Assessment of young English language learners

Authored by: Szilvia Papp

The Routledge Handbook of Teaching English to Young Learners

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138643772
eBook ISBN: 9781315623672
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews classroom assessment and large-scale national and international tests of English language developed for young learners (pre-school, primary and lower secondary school learners). Knowledge about various approaches to assessing young learners’ English language competence may help stakeholders (parents, teachers, policy makers) make informed decisions on what assessment is appropriate in their context for the young people in their charge and how to use results generated by such assessments to make sound decisions. What type of assessment is most effective and beneficial for young learners depends on their age, context of instruction (for instance whether English is learnt as a foreign, second or additional language, whether learners are offered content and language integrated learning or English is used as medium of instruction for other subjects), the amount and type of exposure to English learners have and the purpose of assessment. Critical issues are discussed such as ethical considerations and desirable test qualities in assessments for young learners. New developments in the field are considered such as measuring valued novel and desirable outcomes such as twenty-first century life skills along with English language competence, alignment with external frameworks and use of assessment results for accountability purposes.

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