Assessing ELLs Part 3: Developing Language and Learning Objectives for Assessment

These next few posts will discuss assessing ELLs: the purpose of assessment, challenges of assessment, and working language/learning objectives into assessments.

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Welcome back to my mini-series on assessing ELLs! You can view post one here. You can view post two here. This third post will focus on developing language and learning objectives for assessment. Let’s begin!

What are learning objectives?

Learning objectives help teachers define what students must learn and be able to do by the end of the lesson or unit. They must be student-focused, and they must be achievable and measurable.

What are some types of learning objectives?

There are three types of objectives:

  1. Objectives that say what the students must do by the end of the lesson.
  2. Objectives that measure what students should know by the end of the lesson.
  3. Objectives that say what the students should have learnt by the end of the lesson.

When writing objectives, there are some questions to consider.

The first is, “What will the students be able to know and do by the end of the lesson?”

The next is, “What content will the students revisit, and what content is new?”

The third is, “What tasks will the students do, and what materials will be available?”

The fourth is, “How will these objectives be assessed?”

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What are language learning objectives?

Language learning objectives differ from content objectives in that they deal with solely with the use and development of the students’ linguistic skills and abilities.

Why write language learning objectives?

Language learning objectives make the students’ use of, and learning of language observable to the teacher. For ELLs these objectives are necessary to track student progression and development of their English-language skills.

Questions to consider for writing language learning objectives

There are three questions to ask when forming these objectives:

  1. What communication will take place?
  2. What learning skills are needed?
  3. What language support will be needed for content, cognitive tasks, communication tasks, and for learning?
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When teachers assess language and learning objectives, they should focus the objectives on both content and language use. Creating a checklist or a chart is an excellent way to measure whether these objectives are met or not.

I hope this post was helpful to you!

Thank you!

1 Comment

Filed under Assessment, EFL, ELL, English, ESL, Second Language, Teaching

One response to “Assessing ELLs Part 3: Developing Language and Learning Objectives for Assessment

  1. Pingback: Assessing ELLs Part 4: Using Authentic Assessment | So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?

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