Correlation or Co-determination: An Analysis of Alternative and Traditional Testing Employed in English Language Teaching

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Year-Number: 2019-7.1
Language : English
Konu : null
Number of pages: 395-410
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to determine the correlation between alternative and traditional testing utilized in English language teaching classes and to investigate students’ perceptions on these two methods. As several problems related to traditional testing have been pointed out, alternative assessment has started to be favored by teachers and learners. Portfolios are now being commonly used to assess English language skills of students as a replacement to tests. This study has been inspired from the need to see to what extent these two methods correlate. For this purpose, final grades and portfolio grades of students in a private university English preparation school in Ankara have been used and their Pearson Correlation Coefficient has been calculated. The results show that portfolio grades and final grades positively correlate which may indicate that they both serve to test the similar skills despite the differences in their design and implementation. In order to learn the students’ opinions on these methods, 10 students have been interviewed and 7 students reported that they preferred portfolios rather than tests due to various reasons such as portfolios’ allowing more space for feedback, not measuring performance at one time only and being less threatening for them. Also, the high positive correlation between these methods and students’ support for alternative methods signaled the need for more integration of alternative assessment. Thus, the results of this study can be useful in designing and making decisions on assessment types.

Keywords


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