Authentic Assessment in the Listening Comprehension Classroom: Benefits and Implications

Keywords: authentic assessment, testing, listening comprehension, portfolio, weekly plans


This research paper discusses the benefits and implications of bringing authentic assessment into listening comprehension classes. The study was run in 2016 based on a QUAL-Quan model to research and included 38 college students enrolled in a listening comprehension class at an English Teaching Major (ETM) from the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Data collection instruments included plans of improvement, portfolios, self-assessment forms, teacher-student conferences, verbal calls, and impromptu reflections. Data were validated through several procedures and analyzed in the form of emerging themes from the information collected. Findings are that authentic assessment can and should be used more in listening comprehension classes to bring assessment and instruction together, as well as to provide opportunities for skills integration. The study yields implications for theory and practice, and it constitutes a proposal to move from traditional to process evaluation, and from norm-referenced testing towards more criterion-referenced assessment. Nonetheless, the aim should not necessarily be a radical ‘no’ to paper-and-pencil tests, but a more balanced use in combination with other strategies so that assessment becomes more reliable, valid, fair, and authentic for all EFL actors involved.

Keywords: authentic assessment, testing, listening comprehension, portfolio, weekly plans

Author Biographies

Henry Sevilla Morales, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

holds an M.A. in Second Languages and Cultures. He has been an EFL instructor for 13 years and currently works at Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. His research has been presented in numerous national and international conferences and published in various journals and conference proceedings in Costa Rica and The United States. His current research areas include reflective writing, learner autonomy, authentic assessment, critical applied linguistics, and translation studies

Lindsay Chaves-Fernandez, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

holds an M.A. in Second Languages and Cultures from Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. She has been an EFL instructor for over fifteen years and currently works at Escuela de Literatura y Ciencias del Lenguaje, Universidad Nacional. Her papers appear in different scientific journals and her research has been presented in national and international conferences in Costa Rica, Cuba, Canada, Spain and Switzerland. Among her research interests are composition and rhetoric, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in teaching, learners’ diversity and motivation, translation studies, approaches to EFL teaching, and accreditation practices in higher education.


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How to Cite
Sevilla Morales, H., & Chaves-Fernandez, L. (2019). Authentic Assessment in the Listening Comprehension Classroom: Benefits and Implications. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, (19), 6-30.