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We choose the best assessment based on several factors:
Ease of giving and marking the assessmentType of skill being assessed (i.e. reading comprehension vs. oral report)breadth of information we want the assessment to provide When ease is important and limited information is needed, teachers often use traditional discretepoint testing.Example of a discrete language question:Mary ______________ the new director before she spoke to him at the company picnic.a. was being metb. have already metc. had already metd. could already meetThis question tests students’ knowledge of one language item: the past perfect tense.Example of an integrative language question:Write a paragraph describing your hometown in the past (100 years ago or more) and compare itwith your hometown today. Use vocabulary from this past week's lesson.This test requires the synthesis of several skills and subskills: writing (a knowledge of the compareand contrast writing style), grammar (syntax, verb tenses, and possibly structural words, suchas althoughand whereas) and appropriate vocabulary and expressions (with phrases like incomparisonto).Discrete Point Language QuestionsWhat kinds of questions can you use to create your classroom tests? The following are someexamples:Yes-No comprehension questionsTrue-False QuestionsSentences made of scrambled words that must be unscrambled to make sentencesAsking students to answer questions on a topic using correct (or target) grammarMultiple-choice questionsGap-Fill (or fill-in-the-blank) exercises. Students complete sentences by choosing the correctword. Teachers often provide a word bank with a list of possible answers. Gap-fills can beadapted many ways and can assess many vocabulary and grammar skills.
Cloze exercises. Like a gap-fill, this assessment also contains blanks, but its classroomapplication is different. In a cloze exercise, a long passage from a text is copied with everyfifth or tenth word removed. Learners attempt to complete the passage. The ease ordifficulty of this task can help teachers assess whether the reading level of the text isappropriate for these learners.Asking students to transform a word or sentence (changing the tense or part of speech)Example 1: Use the following word correctly in the sentence below: carefulMary __________ tasted the hot soup.Example 2: Change the following sentence from past tense to present perfect tense.They went to London for their vacation.Short answer questions that use who, what, when, where, why, or howStudents must find mistakes in sentences and correct themStudents have to match words or sentences with picturesAsking students to categorize groups of wordsExample:Identify the following as forms of transportation, actions describing transportation, orpeople working in transportation.plane - passenger - sail - canoe - crew - airliner - pilot - driver - auto - subway - conductor>There are many more types of questions you can employ to create your own class tests!