Teach English in Miaoshi Zhen - Zhangjiajie Shi

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As a matter of fact, testing is an important phenomenon from science to arts, in order to weigh, measure and qualify the validity and the quantum of things. It is important to have a testing on all the aspects in real life, language teaching and learning process also includes its role in the testing process. In order to find out the nature and state of the students’ proficiency, evaluation and testing are to be conducted and the results are the only source, which provide valuable ideas, and suggestions that are considered for the remedial measures to be followed in the future course of action in language teaching process. In order to evaluate the teaching-learning process on the whole, appropriate language test batteries become inevitable and such tests show a clear picture of effectiveness and usefulness of the particular language teaching methods. Evaluation and testing are surely the best way of judging the capabilities and progress of a student, and a serious motivation for reaching new goals. Definition of testing and evaluation The following are definitions of testing and evaluation. In spite of important differences between these terms, they are often used interchangeably by teachers. Evaluation According to Weiss (1972), evaluation refers to the systematic gathering of information for the purpose of making decisions. It is not concerned with the assessment of the performance of an individual, but rather with forming an idea of the curriculum and making a judgment about it. This judgment is made based on some kind of criteria and evidence. The purpose is to make decisions about the worth of instruction, a course, or even the whole curriculum. Evaluation is thus larger and may include an analysis of all the aspects of the educational system. Testing Simply put, a test refers to a tool, technique or a method that is intended to measure students knowledge or their ability to complete a particular task. In this sense, testing can be considered as a form of assessment. Tests should meet some basic requirements, such as validity and reliability. Purposes and functions of Evaluation and Testing Evaluation and testing play a vital role in teaching learning experiences. They are integral part of the instructional program. They provide information’s on the basis of which many educational decisions are taken. We are to stick to the basic function of evaluation and testing which are required to be practiced for students and his learning processes. Evaluation and testing help to study the entry behavior of the students in all respects, help to undertake special instructional program, provide for individualization of instruction. Its also help to select students for higher studies, for different vocations and specialized courses. Evaluation and testing help a teacher in deciding and developing the ways, methods, techniques of teaching, help to formulate and reformulate suitable and realistic objectives of instruction, help to improve instruction and to plan appropriate and adequate techniques of instruction. Evaluation and testing have to diagnose the weak points in the school program as well as weakness of the students, suggest relevant remedial program, adopt instruction to the different needs of the students, evaluates the progress of these weak students in terms of their capacity, ability and goal, discover potential abilities and aptitudes among the learners. Thus help to predict the future success of the students and adopt better educational policy and decision making. Steps involved in the process of evaluation: In the evaluation process first step is to determine what to evaluation to set down educational objectives. The process of identifying and defining educational objectives is a complex one, there is no simple or single procedure which suits all teachers. Some prefer to begin with the course content, some with general aims, and some with lists of objectives suggested by curriculum experts in the area. The second step is identifying and defining Specific Objectives. Learning is the modification of behavior in a desirable direction. The teacher is more concerned with a student’s learning than with anything else. Changes in behavior are an indication of learning. These changes, arising out of classroom instruction, are known as the learning outcome. What type of learning outcome is expected from a student after he has undergone the teaching-learning process is the first and foremost concern of the teacher. This is possible only when the teacher identifies and defines the objectives in terms of behavioral changes, learning outcomes. These specific objectives will provide direction to teaching-learning process. Not only that it will also be useful in planning and organizing the learning activities, and in planning and organizing evaluation procedures too. The next step in the process of evaluation is to select teaching points through which the objectives can be realized. Once the objectives are set up, the next step is to decide the content (curriculum, syllabus, course) to help in the realization of objectives. In the fourth step, the teacher will have to plan the learning activities to be provided to the students and, at the same time, bear two things in mind—the objectives as well as teaching points. The process then becomes three dimensional, the three co-ordinates being objectives, teaching points and learning activities. The teacher gets the objectives and content ready made. In the fifth step, the teacher observes and measures the changes in the behavior of his students through testing. This step adds one more dimension to the evaluation process. While testing, he will keep in mind three things-objectives, teaching points and learning activities; but his focus will be on the attainment of objectives. This he cannot do without enlisting the teaching points and planning learning activities of his students. The last, but not the least, important step in the evaluation process is the use of results as feedback. If the teacher, after testing his students, finds that the objectives have not been realized to a great extent, he will use the results in reconsidering the objectives and in organizing the learning activities. He will retrace his steps to find out the drawbacks in the objectives or in the learning activities he has provided for his students. Principles will help to make the evaluation process an effective one: The first principle is must be clear what is to be evaluated, the purpose of evaluation. He must formulate the instructional objectives and define them clearly in terms of student’s observable behavior. Before selecting the achievement measures the intended learning out comes must be specified clearly. It is not possible to evaluate all the aspect of achievement with the help of a single technique. For the better evaluation a variety of evaluation techniques like objective tests, essay tests, observational techniques should be used. So that a complete’ picture of the student achievement and development can be assessed. The technique of evaluation must be appropriate for the characteristics or performance to be measured. Every evaluation technique is appropriate for some uses and inappropriate for another. Therefore while selecting an evaluation technique one must be well aware of the strength and limitations of the techniques. Evaluation is a means to an end but not an end in itself. The evaluation technique is used to take decisions about the learner. It is not merely gathering data about the learner. Because blind collection of data is wastage of both time and effort. But the evaluation is meant for some useful purpose. Conclusions Tests and Evaluation are not only evaluation methods, but also tools that increase student learning. Assessment can also be multiple in terms of tools. It can involve the traditional paper-and-pencil test or use of multiple media such as computer, tape recorder, or video recorder. In terms of the tester, assessment can be multiple, engaging teachers, peers and self (Brown, 2001). Tests and evaluation are essential components of teaching and learning in English language arts. Without an effective evaluation program it is impossible to know whether students have learned, whether teaching has been effective, or how best to address student learning needs. The quality of the evaluation and testing in the educational process has a profound and well-established link to student performance. Standardized test plays an important role with EFL curriculum evaluation as well as student evaluation. It is most important for a teacher and student, that regular forms of testing should take place. However, effective evaluation and testing requires detailed planning. Instructions are also considered a fundamental aspect of evaluation.