In the teaching learning process, 3 Ms and 1 A- men, materials, methods and ASSESSMENT are supposed to play a vital role and they constitute the whole complex process.
I have been teaching in government schools for the last 12 years and I have come to the conclusion that the government may change text books, methods and even the assessment system but not the mindset of the teachers, which is so crucial to bring out the desired results.
Based on the recommendations of NCERT and NCF, 2005, the government of AP changed the English text books. They are based on the constructivist approach. Consequently, it has implemented the continuous and comprehensive evaluation(CCE). In the past we used to have 4 unit tests and 3 terminal exams.
Even now we are following the same process but calling them formative and summative assessment. In the present assessment system students’ oral and written skills will be tested and recorded based on their oral responses, assignments, project works, group works, and portfolios. I feel that the English teacher is the most important resource in the teaching of a second language like English.
Whatever might be the Government’s instructions, I usually follow certain procedures or techniques to assess and improve the productive skills among the learners. I have been fully convinced that developing productive skills (speaking and writing) is not as easy as developing the receptive skills (listening and reading).
So I assess my students in different ways. I feel that evaluation is an assessment of learning and an assessment for learning. I usually take up the following measures.
- I conduct a debate If there is a possibility in the lesson .I encourage the students to speak even if they make mistakes.Sometimes,I myself start the debate both for and against the topic.
- if there is a possibility in the lesson .I encourage the students. to speak out something even if they make mistakes.
- During the lesson whenever there is a slot , I ask the students to write a description or predict what will happen next even with grammatical mistakes.I will correct them later
- I ask many questions (inferential, referential, factual, global, evaluative etc ) so that my students think and respond orally.I accept even one word answers.
- If some students speak in mother tongue, I will translate the sentences into English.
It is a fact that most of my students can not speak even fairly well and the majority of the students find it more difficult to write correctly and coherently. Nevertheless I am trying my level best to make my students speak reasonably well and write even with some grammatical mistakes.
I use mother tongue sparingly. In spite of all my efforts, my students are able to acquire English very slowly.
After all, English is not their mother tongue. Nor is it mine