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Assessing Speaking and Listening

Introduction
Just like other areas of the curriculum, when assessing Speaking and
Listening we need to be clear about what it is we are assessing find an
agreed criteria against which to assess and find efficient ways of noting
achievements.
Speaking and Listening underpins the whole curriculum and will therefore be
assessed in a number of situations across the curriculum or indeed outside of
the school day (homework clubs, hobby clubs, performance in assemblies,
etc).
e can collect evidence of achievement when!
activities have been specifically set up to teach and assess Speaking
and Listening and the criteria for success are very clear and have been
shared with the children. "or e#ample, if a task asks children to give
instructions, then the criteria are likely to relate to the brevity and clarity
of the wording, the se$uence in which the instructions are given and
the choice of appropriate vocabulary to convey technical information%
the planned activity includes substantial oral or group work, which may
be related to other aspects of &nglish or another curriculum area. 'his
could include group work in the literacy hour. 'he task should include
e#plicit instructions about the nature of the talk e#pected, such as the
roles group members should take, the phasing of the work so there are
times built in for planning, recapping, agreeing action, reviewing
progress and any particular demands in term of vocabulary and
grammar%
a contribution is recognised as e#cellent or significant for a particular
child incidental or spontaneous opportunities arise during a range of
learning conte#ts whether they are child initiated, teacher directed or
adult led.
Sometimes the social dimensions of talk can provide difficulties because we
have to recognise the oral achievements of the child who only speaks
confidently to the teacher on a one to one basis and the child who is verbose
in all situations.
hat are the key features of effective assessment in speaking and listening (
TO DO: Add maths, visual aids
& egs in text
)e clear about what is being assessed. *t is not the accent or dialect that is
being assessed, the length of the contribution, the opinion e#pressed or their
confidence and leadership $ualities. )ut it is!
the effectiveness of their talk, including adaptation to purpose, conte#t
and audience%
a contribution that shows positive and fle#ible work in groups%
a contribution that builds on that of others showing evidence of
listening and responding
clarity in communicating, including the use of reason, clear se$uencing
of ideas and the use of standard &nglish.
hat does our plan look like for assessment in school(
+gree, in school, how you will assess Speaking and Listening. ,ou might
include the following!
encouraging children to assess and evaluate their own and each
other-s performance%
systematically collect tangible evidence of talk in the form of group
observation sheets, video and audio recordings, written logs and
diaries%
summarising achievement% for e#ample, at the end of a term or year, in
order to provide information to help plan for progression in the most
appropriate way%
standardising assessments by visiting each other-s classrooms and
discussing performance, both within school and using the ./+
&#emplification on /0 123, &nglish! Speaking and Listening
(./+4564787)
hat about making and recording assessments(
'he evidence can take different forms!
notes made by the teacher or other adults as the activity is happening
or soon after%
notes made by the children in talk logs, group observations, notes for
talk and reflections on them%
some taped work, for e#ample when the task is to produce a radio
broadcast.
1ecording could be in different forms but it needs to be clear, succinct and
accessible. 'he easiest method might be a lose leaf folder that contains a
page for each child (see e#ample in Speaking and Listening 9andbook).
Speaking and Listening working party
'he following assessment materials were created by a group of 0udley
teachers concerned that there should be some practical help with the
assessment of Speaking and Listening in schools.
'he :upil Self +ssessment sheets transfer the Speaking and Listening
ob;ectives for each year group into pupil speak targets. &ach of the four
strands of Speaking and Listening (speaking, listening, group discussion and
interaction and drama) has a separate sheet and the <steps- refer to the year
group in which the ob;ective is found. ,ear = is therefore Step = and so on.
'hese sheets are fle#ible, can be adapted and used in a number of conte#ts
across the curriculum. /hildren should be encouraged to identify how
confident they are against each step independently. 9owever, this skill will
initially need to be taught. 'eaching assistants could be used to sit with small
groups to support children through this process.
Schools can choose to use the sheets in any way they wish!
putting the grids on to +> and making a booklet to accompany the child
through school%
combining these statements with the <Step into riting- materials to
make an &nglish assessment book%
displaying the statements as posters in class when a Speaking and
Listening assessment is taking place.
'he materials also include a formal Speaking and Listening record sheet
working alongside the child speak steps, the four strands overview and a set
of visual aids to support each strand.