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Nur Dwi Yanti

nurdwi_y@yahoo.com

Evaluation of Communicative Language Teaching

Evaluation can no more be a totally rational process than instruction.


Teachers’ sensitivity and values are inevitable factors in the
effectiveness of their evaluations

Evaluation is one of three major components of teaching, along with


planning and instruction.
Evaluation has been described as one component of teaching; it is not
mutually exclusive from the other parts. Evaluation occurs in planning
in the selection of particular topics and strategies. As objectives are
being written, it is intended that they will become the basis for
subsequent evaluation. Teachers need to plan daily for collecting data
on students’ progress. And during instruction, evaluation occurs as
teachers observe student behaviors, consider student responses,
provide feedback and correction to students, and judge the extent to
which instruction has been effective.

In a fundamental sense, evaluation means placing a value on some


entity thus expressing an indication of its worth. Implied within is a
standard, usually in the form of a criterion or a comparison, and a
decision. Evaluation should be made on the basis of the best
information or evidence available and should be, as much as possible, a
rational process.

Evaluation has two component information of achievement or


performance and a standard that provides a base for measuring.
Information on achievement is obtained in a variety of ways.
Informally, teacher makes evaluation continuously as they observe
them students. Students’ willingness to attend class, ability to
respond, and demonstration of interest and initiative provide the
teacher with a sense of how things are going and what adjustment are
expedient. Teacher also notice pattern of behavior in individual
students and begin to determine where extra help may need to be
given, where enrichment is possible and where additional monitoring is
required.

More formally, teacher use instruments to collect data useful for


evaluation. They may be in the form of checklist and various kinds of
test. Also data collection may involve such assignments as homework
papers, journals and notebooks, report, and creative projects. During
the course of the unit, evaluation based on these sources, often
through the use of student-developed portfolios, should be used to
assess students’ progress, diagnose students’ problem and provide
continuous feedback to students. Teacher should make sure that
students are well informed about their progress through the
systematic use of feedback correction procedure, and that no
student’s learning and achievement problem go unattended for long.

Teacher, of course, immediately use the result of evaluation for


marking decisions about appropriate strategies, pacing, individualizing,
and assessing instructional effectiveness. Students need to know the
result of evaluation to guide them in their on going work and possibly
to provide incentive for their continued efforts.

Achievement tests, also known as progress tests, are designed to look


back at past performance, indicating how well learners have mastered
the material in an instructional program. Achievement tests thus
reflect a specific curriculum of study and the materials used in the
classes and help define where a student should be after a given
amount of time.

Purposes of Evaluation
1. To provide feedback to the teacher and students regarding
achievement
2. Serve a diagnostic function within a course of study
3. Serve as a basis for the teacher in ascertaining instructional
effectiveness, making midunit curricular decisions
4. Determining the impact of instructional innovations
5. deciding whether reteaching should occurs
6. Serve as a means for student to gauge progress at any point
and identify gaps or weakness in the mastery of the unit goals

Evaluation of a communication language


Based on the existing curriculum in our country about the mastery
of English as a foreign language, that students should be able to
have the ability of 4 language skills, listening, speaking, writing
and reading.
In many situation where English is taught for genera purpose,
these skills should be carefully integrated and used to perform as
many genuinely communicative takes is possible.
Way of assessing performance in the four major skills may take
the form of test of:
1. Listening (auditory) comprehension, in which short utterances,
dialogues, talks and lectures are given to testees;
2. Speaking ability, usually in the form of an interview, a picture
description, role play and problem-solving task involving pair
work or group work;
3. Reading comprehension, in which question are set to test the
students ‘ ability to understand the gist of the text and
extract key information on specific points in the text ; and
4. Writing ability, usually in the form of letters, report, memo,
messages, instruction, and accounts of part even, etc

The purpose of language performance are:


 Language competence
 Language skills
 Language aspect in which there (vocabulary, phonology,
grammatical, etc.)

As for the tests performed are:


 test for language skills
 aspect language test

The test should also enable the teacher to ascertain which parts of
the language programmed have been found difficulty by the class. In
this ways, the teacher can evaluate the effectiveness of the syllabus
as well as the methods and materials the teacher is using.

The concept of an evaluation cycle has previously been applied to


developing language learning tasks (Breen, 1989), and is usefully
extended to apply to the development of language tests. The language
test evaluation is concerned with developing testing instruments to
better meet the specific needs of local learning contexts. Essential
components of Breen's model which can be directly adapted include
the investigation of test administrations in the classroom, and the
measurement of learner performance against specified test criteria
(1989, p. 193). Test specifications play an important role in this
process since they "force explicitness about the design decisions in
the test and . . . allow new revisions to be written in the future"
(McNamara, 2000, p. 31). The evaluation process hence first involves
reviewing the relationship between test specifications and the
specific objectives of a language program.

Communicative language test is evaluated in order to explore the types


of issues that may be encountered in the evaluation process. Test
specifications are reviewed against design principles and
communicative language teaching goals. Professional judgments are
made concerning the value and purpose of various aspects of the test,
with a view to developing an improved testing instrument. The test is
revised in order to address problem areas in the test performance. It
is hoped that teachers can apply similar evaluation cycles to specific
learning contexts in order to improve the performance of testing
instruments.

The evaluation process consequently requires deliberation in a number


of important areas. The test evaluation process also typically
considers a range of general areas relating to task performance: level
of difficulty, task clarity, timing, layout, degree of authenticity,
amount of information provided, and familiarity with the task format.

Communicative language tests can be evaluated in terms of their


performance within specific learning contexts. The evaluation process
involves analyzing test results in light of both test specifications and
program objectives. The test should subsequently be revised in order
to address any problem areas. The effectiveness of the modifications
should then also be evaluated as part of a continuing test evaluation
cycle. A number of problem areas were identified during the
evaluation process. In each case, consideration of the value and
purpose of various aspects of the test specifications and program
objectives was beneficial to devising the modifications. It is
recommended that language teachers should implement similar test
evaluation cycles in order to improve the performance of
communicative testing instruments.

First, much of what we think of as language ability – qualities such as


knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, textual organization, and so on – is
internal to the learner and thus not directly observable or measurable.
Therefore, observe language performances, whether these consist of
participating in an oral interview, writing an essay, or marking answers
on a multiple choice test, and then use this information to infer the
state of the learner’s language ability.
Second, although we could measure certain aspects of a language
performance directly, such as by counting the number of words
correctly used, for example, or the number of phonemes accurately
pronounced, such measurements would apply only to the test situation
itself when we would really like to generalize to language use outside
the test.

Resource:
J.B. Heaton. Writing English Language Testing. Longman handbooks
for Language Teacher (London and New York: Longman Group UK Ltd.
1985)

Richard Kinndsvatter, William Wilen, Margaret Ishler. Dynamic of


Effective Teaching (USa: Longman Publisher 1996)

William Himmele. THE CLASSROOM A Research-Based Framework


for Teaching English Language Learners Language-Rich .Web site:
www.ascd.org • E-mail: member@ascd.org