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Quizzes for continuous assessment in languages

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Contributor: Dr M. Mar Encinas-Puente
Lead developer for listening quizzes: Ester Pou
Department: Iberian and Latin American Studies
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Quick Summary

Continuous assessment is a key component of language teaching and quizzes act as an effective tool to measure students´ progress throughout the academic year. I developed 15 grammar quizzes in 2014-15 and my colleague Ester created 10 listening quizzes in 2015-16. These quizzes have freed up class time and have allowed first and second year cohorts to review contents and assess their language skills.

Background

Coursework for levels 4 and 5 Spanish language modules at ILAS accounts for 30% of the overall mark of the course and consists of the average of 10 tests (listening, grammar, reading-writing and oral skills). In 2015-16, QMplus quizzes have assessed the aural sections of the core modules: HSP176, HSP271 and HSP233, and the grammar of HSP176.

Methodology

Ester and I worked together to identify a variety of listening strategies that expose students to different linguistic situations in context and register.

The idea was to create a mirrored scheme in which each revision and assessed quizzes presented equivalent semantic fields and a common background knowledge of the topic.

Ester chose the audio and video files and uploaded all questions on QMPlus.

Quizzes were tested by the language instructors of ILAS and questions were modified-corrected accordingly before they were released to students.

Mar Case Study 2

Mar Case Study 1

Outcome/results

The aural assessed quizzes were released in November 2015 and in March 2016. At the SSLC meetings, course reps expressed general satisfaction with these resources and informed of a positive outcome for the aural seminars of the modules. Interactive e-learning tools are being especially useful to assess listening skills.

Advice for others

It is crucial that the team involved in teaching the module revise all quiz questions prior to making them visible to students. I recommend that each assessed quiz is preceded by two revision tests, so teachers can identify the most challenging areas to be addressed during class time.

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