Linking Learners’ Perspective on Language Assessment Practices to Teachers’ Assessment Literacy Enhancement (TALE): Insights from Four European Countries
This article presents results from a needs analysis survey conducted in the first year of a European-funded project entitled ‘Teachers’ Assessment Literacy Enhancement (TALE)’. The survey questionnaire used asked 1788 learners of English in Cyprus, Germany, Greece and Hungary about their experiences of assessment; which of these they considered conducive to learning and the role feedback played as an instrument of formative assessment. Further questionnaire data from their 658 teachers were included in the data analysis. The results showed that practices differed across contexts. Overall, both learners and teachers reported a wide range of skills and areas to be assessed in the EFL classroom with writing, followed by speaking, being assessed the most. Based on the perceptions reported by the learners, the assessment types used revealed rather traditional approaches with frequent use of e.g. discrete-point tests with closed answers, extended writing and translation. The learners appeared to regard these types of assessment to be supportive of their learning. Feedback given was mostly restricted to marks and brief comments. The perceptions on feedback practices varied among teachers and their learners. Results of the needs analysis were taken as the basis of the online course design for enhancing teachers’ language assessment literacy.