Why Do We Assess?

  • Liying Cheng
  • Janna Fox
Part of the Applied Linguistics for the Language Classroom book series


Assessment plays an essential role in language teaching and learning. The day-to-day assessment of student learning is unquestionably one of the teacher’s most important, complex and demanding tasks. As teachers, we are the principal agents of assessment, so we need to ensure the quality of classroom assessment practices and to use these practices in ways that best support our students’ learning. What is assessment? Assessment refers to ‘all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged’ (Black and Wiliam, 1998, p. 2). There are two important points about this definition. First, assessment involves teachers and students. An assessment activity can be carried out between a teacher and a student or a group of students.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liying Cheng
    • 1
  • Janna Fox
    • 2
  1. 1.Professor of Teaching English as a Second/Foreign LanguageQueen’s UniversityOntarioCanada
  2. 2.Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics & Discourse StudiesCarlton UniversityOntarioCanada

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