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An insight into the practice of alternative assessment methods among Ethiopian EFL teachers

Author: 
Belilew Molla
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Alternative assessment methods under proper conditions significantly improve learners’ language skills. However, under improper practices alternative assessment methods can be the vehicle of dependency, inequality of individual’s contributions to the task and unfair grading. The subjects of the study were 11 teachers and 95 students. The study was designed to see the extent of teachers’ use of alternative assessment methods in EFL classrooms; and to examine problems in using alternative assessment methods in Dilla University. To gather data for the study, questionnaire and interview were used. The result showed that EFL teachers use a limited number of alternative assessment methods from many assessment tools that can be made use of in language classes. Teachers reported that class size, teaching different courses in multiple sections, lack of clear guidelines, and other responsibilities and lack of agreement to use similar assessment tools among teachers teaching the same course are the main factors that hindered them from properly practicing alternative assessment methods. Students in their parts listed lack of explicit criteria of assessment, lack of transparency in marking that leads to unfair grading, lack of feedback and excessive tasks that are mainly given in groups for a course as major problems they have perceived in their teachers’ use of alternative assessment methods. Lack of organization and commitment of teachers in selecting assessment tools and in assessing students’ work were also problems observed by students. As to the students, teachers’ use of alternative assessment methods encouraged dependency of students on others’ effort and work.

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