Unit 2: Case study of FA

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Back to Integrate formative assessment into primary level of Chinese as a second language lessons

Back to Unit 1: What is Formative Assessment (FA)


Objects of Unit 2

At the end of Unit 2, learners will be able to:

1. Design a formative assessment system based on the teaching content and learners.

2. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of formative assessment in different learning context and goals.

3. Develop different assessment systems including formative assessment that take into account individual differences, curriculum design, administrative needs to fit in different situations in terms of teaching Chinese as a foreign language.


Defects of the current assessment system at Tsinghua University (China )

At Tsinghua University, the assessment system of teaching Chinese as a second language is: FinalScore = MidExam+ FinalExam + Attendance. The disadvantages of it are as follows:

1. Students can't get enough feedback in class. Feedback plays an important role in second language acquisition.

2. Students can’t foster awareness of metacognitive or metalinguistic in the classroom which will facilitate the future learning.

3. Students can't evaluate and control their learning progress independently, which will result in the loss of motivation.


Examples of FA implemented in classroom

● New assessment strategy implemented by the author of the mini-course:

FinalScore(100%) = FinalExam(10%) +MiddleExam(10%) + TwoMonthlyExams(15%) + ClassP erformance(15%) + Attendance(10%) + Homework(10%) + ProgressDegree(10%)+ CooperationDegree(10%) + ExtracurricularActivities(10%)

● Rules of the new assessment strategy

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 Student who do not answer any questions get C; students who answer less than three questions get B; students who answer more than 3 questions get A.

 Students whose pronunciation only have few mistakes, but do not affect the understanding can get A; students whose pronunciation have severe mother tongue transfer get B; students whose pronunciation make others not understand what they said only get C.

 Students who has an active coordination in the classroom activities can get A; students who do an inactive coordination in the classroom get B; students who refuse to cooperate only get C.

 Students who make a progress can get A; students who have no progress get B; students who have setbacks only get C.

 Students who complete homework responsibly can get A; students who do a fraction of their homework get B; students who totally do any homework only get C.

 Students whose accuracy rate of Chinese characters is above 90% can get A; students whose accuracy rate of Chinese characters is from 90% to 70% get B; students whose accuracy rate is below 70% only get C.

 Students who attend class everyday can get A; students who come to class but complete the whole lesson get B; students who are absent only get C.

 Students who have extracurricular activities related to Chinese, e.g. watching Chinese TV program or movie, talking with Chinese person, reading Chinese novel, can get A. students who do not do any activity only get C.

 Each student rates himself and his classmate who is arranged by instructor every day.


Effects of FA in my classroom

The author of the mini-course carried out the formative assessment in her classroom for a semester (20 weeks) and found that:

1. The percentage of students who desire to go to the intermediate level to learn Chinese further is up to 70%, which is higher than the average percentage of the all introductory classes.

2. For the mid-term exam and final exam which are two most important exams, the average score of my class is 85, which is higher than the average score of all classes in the introductory level.

3. Her students tend to think learning Chinese is not as difficult as they thought before although Chinese is considered one of the most difficult language to learn in their country. They have confidence to learn Chinese.


Tasks of Unit 2

Please answer the following questions:

1. As a second language teacher, what is your "mission" in education?

2. How do you feel about incorporating formative assessment in to your own class?

3. Can you design the formative assessment based on your learning context and learners?



Back to Unit 1: What is Formative Assessment (FA)

Move on to Unit 3: Analyze data and teaching strategies