A dissertation submitted to the University of Bristol in accordance with the requirements of the Degree of Master of Education in the Graduate School of Education
This study investigates ESL program teachersâ€™ experiences, perceptions, attitudes and use of classroom assessment in Taiwan. It is aimed to explore teachersâ€™ understanding of classroom assessment and their assessment strategies; moreover, to examine whether there are any relationships between teachersâ€™ experiences, perceptions and use of classroom assessment in private ESL schools in Taiwan.
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Thirty teachers across three private ESL schools were surveyed using a questionnaire. Among 30 teachers, 4 teachers volunteered to participate in the semi-structured interviews. Data collected from questionnaire and interview provides the researcher with an insight into teachersâ€™ perceptions, attitudes and use of assessment methods in their classroom.
The results show that ESL program teachers were positive about the effectiveness of classroom assessment and formative assessment strategies and had a tendency to use positive feedback to encourage learners to improve their language ability. Most teachers had more than 3 years of teaching experience in teaching English and placed focus on formative assessment in order to meet schools policy, learnersâ€™ needs, and parentsâ€™ demands.
There is a need to do further research in such unique educational context, so-called â€œESL schoolsâ€? in Taiwan, to explore teachersâ€™ difficulties and needs; moreover, to provide support, such as teachersâ€™ in-service training, which may lead to benefiting learners.
This mixed methods research is designed to investigate ESL private school teachersâ€™ perceptions, attitude and use of classroom assessment in Taiwan. Two instruments are used in this research, including a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, to explore teachersâ€™ experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of classroom assessment and their own assessment strategies.
This study has been motivated by two factors: first, in 2010, Dr. Rea-Dickins introduced the central characteristics of classroom assessment in Language Testing and Assessment (LTA) course, such as providing learning opportunities for learning or language awareness and nurturing language, which helped me to gain new knowledge about the concept of assessment for learning, in terms of formative assessment. After reading several research studies in relation to classroom-based assessment, I recognize the benefits of assessment, particular with formative assessment, and how teachers can monitor learner progress, inform teaching and support learning through using multiple assessment methods in the classroom. I have the desire to understand whether English teachers use various formative assessment methods, such as teacher and peer feedback, scaffolding and assessment to help learners enhance learning or they mainly focus on grading and recording learning progress.
The second factor is related to the fact that we have relatively little knowledge at ESL private school teachersâ€™ classroom assessment practice and their understanding and attitude toward assessment in Taiwan;
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