“Assessment of Young Learners” by Kassim Shabaan Critic

The article that I just read made me realize and appreciate the essential learning that I learned in the profession that I am taking. For four years now as a student of Education, the article opened my mind on the things that I must be equipped of in order to reap efficacy in teaching the kind of learners that I will be having soon.

Shabaan, in this article unlocked the latest trend of assessing young learners. This was on the emphasis of performance based, communicative, humanistic and learner-centered approaches, thus recognizing the vital relevance of the affective domain for effective learning. The ideas were clearly stated and simply expressed and I was amazed on the efficient explanation on what assessment is, its importance and most especially the enumeration of these alternative strategies for assessing students which are all achievable to be used for every teacher because each gives an assurance of addressing the learners’ needs and with its scope and explanation, a lesson would always be possible to be internalized thus conveying life-long and enjoyable learning.

This is indeed a reality check, in which the traditional means for assessing students, specifically the paper and pencil test may not be very effective at all times or will not favor complete learning. Thus, the emergence of these alternative assessments such as authentic assessment (e.g. students’ portfolio, written narratives), performance-based (e.g presentations, role plays and oral interviews) enhances not just the learners competencies in learning the language such as speaking and writing but as well as increasing what they’ve got in the most exciting and non-threatening way. Shabaan’s focus on the consideration of the students’ affective domain answers the efficiency and adeptness of these alternative assessment techniques in learning the language, as what we see it, the listings agree with the principle of constructivism and learner-centered approach, thus the students are the primary focus and weight in every lesson to be done.

These strategies specifically for ESL learners are all very applicable in the classroom setting, but I just realized after having an in-depth analysis of these techniques, the problems that I might be able to encounter are the shortcoming in each of these strategies and it entails time, time to do a lot of rubrics and criteria for the objectives of learning that must be achieved and strenuous effort that the teacher will encounter to address the various needs of these students.

The article also stated that difficulties could be experienced along the way due to some issues of reliability, inconsistencies and subjectivities that the teachers might commit but these circumstances don’t pull me away to utilize these activities. I sure would still use the traditional testing but not in an exclusive way since the birth of these alternative strategies will be used as well to make the most out of learning.

I don’t find any flaw in this reading and I do commend the ideas conveyed since it made me realized that targeting the students’ needs will always be possible especially if the teacher will open his/her doors on the means and ways to make the students not just acquire the skills and competencies in language acquisition but as well as making it memorable and thus life-long.

Furthermore, this article inspired me to heighten my imagination as a future teacher to innovate and create possibilities of making learning and fun in parallel with each other and as a future English teacher, I must start it now. 

assessment of young learners critic paper

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