Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices of Assessing Young Learners
This paper explores some of the beliefs and practices typical of English teachers working with children in Polish schools. A questionnaire with 32 respondents, all coming from rural areas of Poland, was employed to learn about the attitudes to young learner assessments, the tools used for conducting it, the organization of the evaluation process, and the self-perceived assessment competence of the teachers. The survey was based on similar studies from various countries, interviews with five teachers and the author’s experience in working with children. The results seem to be largely in line with the findings of other studies on primary English teachers’ beliefs and practices. First of all, assessment is not a priority for teachers, who mostly see it as their obligation, but do not believe that pupils in fact benefit from it. Furthermore, traditional tools, such as paper-and-pencil tests are preferred. Teachers try to make the assessment process quick and easy to administer, since they mostly award numerical grades and use ready-made tests offered by publishers. Interestingly, younger teachers seem to differ from their more experienced colleagues in some respects, such as the value they attach to assessment or their more satisfying pre-service training.
KeywordsTeaching Experience Foreign Language Experienced Teacher Young Learner Assessment Practice
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