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Classroom-Based Assessment in the School- Foreign Language Classroom


Kathryn M. Hill

Black and Wiliam’s (1998) influential article Inside the Black Box prompted an increasing interest in assessment processes within the classroom. However, to date most of this research has been done in general and science education. This book reports on a detailed ethnographic study of Indonesian as a Foreign Language classrooms at two consecutive levels of schooling in Australia. Using the broadest possible definition of classroom-based assessment (CBA) and a grounded approach to analysis, data were used to develop a comprehensive framework for analysing CBA. This framework was then used to describe and compare assessment practices in the respective classrooms. The results demonstrate, inter alia, that how assessment was conducted was as important as what was assessed in these classrooms.


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9 Comparative Results and Discussion


9.1 Overview In this chapter the results for Years 6 (Chapter 7) and 7 (Chapter 8) will be used to make cross year-level comparisons using the framework outlined in Chapter 6. It will also explore the additional patterns and themes identified in the indi- vidual year-level analyses. The results of these analyses will then be used to formulate explanations and conclusions in relation to each of the five main re- search questions. This process is summarised in Figure 9.1. Create text Data collection & transcription Chapter 6 Analysis Develop framework for analysis Coding & preliminary analysis Chapters 7& 8 Results Identify patterns & themes Generate hypotheses Detailed analysis (single unit of instruction) Test hypotheses Expanded analysis (all data) Chapter 9 Discussion Generate explanations Describe deep structure Explanations & conclusions Implications Figure 9.1 Data analysis (based on Miles & Huberman, 1994 p.92) Discussion in this chapter has been organised under each of the five research questions. These are 1. What do foreign language teachers do when they carry out classroom- based assessment? 2. What do they look for when they are assessing learners? 3. What theory or 'standards' do they use? 4. Do learners share the same understandings? 5. Is ‘success' constructed in the same way in primary and secondary school foreign language programs? 9.2 RQ1 What do teachers do? As in the previous chapters, discussion for this section has been organized under the headings of ‘Planning’, ‘Framing’, ‘Conducting’ and ‘Using’ assessment. Planning Assessment for both year levels was planned in advance of school term although...

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