Authentic Assessment in the Listening Comprehension Classroom: Benefits and Implications
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
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