Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 2

teacher cognition Related Abstracts

2 EFL Teacher Cognition and Learner Autonomy: An Exploratory Study into Algerian Teachers’ Understanding of Learner Autonomy

Authors: Linda Ghout

Abstract:

The main aim of the present case study was to explore EFL teachers’ understanding of learner autonomy. Thus, it sought to uncover how teachers at the de Department of English, University of Béjaia, Algeria view the process of language learning, their learners’ roles, their own roles and their practices to promote learner autonomy. For data collection, firstly, a questionnaire was designed and administered to all the teachers in the department. Secondly, interviews were conducted with some volunteers for the sake of clarifying emerging issues and digging deeper into some of the teachers’ answers to the questionnaire. The analysis revealed interesting data pertaining to the teachers’ cognition and its effects on their teaching practices. With regard to their views of language learning, it seems that the participants hold discrete views which are in opposition with the principles of learner autonomy. The teachers seemed to have a limited knowledge of the characteristics of autonomous learners and autonomy- based methodology. When it comes to teachers’ practices to promote autonomy in their classes, the majority reported that the most effective way is to ask students to search for information on their own. However, in defining their roles in the EFL learning process, most of the respondents claimed that teachers should play the role of facilitators.

Keywords: English, learning process, learner autonomy, teacher cognition

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1 Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs about Diagnostic Language Assessment Practices in a Large-Scale Assessment Program

Authors: Oluwaseun Ijiwade, Chris Davison, Kelvin Gregory

Abstract:

In Australia, like other parts of the world, the debate on how to enhance teachers using assessment data to inform teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language (EAL, Australia) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL, United States) have occupied the centre of academic scholarship. Traditionally, this approach was conceptualised as ‘Formative Assessment’ and, in recent times, ‘Assessment for Learning (AfL)’. The central problem is that teacher-made tests are limited in providing data that can inform teaching and learning due to variability of classroom assessments, which are hindered by teachers’ characteristics and assessment literacy. To address this concern, scholars in language education and testing have proposed a uniformed large-scale computer-based assessment program to meet the needs of teachers and promote AfL in language education. In Australia, for instance, the Victoria state government commissioned a large-scale project called 'Tools to Enhance Assessment Literacy (TEAL) for Teachers of English as an additional language'. As part of the TEAL project, a tool called ‘Reading and Vocabulary assessment for English as an Additional Language (RVEAL)’, as a diagnostic language assessment (DLA), was developed by language experts at the University of New South Wales for teachers in Victorian schools to guide EAL pedagogy in the classroom. Therefore, this study aims to provide qualitative evidence for understanding beliefs about the diagnostic language assessment (DLA) among EAL teachers in primary and secondary schools in Victoria, Australia. To realize this goal, this study raises the following questions: (a) How do teachers use large-scale assessment data for diagnostic purposes? (b) What skills do language teachers think are necessary for using assessment data for instruction in the classroom? and (c) What factors, if any, contribute to teachers’ beliefs about diagnostic assessment in a large-scale assessment? Semi-structured interview method was used to collect data from at least 15 professional teachers who were selected through a purposeful sampling. The findings from the resulting data analysis (thematic analysis) provide an understanding of teachers’ beliefs about DLA in a classroom context and identify how these beliefs are crystallised in language teachers. The discussion shows how the findings can be used to inform professional development processes for language teachers as well as informing important factor of teacher cognition in the pedagogic processes of language assessment. This, hopefully, will help test developers and testing organisations to align the outcome of this study with their test development processes to design assessment that can enhance AfL in language education.

Keywords: beliefs, teacher cognition, diagnostic language assessment, English as an additional language

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