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Techniques for writing, speaking and extra assessments

"Evaluation is a decision made based upon the information gathered through assessment" Peha, S. (2000). In order to give a sense to the evaluation the teachers have to look for the correct strategies and techniques which help teachers to grade their learners easier and faster, to keep some disadvantages away such as time, and a lot work to check. Some techniques improve teachers’ abilities to evaluate students. To choose the correct technique in order to evaluate the students is the easiest part of the evaluation, but to evaluate the students is the hardest part of teaching. There are many ways to evaluate the students' production. The teacher has to choose the correct technique according to the students, and the techniques should be improved during the course and modified a little bit for the student' needs. The evaluation is the most meaningful part of the teaching, due to the students show they weaknesses and strengths, by doing a written, oral or making a project. The teachers have the obligation to check and give an evaluation of the exams and projects, but some of the disadvantages of assessing the students' works are the time-consuming, and the whole work that they have to check. For that reason here are some techniques which could help teachers to save time and work while evaluating students' works.

Writing techniques help evaluate students.

Writing assessment improves students' ability by using the correct techniques; this is because writing is an output through which learners of English can show what they have learned. One of the purposes is using the correct tasks that let students to write easier which truly represent the students a task, Hughes, A. (1989)"The tasks should elicit samples of writing which truly represent the students' ability." (p 75). Furthermore the practice of this skill involves many other sub skills such as; vocabulary and grammar. There are many ways to evaluate Students’ written products, but what techniques can help teachers to evaluate students fairly and accurately? The teacher could use many good strategies to check students' written products; some of them are rubrics, scoring guides and checklists. But trying to identify the real problem in writing assessment is probably the most challenging part of teaching writing skill, why? Devlin, N, (2011) stated that “Teachers must assess their students' writing skills at designated intervals throughout the year to ensure that progress is being made”; because teachers have to realize students’ weaknesses and strengths. Andit takes not only too much time for the examiners but also affects how Students feel about their writing skills.  

First of all, as it was mentioned teachers identify the group´s techniques or methods, and their weaknesses and strengths in writing. It is hard to identify those aspects and it is even more difficult to profile student by student in order to get a more accurate evaluation, and it could take longer, however If the teachers could identify them it would be easier evaluate students’ writing skills. In order to identify the students' weaknesses, Teachers have to consider procrastination (the thief of time), lack of imagination or too many ideas to start with, poor thought organization and bad grammar. To achieve this objective, teachers should respond to students' drafts with fewer judgments (evaluations), also to guide them in their writing and make sure that the students are working as the teachers expect. One of the strategies is through the use of formative assessment in writing. Formative assessment is assessment for learning (students improve their learning while they are being assessed). When teachers incorporate it into the writing assessment, the teachers can save much time that can be used in other activities related to student’ learning. And furthermore they can identify the students’ weaknesses and strengths in their writing skill. Cushing S. (2002) “It is impossible to foresee every problem that might occur”. As Cushing says I don't see this author in your references.  And you are missing the year as well. to distinguish every single students’ problem is impossible, but trying to anticipate as soon as possible the kind of problems that might occur with a given prompt, it reduces the possibility of wasting time and also avoids students’ frustration. When students are learning a second language they might face difficulties that can decrease students’ motivation and as consequence students could think they were not meant to learn English.  

Another way to evaluate students is to create an analytical rubric (identify and assess components of a finished product), or a holistic rubric (assess students work as a whole). There are many advantages of creating a rubric but also disadvantages. In a way students can have a fair evaluation when they are evaluated trough rubrics, because all the students are demanded to do exactly the same and the expected product is generalized for all of the students. This can certainly set a standard for all the students to approach to the same objective. On the other hand generalizing guidelines for students to accomplish a common objective abolishes the idea of identifying each student’s weaknesses and strengths. This is because the use of rubrics is not personalized and it is not focused on personal capabilities. A third technique to asses writing could be peer revision. This technique is effective when students are at a high level and they have the knowledge they need to identify others’ mistakes and misconceptions. Furthermore students sometimes are guided for their preferences to some of their classmates, which can make evaluation unfair. On the other hand having students check others’ work could make them aware of the reality of the rest of the people who are having the same experience as them, which is learning a second language. This situation provides students with self-confidence so that they realize that they are not the only person facing difficulties in the learning process. In the body of your literature review, each paragraph should have at least one citation.

Certainly evaluating writing products is a hard work that must follow certain patterns so it is fair and accurate. These patterns can be included in some of the techniques to assess students’ progress and some of those techniques might not include all of those factors. There is no a completely fair and accurate evaluation, but what counts the most on this process is the awareness of what students can achieve and that all of the students are different, in other words we cannot expect the same from all our students.

Techniques related to speaking test.

Speaking test provides productive information to the teacher (evaluator). What does productive information mean? One of the purposes of the Speaking Test (ST) is to know the students’ abilities, and those abilities are known as productive information for the teacher or evaluator. The development of the ability of speaking is one of the purposes of teaching spoken language, to interact successfully in English language, like: comprehension as well as production. Hugues, A. (1989) “There is a problem in ST which is essentially the same as writing test: to set tasks that form a representative sample of people who perform in oral practices”. It means the lack of motivation of the students while speaking. Most of the EFL students have problem in speaking and they show it by making the Speaking Test. And the teachers do not pay attention to this situation. Some of the teachers have many problems while testing the exams, because the students did not want to do the speaking exams. To avoid the lack of motivation of the students is trying to use some topics that they really know or topics that they are interested in. The teachers should know what topics can be, because they already know their students’ interests. And that makes easier the selection of the topics for the speaking exams. Hedge, T. (2000) “Teacher will need to consider carefully the demands made on learners”. (p 62). The teacher must be concerned about this and the teacher will have fewer problems while evaluating students’ speaking. To use a formative assessment in speaking, is one of the best options while evaluating speaking, due to the teacher gives the opportunity to improve their language, for instance: grammar, pronunciation, coherence, fluency, vocabulary, an use of the voice. Formative assessment helps students to achieve their speaking skill. For that reason it makes easier the speaking evaluation and makes students more interested about improving their ability. One of the purposes to evaluate without having many problems is creating a rubric. The teachers know their students’ abilities, and trying to take advantages of those abilities is by creating some rubrics which help teachers to evaluate students’ speaking. The rubrics give the opportunity to the teachers to see students’ weaknesses and in this way they can decide what kind of assessment they can use in order to help students and to help themselves. For instance some of the teachers decide to use the formative assessment (feed-forward). This strategy is one of the most common and helpful evaluation that teachers can use. Because the teacher can see the students’ progress during the course and the students have the opportunity to increase their grades. The rubrics that the teachers use in the formative assessment are the best way to evaluate easier the students. But one of the disadvantages is that the evaluation process takes a little bit more time to get the grades, at the end the evaluation will be better for the students because the students get better grades and they will learn more of their mistakes. The teacher could take many advantages of this type of the evaluation, for instance the rubrics that the teacher uses could be improved by looking at some students’ weaknesses and strengths. The teacher could improve the rubrics by using the formative assessment This paragraph has 547 words (about two pages of text).  This number of words is usually divided up into three or four paragraphs.

Those techniques will help teachers to evaluate easier the students’ speaking. The formative assessment is one of the best ways to improve the evaluation and the students speaking by using rubrics. But also there is another assessment that is called dynamic assessment, for example the students can share their thoughts in pairs, or trios or in teams. This kind of evaluation is really meaningful for the students, because in that way the students can realize about their partners’ mistakes and their own mistakes. Some of the teachers have noticed that this assessment is really meaningful for the students due to the students learn more when they realized their mistakes or errors than somebody gives them feedback. To sum up, there are many strategies that help teachers to evaluate students, but the best technique to evaluate the students’ speaking is the one that the teachers decide that are the bests for the students’ attitudes.

Techniques used in Extra-assessment (Portfolio).

To evaluate students’ skills like reading, writing, speaking and listening could be assessed by creating rubrics, answering written or oral exams. These evaluations could be formative or summative assessment, but also there is an extra-assessment, portfolios. The portfolios are what the students did or learnt during a course. For instance, in reading skill some of the teachers give some sheets to the students in order to read and answer, the students have to keep during the course and at the end to give to the teachers those worksheets, and putting in a portfolio, by making an introduction, index, conclusion, and references. The portfolio shows the students improvements during the course, the teacher can see how much they learnt, they did, they improved and they did not make too much difference in the course.

One of the techniques that teachers can use in order to evaluate students’ projects is the formative assessment. This assessment helps teachers to see the students’ improvements, and in this way to implement some strategies that help students to get better grades. For example the problem-based, this refers to the students’ weaknesses, the project that students have to present is one of the weakest skills that they have in their learning process. The portfolio is based on their weaknesses, and what they can do in order to improve that skill. Also this technique is called dynamic assessment, because during the course the rest of their partners can check the projects, and give some feed-forward to improve their portfolio, before giving the results. The purpose of this assessment is the interaction of the students and they can realize their partners’ mistakes and their own mistakes and to improve each one of them. Besides this technique is one of the best ways to take less time-consuming and it is easier to grade portfolios.

Also another technique to help teachers to evaluate students’ projects is to create a holistic rubric. This is a very good technique for writing projects (portfolios). For instance most of the teachers focus on writing in order to have a very good use of the language, so they decide to ask students to create a portfolio by the topic that they see in the classes. The students have to collect the whole information on books, internet, magazines, and so on. During the process they have the chance to have tutoring with the teachers, partners and whoever they want. At the end they have to give to the teacher, the teachers during this process and according to the tutoring have to create a holistic rubric that lets them to do an appropriate rubric according to the students needs. The technique is very helpful for the teachers to evaluate the students’ portfolio, but one of the disadvantages is that the teachers spend too much time by evaluating the portfolios. But at the end the teacher will give a very good feedback in the students’ projects.

Another technique to evaluate portfolios is to evaluate during the course, it means that the students have to give their works during the semester in certain dates, that the teachers give as due dates. The purpose of this technique is to save time and to save work at the end of the semester. The teacher does not have to spend too much time by checking the whole projects. For example: there is a subject called Professional Practicum, this subject is about what you do during a course, but during that course the students have to give some reflections, about how they felt while giving classes, they have to send each week three reflections, and the tutor gives feedback of the reflections, they have to correct and to add to the projects that they supposed to give at the end of the course. By doing this the tutor save too much time at the end of the course, due to she did not have to spend time checking again the reflections. To sum up the techniques that the teachers use to evaluate portfolios are according to the subjects. But here are some that could help teachers to choose the best one.


The formative assessment is one of the best ways to assees the students, due to it gives the chances to improve the assessment techniques. The formative assessment give the opportunity to the studnets to improve their learning proces and the teachers to give a very good feed forward. This strategy makes the teachers' works easier due to they do not have to check everything at the end of teh course, due to they have checked everything little by little. Another way to imporve the strategies is through the summative assessment, this type of assessment make the learning process faster, so the student see most of the topics that they should see, but one of the disadvantages is tha the teachers spend a lot of time by evaluating students work. and the las technique that the students can use is the dynamic assessment and inthis was the tetachers can mix the formative and summative assessment. The students can work toguether and learn from others, by giving feedback and theri own opinions about the projects. To sum up, at the end the taechers have to chose the appropiate assessment according to the students' needs and weaknesses and strengths.


Peha, S. (2000) Assessing Writers and Assessing writing. Retrieved by

Hughes, A. (1989) Testing for the language teachers. Cambrigde University.

Mouly, G. (1978) Psicologia para la enseñanza. Universidad Interamericana (p. 11)

Davis, R. (n.s.) The hows of creating a measurable adn meaningful speaking assessments. Retrieved by: Hillocks, G. (1986). Research on written composition: new directions for teaching. Urbana, IL: Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills/National Conference on Research in English. (ED 265 552)

Hunsaker, R.A. (1990). Understanding and developing the skills of oral communication: speaking and listening, 2nd ed. Nueva York, Nueva York: Harper Collins

Tierney, R.; Shanahan, T. (1991). Research on teaching reading writing relationship: interactions and outcomes. En: Pearson, D., et al., eds. Handbook of reading research, vol. 2, 245–80

You needed at least 10 references.

Annotated Bibliographies

(1) Scrivener, J. (1994) Learning teaching: Heinemann. (2) In this book Scrivener refers to the main aims while speaking in the class. Why speaking skill is important and what teachers can motivate their students to speak in English during the class.


  • Word count 827, you need approximately 2,500 wors.  Work on your introduction, making sure that you state a problem in the first paragraph and that you include a thesis statement in your second paragraph that links to your problem.  The reasons section of your thesis statement will be your topics you cover in each of the three sections of your literature review.  Click here to see some helpful videos.  Link your conclusion to your thesis statement and summarize the main points that you've previously discussed. Remember not to include any new information in your conclusion. Also, discuss future implications and ideas for further research related to your topic.   --Bnleez 18:39, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
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