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Resaearch on the Effectiveness of Formative Assessment in Teaching of Writing for English Major

Author: Meng
Tutor: GaoMingXia
School: Yanbian University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: formative assessment writing teaching English major
CLC: H319.3
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 34
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Abstract


With the emergence of process approach, feedback has become an important notion in1970s. And along with deeper recognition of assessment in foreign language teaching, forms of feedback have changed gradually from the traditional summative assessment to the formative ones of process approach. Its potential benefits have been proved both empirically and theoretically. Thus formative assessment is extensively applied to large-scale tests and foreign language teaching in lots of foreign countries nowadays. However, compared with those countries, the researches related to formative assessment are still in a preliminary stage in our country. Therefore, to apply the formative assessment to English writing teaching and explore how it works during the teaching process as it changes through time. And what are its effects on the students’ individual differences and students’ writing quality. As well as what are its effects on the students’ revisions of compositions have become tasks of top priority.This experimental study is supported theoretically by the Formative Assessment theory, Socio-cultural theory, and the Learning Theory of Constructivism. The pre-post tests, pre-post questionnaires, the first to the final drafts of a certain individual and open-class questionnaires are considered as tools for data collecting, which are collected and analyzed quantitatively by SPSS20.0. This research lasts for one academic year during which formative assessment is applied to English writing teaching as a tool of assessment, in order to explore the following problems:1) How does the formative assessment work on the students of the English major gradually as it changes through time?2) What are the effects of formative assessment on the students of the English major in terms of their individual differences and their writing quality?3) What are the effects of formative assessment on English major students in terms of their revisions of their compositions?This study is conducted in a comprehensive university. Forty-nine freshmen in English major are participated in this study, with one class (25s) as the experimental group and the other class (24s) as the control group. In the pretest, the scores of the two groups show no significant differences in terms of their individual differences and writing quality. During the experiment, the two classes share the same English instructor and the same topics for practicing. However, they resort to different forms of assessment. The experimental class applies formative assessment while the control class resorts to the traditional summative assessment. The posttest is conducted quantitively and qualitatively on the first to the final drafts of a certain individual, in order to answer Question I. Also the pre-post tests and pre-post questionnaires are collected and analyzed through paired samples T-test and independent samples T-test by the research tool SPSS20.0, in order to explore Question Ⅱ. Besides, descriptive quality analysis is conducted by analyzing the open-class questionnaires, in order to get Question Ⅲ.The analyzing results show that:Firstly, by the research of individual tracking, the author finds that the individual student suffers a process of changing in three aspects:feedback to him/herself, feedback to peers and intake others’ suggestions, which wonderfully explained the advantages of formative evaluation. During this period of time, teacher and peers serves as "scaffold", which provides students immediate and continuous feedback, it helps students to understand their learning process, improve their learning method, update their learning plans, and make great progress. It changes students from ones who can only accept the teachers’ ratings and commons passively to the autonomous learners who can control their own cognitive process with metacognition. Secondly, the formative assessment has a remarkable influence on English major students’ individual differences, which include students’ writing attitude, writing self-efficacy, and writing strategy. Besides, formative assessment also plays an important role in improving English major students’ writing quality, especially in the idea and the usage of language perspectives. Thirdly, through applying the formative assessment to the experimental class’s writing courses, students tend to pay more attention to the role of peers’ assessments than before, especially the errors they put forward on the usage of language and mechanic perspectives.Thus, the conclusion of this study can be summarized:formative assessment plays a crucial role in writing teaching for English major students.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching > Teaching method
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