Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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Minimal Pairs Assessment

This informal, formative assessment is looking at if students are able to make distinctions between different phonemes they hear. Although online, it could be easily changed into a written assessment where the teacher speaks and the students write or circle the word they think the teacher has said. The assessment is pretty practical. The test is not very long, it would not take a lot of money to administer on the computer or in the classroom, many students can take it at the same time and as there is one correct answer for each question, the scoring for the assessment is quick and easy. The assessment is reliable because if many students take it, the test will stay the same There is not a way that students would get outlandish answers. Also, since there is a right and wrong answer, rater reliability is high. The test is valid if the teacher is looking for students to tell the difference between similar sounding words, but it only works if the students know the words and can comprehend the context in which the word is used. The validity goes up because there are no written prompts, only what the student needs to hear which concentrates on the listening aspect of the assessment. The authenticity is moderate because the sentences used in the assessment are common things that students could run into very often. The authenticity is lowered because the sentences are separated and not an ongoing string (like a conversation), but that also allows the students to know what word(s) they need to be listening for. Also, when people talk, they tend to talk much faster and unclear than what is used for the assessment. The wash back for the online assessment is very low. Although the website tells you which the students answered correctly or incorrectly, but does not provide the student with any other information. If the same assessment is done on paper and turned in, the teacher can not only grade it quickly but provide more helpful wash back such as “listen for the ‘n’ at the end of fifteen”. That type of wash back allows students to know what they need to focus on for the next assessment. K.Z.