As we known, 135 periods are divided into 3 terms. The teaching contents in the first term every 5 modules are taught in 45 periods, similar in the second term and third term too . At the beginning, the students have to learn with a very high speed but the whole teaching contents of New Cutting Edge course book can not finished in just 135 periods. So, in the teaching contents, the teachers must cut down how to develop strong points and diminish weak ones for suitable with achievement test.

In general, the time is not enough for teachers and students to solve all necessary points required in the teaching content. Teachers themselves were not an "investment" in the "extra" section that is to make the designing test suitable. This information is needed to investigate the real teaching contents that they consisted in the test papers.

3.2 Results of questionnaire 2

The questionnaire 2 presents and analyses the data collected from the teachers' responses about techniques used in the teaching process.

Question 1.

Table 3.1 presents the frequencies of teachers' responses for question about the goals in the language teaching. The data from the table show:

- 30% of the teachers always considered that "learning a foreign language is to read its literature" and "language learning is to learn how to use the language to communicate". Two of them (20%) sometimes considered that the goal of "language learning is to have become communicatively competent".

Table 3.1 Teachers' opinion about the goal in the teaching methods

The goals

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

To read its literature

3

30

1

10

0

0

To learn how to use the language to communicate

3

30

1

10

0

0

To have become of communicatively competent

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 2

Table 3.2 presents and discusses the percentages of teachers' responses for question about the roles of teachers and students in the teaching process. The data from the table as show:

- From the responds, I can say that the teacher is more important than the students in the teaching process. 40% of the teachers chose the teachers' role as the authority and the students' role just as the passive learner. 40% of the teachers agreed that the students can learn what teacher knows. 40% of the teachers considered that teacher is the orchestra leader and students are imitators of the teachers' model. 20% of them though that sometimes, teacher is to establish situation likely to promote communication. In the activities, he acts as an advisor and students are communicators.

Table 3.2. Teachers' opinion about the roles of teacher and students in the teaching process

The roles

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

Teacher-the authority

4

40

0

0

0

0

Student-can learn that teacher knows

4

40

0

0

0

0

Teacher-orchestra leader

4

40

0

0

0

0

Students-imitators

4

40

0

0

0

0

Teacher-to establish situations, - an advisor

0

0

2

20

0

0

Student-to communicate by communicating

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 3

Table 3.3 presents and discusses percentages of teachers' responses for question about the some characteristics of the teaching process. The data from the table as show:

- 20% of the teachers considered that new vocabulary and structures are presented through dialogs. Sometimes, the intentions are part of being communicatively competent, the authentic material is used and the small group students are carried out in the activities of the classroom. However, 40% of the teachers considered that students are taught to translate. Students study grammar deductively, students memorize verb conjugations and learn grammatical paradigms.

Table 3.3 Teachers' responses about the characteristics in the teaching process

The characteristics

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

Students are taught to translate

4

40

0

0

0

0

Students study grammar deductively and memorize verb conjugations

4

40

0

0

0

0

Vocabulary and grammar are taught through dialogs

2

20

2

20

0

0

Students' reading and written work is based on the oral work they did earlier

2

20

2

20

0

0

Being able to figure out the speaker's or writer's intentions is part of being communicatively competent

0

0

2

20

0

0

Authentic material is used, the activities are often carried out by students in small group

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 4

Table 3.4 presents and discusses the score of teachers' responses for question about the nature of student-teacher and student-student interaction in the teaching process. The data from the table as show:

- 40% of the teachers considered that most of the interaction in the classroom is from the teacher to the students. 30% of the teachers considered that there is different interaction between teacher and students, and the teacher is the initiator of the activities.

- Further more, 30% of the teachers said that there is little student initiation and little student-student interaction, teacher is directed. Apart from, students work in various configurations.

Table 3.4. Teachers' responses about the nature of student-teacher and student-student interaction in the teaching process

The interaction

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

The interaction is from teacher to students

4

40

0

0

0

0

Little student-student interaction and little student initiation

4

40

0

0

0

0

The interaction is between teacher and students and is initiated by the teacher

3

30

1

10

0

0

The interaction is between students and students and is directed by the teacher

3

30

1

10

0

0

The teacher is the initiator of the activities

0

0

2

20

0

0

Students work in various configurations

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 5

Table 3.5 presents and discusses the percentages of teachers' responses for question about the role of the students' native language. The date from the table as shows:

- 40% of the teachers given opinion that there is similarities in using between target language and native language. 10% of the teacher considered that target language is used and is a vehicle for communication, however, half of them agreed that they used Vietnamese language in their teaching process. The meaning of the target language is made clear by translating it into the students' native language. But in explaining the activities and in assigning the tasks to students are used by the target language.

Table 3.5. Teachers' responses about the role of the students' native language in the teaching process

The native language

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

The meaning of the target language is made clear by translating it into the native language

4

40

0

0

0

0

Target language is used, not the native language

1

10

3

30

0

0

Target language is a vehicle for communication, native language has no particular role on communication

0

0

1

10

1

10

Question 6

Table 3.6 presents and discusses the percentages of teachers' opinion for question about language and culture viewed. The results of table 3.6 as shows:

- The results from the question show that 40% of the teachers considered that the literary language is considered superior to spoken language. It is influenced by descriptive linguistics, apart from the view of language is for communication, literary language is therefore the language student study. Every language system is comprised of several different levels: phonological, morphological, and syntactic. Each level has its own distinctive patterns. The level of complexity of the speech is graded, however, the beginning students are presented with only simple forms. Another aspects of language are knowledge of the function language is used for as communicative competence. Thus, the students need knowledge of forms, meanings and functions. These teachers also considered that students must use this knowledge and take into consideration the social situation.

- About the culture viewed, 40% of the teachers considered that culture is viewed as consisting of literature and the fine arts. It still consists of the everyday behavior and lifestyle of the target language, and the native language speakers.

Table 3.6. Teachers' opinion about language and culture view in the language teaching

The language and culture view

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

Literary language is superior to spoken language

4

40

0

0

0

0

Students' study of the foreign culture is limited to its literature and fine arts

4

40

0

0

0

0

The view of language has been influenced by descriptive linguistics

2

20

2

20

0

0

Culture consists of the everyday behavior and lifestyle of the target language speakers

2

20

2

20

0

0

The view of language is for communication

0

0

2

20

0

0

Culture is the everyday lifestyle of people who use the language natively

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 7

Table 3.7 presents and discussed the percentages of the teachers' opinion for question about the areas and skills of language. The results from table 3.7 show that:

- 40% of the teachers affirmed that vocabulary and grammar are emphasized. Reading and writing are the primary skills. 30% of the teachers confirmed that the structures of the language are emphasized over all the other areas. The language functions are emphasized over forms, the functional syllabus is used. A variety of forms are introduced for each function. Students work on all four skills from the beginning.

Table 3.7. Teachers' opinion about the areas and skills of language in the teaching process

The areas and skills of language

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

Vocabulary and grammar are emphasized

4

40

0

0

0

0

Reading and writing are the primary skills

4

40

0

0

0

0

The structures are emphasized

3

30

1

10

0

0

The natural order of skills presentation is adhered to: listening, speaking, reading, writing

3

30

1

10

0

0

Language functions are emphasized over forms

1

10

1

10

0

0

Students work on all four skills from the beginning

0

0

2

20

0

0

Question 8

Table 3.8 presents and discusses the percentages of the teachers' opinion for question about the teachers' respond to student errors. The results from table 3.8 show that:

- 40% of the teachers considered that the students' errors are to be avoided. The teacher should be immediately corrected and supplied with the correct answer. 20% of the teachers considered that the errors of form are tolerated and students can limited linguistic knowledge.

Table 3.8 Teachers' opinion about the teachers' respond to student errors

The teachers' respond to student errors

Always

Sometimes

Never

No/10

%

No/10

%

No/10

%

The teacher supplies with the correct answer

4

40

0

0

0

0

Students' errors should be immediately corrected by the teacher

4

40

0

0

0

0

Errors of forms are tolerated and are seen as a natural out come of the development of communication skills

0

0

2

20

0

0

In conclusion, the results of questionnaire 2 clearly show in techniques of language teaching. The domination of tradition in teaching process of the teacher on the classroom is still prevalent.

1- Almost teachers have the different goals in their language teaching process.

This thing also shows that the students need to learn about the grammar rules and vocabulary of English language. Teachers want their students to be able to use the English language to read materials.

2- The results of question two show that the role of the teacher in the teaching process is very important. He is directing, controlling the language behavior of his students. He also is responsible for providing his students with a good model for imitation. He is a manager of classroom activities.

However, we recognize that the students' role is also less important. Students learn to communicate by communicating. Students are seen as more responsible managers of their own learning.

3- The teachers may use grammar-translation method in their teaching process at present. However, it is worth noting that though the teachers teach in a traditional way with more focus on grammar-translation method, but they were involved in the more pressure of methods audio-lingual and communication approach.

4- The teacher is an active subject in classroom and they may not follow communicative method in their teaching process. Thus, the students may not have much chance to learn communicatively, students are very passively in classroom.

5- The teachers combined different techniques of the teaching methods such as the grammar-translation method and communication method in their teaching process. And the techniques of teaching methods were emphasized into audio-lingual. A analysis for combining between the students' native language and the target language will reveal where a teacher should expect the most interference.

6- The opinions to the question 6 show that the language aspects (such as knowledge of forms, meaning, functions and communicative competence ...) are an important factors to influence the successful apply for testing in the teaching process.

7- The areas of language and skills language are emphasized into three teaching methods (such as, the grammar translation, the audio-lingual and the communicative approach). This means that the combination of teaching methods is used in the teaching process.

8- The teachers have had the associate in using techniques of language teaching in their teaching process.

However, teachers have the important role of encouraging and motivating students to take part in their teaching process and to help students in learning English.

To do this, a variety of qualities are required in which the key quality of techniques teaching of teachers are flexibility. As Pauline C. Robinson quoted: "flexibility to change from being a general language teacher to being a specific purpose teacher and the flexibility in cope with different group of students, often at very short course" (Robinson 1991: 80).

5. Conclusion

The important for teachers are those who are able to use methods derived from their own process of formulation, trial, revision and refinement in order to teach their students in their unique situations. Each class has its own needs and properties. Each group of students requires a specific way of teaching. Here, the flexibility and creativity are the qualities needed for English teachers, especially non-English major teachers.

Besides, although the course does not have great emphasis on developing students' speaking and listening skills. They should not be given tests focusing too much on grammar and vocabulary but should also be given meaningful tasks such as writing sentences using words

provided or filling the gaps with complete phrases that fit the context.

The study has clearly pointed out, and confirmed a close relationship between teaching content and testing procedure. The test that now a mixture of test techniques is likely to have more beneficial backwash effect on learning and teaching to the testing.

The results and findings in the study have helped make recommendation for an achievement test papers of the junior students at TC.

The last of all, I would like to study about testing that the teachers can be helped to design test specifications suitable teaching contents, and teaching techniques.

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