摘 要 iii
List of Abbreviations III
Chapter One Introduction 1
1.1Background and Purpose of the Study 1
1.2Theoretical and Practical Significance of the Study 2
1.3Structure of the Study 4
Chapter Two Literature Review 6
2.1Formative Assessment 6
2.1.1Definition of Formative Assessment 6
2.1.2Subjects of Formative Assessment 8
2.1.3Comparison between Formative Assessment and Summative Assessment12
2.2Related Studies of Formative Assessment at Home and Abroad 14
2.2.1Domestic Studies on Formative Assessment 14
2.2.2Overseas Studies on Formative Assessment 16
2.3Theoretical Basis 18
2.3.1Humanistic Theory 18
2.3.2Multiple Intelligences Theory 19
2.3.3Communicative Competence Theory 20
2.3.4Meta-cognitive Strategies 21
Chapter Three Research Methodology 23
3.1Research Questions 23
3.2Research Participants 23
3.3Research Instruments 25
3.3.3Classroom Observation 27
3.4Data Collection and Data Analysis 28
3.4.3Classroom Observation 29
3.5Reliability and Validity 30
Chapter Four Results and Discussion 31
4.1Teachers' Cognition towards the Concept of Formative Assessment 31
4.2Implementation of Formative Assessment 33
4.2.1Subjects of Formative Assessment 33
4.2.2Content of Formative Assessment 37
4.2.3Forms of Formative Assessment 41
4.3Problems and Related Causes of the Implementation of Formative Assessment43
4.3.1The Deficiency of Teachers' Cognition 43
4.3.2The Singleness of Assessment Subject 44
4.3.3The Malconformation of Assessment Content 46
4.3.4The Singleness of Assessment Form 48
4.3.5The Irrationality of Feedback 49
Chapter Five Conclusion 52
5.1Major Findings of the Study 52
5.2Implications of the Study 56
5.3Limitations of the Study 61
Appendix One Questionnaire for Students 66
Appendix Two Interview Outline for Teachers 68
Appendix Three Classroom Observation Scale 69
About the Author 70
List of Abbreviations
FA formative assessment
SA summative assessment
AERA American Educational Research Association
CCSSO Council for Chief State School Officers
ASCD Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
FAST Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers
Chapter One Introduction
As an introduction, the first chapter briefly and generally introduces the background and purpose, the theoretical and practical significance, and the structure of the study.
1.1Background and Purpose of the Study
1.1.1Background of the Study
With the deepening of educational reform, the educational circle is changing constantly. Educationalists have gradually realized the importance of teaching evaluation from merely imparting knowledge in the past. As a concept, teaching evaluation was first put forward by American educator Ralph W. Tyler in 1929. With the constant development of academic fields, the drawback of single teaching evaluation gradually emerged. Therefore, in 1967, M. Scriven, an American assessment expert, proposed the concept of formative evaluation, which has triggered many discussions in educational circles around the world since its emergence.
Similarly, under the drive of the world's cultural diversity, our country's education experts also recognize that the students cultivated under the exam-oriented education system cannot meet the manifold needs of the social, so we must find effective ways to cultivate diverse talents. Under the influence of foreign evaluators, we gradually realize that the evaluation system is the key to talents cultivation. Therefore, the evaluation system of our country has been changing in recent years. For example, the English Curriculum Standards for Compulsory Education (2022 Edition) clearly points out that teachers should combine formative assessment with summative assessment in the teaching process; English Curriculum Standards for General Senior High Schools (2017 Edition, 2020 Revision) also explicitly proposes that we should pay attention to the diversity and rationality of evaluation methods, and carry out FA effectively. It is not difficult to see from the suggestions that FA is given an all-important position in every stage of education, that is to say, the implementation of FA is conducive to the cultivation of qualified intellectual with comprehensive abilities and talents that are needed by the society and country. However, the reform is never plain sailing. Due to the deep-rooted exam-oriented education, the current evaluation methods of English teaching in China still rely more on SA. Therefore, the popularization and perfection of FA needs the continuous efforts of educators and relevant departments.
1.1.2Purpose of the Study
Based on the disadvantages of the traditional SA and the advantages of FA, this study aims to investigate the status quo of the application of FA in junior high school English teaching, and explore the shortcomings and related countermeasures of the application of FA. At the same time, the author wants to stimulate the awareness of English teachers to implement FA in their teaching process and prompt them to review their own teaching evaluation process, and then perfect their own evaluation methods. Only in this way can we carry out the English curriculum standards, truly achieve the goal of promoting learning and teaching by evaluation, and realize the integration of teaching, learning and evaluation.
1.2Theoretical and Practical Significance of the Study
Compared with SA, FA has greater advantages for both teachers and students. Therefore, this study is of great value both theoretically and practically in promoting junior high school English teaching evaluation.
Firstly, this study systematically combs the the development of the concepts of FA, which can be used for reference by relevant researchers.
Secondly, this study compares FA and SA in detail, which can be used to see the differences between them clearly by readers.
Thirdly, the research status quo of FA at home and abroad is described synthetically, and the application status of FA is systematically analyzed. Combined with the research results, it is found that the current use of FA is inadequate, which gives educators a profound enlightenment.
Firstly, the implementation of FA can meet the needs of the times for diversification of intellectuals. Traditional education only attaches importance to basic knowledge and skills, and fails to make valuable analysis and put forward meaningful suggestions for the development of students, thus failing to satisfy the requirements of talents development in today's society. FA emphasizes the respect for the individual differences and personality characteristics of students. At the same time, FA pays attention to the original basis, realistic level and development trend of students, and realizes the diversification of teaching evaluation criteria on the basis of comprehensive assessment, which can satisfy the society's need for diversified intellectuals.
Secondly, the implementation of FA can satisfy the needs of national vocational education development. In October 2021, the General Offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued the Opinions on Promoting the High-quality Development of Modern Vocational Education. On the one hand, we can see that China places great emphasis on the cultivation of professional and technical personnel. On the other hand, the deficiencies of talents cultivation system in China have also been exposed. Traditional talents cultivation methods can no longer satisfy the country's
needs for the diversification of intellectuals. Only by diversifying the assessment criteria can diverse talents be cultivated. Therefore, the importance of FA is self-evident in current era.
Thirdly, the implementation of FA can meet the needs of English curriculum standards. With the further curriculum reform in China, the field of education evaluation in China is also changing rapidly. Both junior high school and senior high school English curriculum standards clearly highlight the importance of FA in evaluation of English teaching. This study mainly explores the shortcomings and related countermeasures of the implementation of FA in junior high schools, which can provide a basis for better implementation of the evaluation suggestions in English curriculum standards.
Fourthly, the implementation of FA can promote the progress of English teaching. By reading this thesis, English teachers can be stimulated to implement FA in their teaching process, prompting them to reflect on their own classroom assessment process. And then they will find their own shortcomings and improve their classroom assessment methods, so as to perfect teaching process and realize the integration of teaching, learning and evaluation.
1.3Structure of the Study
The whole paper is divided into five chapters.
The first chapter provides a brief introduction to the report in terms of its background and purpose, the theoretical and practical significance, and the structure of the paper.
The second chapter systematically integrates the literature related to this research, and carries on a series of elaboration and analysis. At first, the author briefly summarizes the relevant content of FA, including its definition, subjects and the comparison between FA and SA. Then the author briefly describes the research situation at home and abroad. Finally, the author describes the theoretical basis of the study in 4
detail, including Multiple Intelligences Theory, Communicative Competence Theory, Humanistic Learning Theory, and Meta-cognitive Strategies.
The third chapter introduces the three questions of the study firstly. Then the author shares the participants of the study. Thirdly, the research instruments are introduced, including questionnaire, interview and classroom observation. Fourthly, the author describes the process of data collection and data analysis. And finally the author shows the reliability and validity of the data collected during this investigation.
The fourth chapter shows the results and discussion of this study. Based on the three research questions, the author designed relevant research methods to find the answers, including questionnaire, interview and classroom observation. According to the data collected by these research methods, the author carries out rigorous analysis and starts a series of discussions.
The last chapter first summarizes the main findings of this study. Then, the implications of this study are elaborated systematically. Finally, the limitations of this study are indicated.
Chapter Two Literature Review
This chapter systematically integrates the literature related to this research, and carries on a series of elaboration and analysis. Firstly, the relevant content of FA is summarized. Secondly, it describes the research situation at home and abroad. Finally, the theoretical basis of the study is elaborated.
2.1.1Definition of Formative Assessment
In 1967, M. Scriven proposed in his conference paper submitted to AERA that evaluation could be divided into formative evaluation and summative evaluation according to different functions. It was related to evaluation, not to assessment. Scriven argued that summative evaluation took place when educators appraised the worth of a fully mature, completed instructional program such as a published collection of self-study history booklets. In contrast, formative evaluation occurred when educators appraised the worth of a yet malleable instructional program. Summative evaluation is employed to inform go/ no-go decisions, whereas formative evaluation is used to make improvement decisions regarding a program. These evaluation-related meanings of the adjectives formative and summative have carried over to today when those two labels are applied to the use of educational assessments (Popham 2017).
It is B. Bloom who introduced FA into the teaching field. Bloom believed that FA was an assessment that provides feedback and correction for teaching and learning, while SA was an assessment that judges learners' learning outcomes after the course is over (Bloom 1969), which will deal a serious blow to students' learning interest and attitude (Bloom 1971).
After the concept came into being, many scholars interpreted it, among which P. Black and D. William had a far-reaching influence. In 1998, they proposed that FA can be broadly defined as any activity that can improve teaching and learning (Black and William 1998). In the same year, considering the standpoint of policy makers and education practitioners, the two scholars revised the concept: FA refers to the feedback used by all teachers and students to improve teaching and learning activities. If the evidence provided by assessment enables teachers to perfect teaching process and satisfy the needs of students, it is FA (Black & William 1998).
Since the 21st century, self-assessment and mutual assessment of FA have been given more and more significant place. Both CCSSO and ASCD have explored relevant theories and practices, especially CCSSO has summarized the concept of FA. In 2006, CCSSO decided to set up FAST, a research department of FA, in response to the educational concern and demand for FA. After the establishment of FAST, the primary task was to define FA based on literature. They put forward that FA is a process used by teachers and students, which can provide targeted feedback to adjust the teaching and learning. Besides, the application of FA can improve the expected teaching results and achieve the expected learning objectives (McManus 2008) .
In 2017, W. James Popham argued in his book Classroom Assessment that FA is a process that requires systematic planing in which teachers regard the assessment results as evidence to adjust their teaching process. Similarly, students regard the assessment results as evidence to adjust their learning process. He believed that FA is a planned process, not a test. He told us that FA must be planned well if we want to use it in our teaching.
In 2018, FAST published the Revising the Definition of Formative Assessment, which improved on the concept in 2006. FA is a process that requires systematic planing used by all students and teachers. It means eliciting and using evidence of students' learning in order to improve students' awareness of the expected learning outcomes of the subject. And FA regards students as active learners (CCSSO 2018).
Although many scholars and organizations have defined FA from various perspectives, the collection of information, feedback and adjustment are always the three core elements, which also constitute the basic content and purpose of FA.
2.1.2Subjects of Formative Assessment
According to Ding Lina's Survey on the Implementation of Formative Assessment in Junior Middle School English, there are four main subjects of FA: teachers, students themselves, peers and parents. Teacher assessment is the most frequently used, followed by students' peer assessment, students' self-assessment and parents assessment. With the progress of the technology, the author found the fifth subject in the process of reading literature: network. However, as an emerging evaluation model, there are few references of online evaluation model. Therefore, teachers and educators should strive to create and explore more online evaluation platforms in the future to provide references for other educators.
Teacher assessment is not a teacher's own arbitrary assessment, on the contrary, it should be objective and based on facts. Teachers usually play an auxiliary part in students' self-assessment and peer assessment. Teachers should offer assessment criteria for students' self-assessment and peer assessment firstly. Then teachers should give certain guidance to students in the process of assessment, and urge the assessment to be carried out in an orderly manner. Teachers must be fair and impartial in their treatment of all students throughout the evaluation process. Teachers should adopt corresponding assessment methods according to the personality and characteristics of different learners. Teacher assessment is mainly based on encouraging language, so that learners can understand the positive attitude of teachers. For better students, teachers should encourage them and “criticize” them. For students with poor grades, teachers' top priority throughout the process is to ensure students' enthusiasm in English learning and protect their self-confidence authentically; Secondly, teachers should give priority to encouragement, find their advantages, give more affirmation in speech and action, and increase learners' confidence. In addition to oral assessment in class, teachers can also use face-to-face conversation with classmates after class, and write encouraging comments on learners' exercise books (Li Xinli 2019).
By evaluating each other, students can learn to appreciate others. On the one hand, they can learn from others' strengths. On the other hand, students can identify their shortcomings and remove them. Students should first point out the strengths of others. Then they are instructed to talk about others' shortcomings. Teachers should correctly guide students to compare their own learning with others. There are many ways for students to evaluate each other: pair assessment, group assessment and class assessment (Qin Bing 2010). In addition to the above advantages described by the author,students will increase their communication, cooperation ability and interpersonal capacity in the process of their mutual assessment.
In the past, the teaching mode of English classroom was teacher-centered. Learners just mechanically followed the teacher's instructions and then gave corresponding responses. In the long run, learners get used to playing the role of listeners and are unwilling to think by themselves, thus their independent ability to learn English is declining. Self-assessment refers to a evaluation method in which students evaluate their own learning situation according to the evaluation criterion formulated by teachers after finishing a period of learning. Through self-assessment, they can identify their progress and reflect on their shortcomings, which can be used as evidence to adjust their learning plan (Li Xinli 2019). This assessment method can not only arouse students' enthusiasm for learning, but also help them improve their ability of self-reflection, so that students can form a good learning habit.
Unlike the above assessment, parents assessment do not take place in class, but after class. As an important supplement to school education, family also plays a vital role in the assessment process of children. According to the research of Li Hui in 2005, correct educational concepts, good family learning atmosphere and other family factors have a great impact on students' stable and positive learning state. Assessment is a kind of attention of parents to children, is a kind of need of children, but this does not mean that the more assessment, the better. For example, when a child is concentrating on something, parents' arbitrary comments can interrupt their attention.
Compared to traditional paper-and-pencil exams, online assessment is powered by artificial intelligence and data mining, providing instant, accurate analysis and feedback to diagnose instructional result efficiently. It ensures the construct validity of diagnosing learning data and improving learning efficiency and effectiveness. The author will present a figure of online assessment model in Figure 2.1, which is constructed by Liu Min and Wu Shinian in 2020.
Figure 2.1 Online Assessment Model
1 Rain Classroom is jointly developed by Xuetang Online and Tsinghua University Online Education Office. It aims to connect the intelligent terminals of teachers and students, giving a new experience to each link of pre-class, in-class and after-class, releasing instructional energy and deepening educational reform.
2 So Jump is a professional online questionnaire survey, examination, assessment, voting platform, focusing on providing users with powerful and humanized online questionnaire design, data collection, custom reports, survey results analysis and other services.
Moreover, Yang Manzhen and Liu Jianda also developed an online assessment platform in their A Study of College English Teaching Practice based on Formative Assessment, which is presented in Figure 2.2. This online assessment platform includes three modules: student module, teacher module and examination module. The student module records all activities related to learning, such as self-study, homework completion, classroom and extracurricular activities; The teacher module records the teaching activities of teachers, including classroom teaching organization, homework correction after class, communication with students and other teaching-related activities; The examination module records all examination activities, including classroom tests, unit tests, mid-term (final) tests and other tests related to the course. All activities and actions that take place in each module are scored in the “points bank”, and all results can be traced back to the specific actions and activities that earned the points (Yang Manzhen & Liu Jianda 2019) .
Figure 2.2 Online Assessment Platform
2.1.3Comparison between Formative Assessment and Summative Assessment
Generally speaking, FA aims to promote learning, while SA aims to inspect learning results. J. McMillan summarized 10 characteristic differences between the two assessment methods as shown in Table 2.1. In general, FA focuses on informal feedback with immediacy, high participation and high flexibility. SA is oriented to record students' achievements and focuses on fixed, non-participatory and structured formal examinations, which can record phased teaching effects.
G.Gizek further proposed the distinguishing criteria of the two, and believed that SA could be called if the two criteria were met: (1) After a certain teaching stage, such as after the end of a unit, semester or academic year; (2) Its purpose is mainly to collect students' achievements. Therefore, the main goal of SA is to grasp the learners' current performance so that it can be used in decision making, grading, rewarding, punishing, or placing the evaluated person in the appropriate grade. In contrast, FA pays more attention to the diagnosis of individuals and provides valuable feedback, which should meet two criteria: (1) In teaching or a certain teaching stage; (2) The main purpose is to judge students' strengths and weaknesses, provide forward-looking guidance for teachers' subsequent teaching, help students adjust their learning process and enhance their self-assessment and autonomous learning capacity.
Some scholars realize that the two are the unity of opposites. P. Black pointed out that, for example, if the SA can promote students' achievements and help students find insufficiency, then it also can play a certain role of FA. And if the means and methods of the assessment don't have the effect of promoting learning, then it can not be called FA. Therefore, while recognizing the difference between the two, we should also understand the correlation between the two. In other words, the purpose of dividing FA and SA is to better understand the types and functions of assessment. If the relationship between the two is treated in isolation or the indelible boundary between them is stereotyped, the meaning and value proposed by the concept will be lost.
Table 2.1 Comparison between FA and SA
Purpose Improvement of learning Record of learning results
Time While teaching After teaching
Students' participation High participation Non-participation
Students' motivation Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation
Teachers' tasks Teachers provide timely feedback and then adjust teaching accordingly. Teachers measure students' learning results and grade them.
Cognitive tendency Deep understanding and application Memory of knowledge
Individualization level High Low
Structure Flexible Fixed
Instrument Informal Formal
Influence Strong and persistent Weak and transient
Some Chinese educators have also studied the comparative combination of FA and SA in recent years. For example, Lu Rongrong spent a year and a half to study the correlation between FA and SA. Finally she showed that the two have a great correlation, and FA can offer a compelling evidence for the variation of the SA. In the Comparative Analysis of Summative Assessment and Formative Assessment in Senior High School English Teaching, Li Xi concluded in practical teaching that FA can promote students to master language knowledge, improve their language skills and cultivate their teamwork spirit. In order to achieve the best teaching effect, SA and FA should be combined in English teaching.
2.2Related Studies of Formative Assessment at Home and Abroad
2.2.1Domestic Studies on Formative Assessment
The concept of FA was put forward in the 1980s in China, mainly aiming at the disadvantages of SA in talents cultivating, and discussing the significance of applying FA from the viewpoint of pedagogy (Lu Yaozeng 1987). FA in foreign language teaching research began in the early 21st century, especially after the publication of A Study on Formative Assessment of English Teaching of Luo Shaoqian in 2003, FA gradually turned into a focal topic in the second language acquisition research in China. As a breakthrough point to improve the deficiencies of traditional exam-oriented education in China, many scholars have carried out researches on FA in foreign language teaching and made substantial progress. Domestic researches on FA mainly focus on implementation, function and methods in the teaching process.
For example, The Application of Formative Assessment in College English Listening and Speaking Teaching by Liu Yan (2011) is a typical study on the implementation of FA.
The research on the function of FA is a hot topic in the research field. For example, Guo Qian (2004) pointed out in Promoting Learners Autonomy in College English Teaching by Using Formative Assessment that the rational use of FA can stimulate learners' learning enthusiasm effectively, bolster their confidence in learning process and promote their overall learning ability. In her book Cultivating English Reading and Writing Ability by Using Formative Assessment, Wang Lihong (2006) discussed the role of FA and its relationship with learning effect, encourages the establishment of different assessment criteria and content according to different characteristics of students, so as to promote the all-round and harmonious development of students. It is helpful to improve the assessment mechanism of academic achievement. Wang Xuefeng (2011) discussed the advantages of FA. He thought the FA feedback model can effectively make students clear their learning content, set learning goals, self-monitoring, reflection and monitor 14
their own learning progress, improve the students' ability of self-assessment. Through this mode, teachers can provide students with high-quality feedback information, which can be used as compelling evidence to adjust their learning process.
With the development of modern science and technology, online teaching has been paid more and more attention. Some researchers combine FA with network teaching to conduct a series of relevant studies. For example, Liu Min and Wu Shinian (2020) proposed in their paper to combine online assessment mode with educational means to improve the efficiency of foreign language education and assessment. They also created a multi-dimensional online assessment model under the background of modern education. Wang Yunfang (2021) elaborated the application of portfolio assessment in English teaching. According to her paper, the portfolio assessment as a way of FA, it emphasizes to evaluate students' learning process, rather than blindly pursue learning results. This assessment way is to pay attention to cultivating and inspiring the enthusiasm and self-confidence of students' learning under the guidance of new assessment concept.
In general, the researches on FA in China present different research emphases, diverse research perspectives and distinctive research characteristics. Of course, there are some deficiencies in the researches of FA in China. The shortcomings are as follows:
(1)The research content and scope still need to be further expanded. On the one hand, domestic scholars can learn from the new methods, tools, content and fields of foreign studies to conduct in-depth research on FA of foreign language teaching. On the other hand, domestic scholars are supposed to identify the deficiencies in researches of FA, which can be used as evidence to innovate the research content, expand the research field and promote the reliability and validity.
(2)The research perspective needs further innovation. Studies of FA mainly focuses on undergraduate students, and there are very few studies on FA of middle schools, primary schools and preschools.
(3)The validity of the study's conclusions needs to be tested. First of all, many research processes are divorced from the background of exam-oriented education in China, which makes it difficult to popularize research methods and conclusions. Secondly, in domestic foreign language teaching, although many FA research results are based on certain empirical studies, the effectiveness of some conclusions in practice still needs to be verified in the future on account of the short of triangular verification and other methods in experimental design.
Therefore, researchers should analyze our national conditions and the disadvantages of exam-oriented education to cultivate all-round development of foreign language talents in future. Domestic researchers should learn from the advanced methods and means of FA abroad, and at the same time, explore the problems in domestic FA research and innovate the research content of FA.
2.2.2Overseas Studies on Formative Assessment
In foreign countries, FA occupies a very essential position in the evaluation system. From government departments to schools and educators, they all have carried out a lot of research on it.
From the end of the 19th century to the 1930s, the students' learning status was mainly measured with quantitative methods, and the test results only reflected the students' memory of knowledge. In 1930s to 1950s, American educator Taylor proposed the concept of educational evaluation formally on the basis of “the eight-year study”. It is characterized by the goal as the center of assessment and describes the consistency between educational outcomes and educational objectives. In 1967, Scriven first proposed the concept of formative evaluation by dividing educational evaluation into formative evaluation and summative evaluation according to different educational purposes. After the 1970s, people began to pay attention to the constructive value of evaluation in individual progress and pay attention to the evaluation process, emphasizing the negotiation and communication between evaluation subjects.
With the continuous development of educational evaluation research, various evaluation models emerge at the historic moment and constantly bring forth new ideas. Such as Taylor's behavioral goal evaluation model, Stafllebeam's CIPP model (composed of context evaluation, input evaluation, process evaluation and product evaluation), Scriven's “goal-free evaluation model” and Stake's “response evaluation model” etc.
As a result, the content of evaluation has been broadened. It is manifested in two aspects: one is the expansion of evaluation objects; the other is the expansion of evaluation dimensions. Early education evaluation places emphasis on evaluating the results of development; Modern educational evaluation not only places emphasis on the evaluation of results, but also on the evaluation of all aspects of things. Accordingly, the evaluation methods are also richer than before. In addition to tests and examinations, there are also many types of evaluation methods, such as interview, behavior evaluation, activity product analysis, students' portfolio assessment, evaluation scale and so on.
Many countries have not only formed their own educational evaluation systems, but also demonstrated a trend of paying attention to the harmonious development of students, emphasizing the pluralism of subjects, attaching importance to the combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, and placing greater emphasis on the role of FA. For example, many middle schools in the United States have set up many awards to promote the overall development of students, of which only one-fifth are related to academic performance; Seven experts from the Evaluation Reform Group in the United Kingdom have published their research on “Ten Principles of Evaluation for Learning.” They put forward that FA should be one of the components of efficient teaching planning, which should promote students to achieve learning objectives and promote teachers and students to reach a consensus on evaluation criteria. FA should recognize all students' achievements in all aspects and develop students' ability of self-assessment so as to bring their self-management ability into play; The educational evaluation in the stage of basic education in France focuses on FA, which evaluates students from various aspects such as knowledge and ability, and places an increasing emphasis on the quality and overall ability of students in their learning process.
The theoretical basis of the study will be introduced, including Humanistic Learning Theory, Multiple Intelligence Theory, Communicative Competence Theory and Meta-cognitive Strategies.
Maslow, an American psychologist, put forward the humanistic theory in the 20th century. Later, Rodgers and other psychologists developed this theory. Rogers emphasized that teachers should pay attention to understanding students' inner world and discovering students' needs, interests and personalities so as to tap students' potential. Teachers should attach importance to students' motivation, creative ability, emotion and so on, and find their restrictive effect on learning behavior. Humanistic theory places a strong emphasis on the significance of human personality and places a strong emphasis on the development of individual personality.
FA advocated by curriculum reform not only focuses on the improvement of cognition capacity, but also on the perfection of students' personality, operational capacity and sociability. However, the traditional educational evaluation is based on scores, which can only evaluate students' existing knowledge and some skills they show, but cannot measure the factors such as students' will and effort, hard work, attitude and motivation in their growth. On the one hand, this mechanical evaluation method forces teachers to only place emphasis on students' achievements and ignore the growth of the whole person; on the other hand, it makes students mistakenly think that learning is to get high scores, and the pursuit of scores covers up the real knowledge seeking, understanding and application. Meanwhile, grades are given by teachers, and students are excluded from the assessment process and have no initiative to evaluate themselves, so that students become the “slaves” of scores and lose the ability of self-adjustment and self-assessment by degrees.
The FA does not regard scores as the sole criterion of assessment, but focuses on students' interest in learning, attitude and emotion, cooperative spirit and so on. Moreover, students also become the subjects of evaluation and take the initiative to participate in their evaluation process. Under the guidance of teachers, students can evaluate their own academic performance, discover and solve their learning problems, and gradually develop their capacity of self-assessment.
2.3.2Multiple Intelligences Theory
Gardner, a professor at Harvard University in the United States, mentioned in his book Frames of Mind in 1983 that human beings have at least eight relatively independent but interrelated intelligence. The theory of multiple intelligence holds that everyone possesses all eight intelligence at the same time, but they exist in different combinations, in different ways and to different degrees, making each person's intelligence unique. Therefore, there is no such thing as ‘bad' students in school. Everyone is unique and has his or her own intellectual strengths. Every student need be given the chance to reach their full potential in school life. It is not a question of who is smart or not, but of what and how (Gardner 1983). This theory has aroused strong response among educators in the United States and more than 20 countries and regions in the world since it was put forward. Due to the connotation of the theory is closely related to the quality-oriented education that is being advocated and implemented in China, China has introduced the theory of multiple intelligences more and more since the 1990s, and more and more realize the important value of the theory of multiple intelligences, believing that the theory of multiple intelligences is the best interpretation of quality-oriented education.
The theory of multiple intelligences provides teachers with a new vision for understanding students, which makes teachers have positive expectations for each student. In the teaching process, teachers are supposed to observe and evaluate students from multiple perspectives and focus on finding students' shining points and developing their potential. When evaluating students, teachers should adopt diversified assessment standards and methods and provide diversified feedback for students so that every student can get a sense of achievement. The traditional evaluation aims to help students identify the deficiencies in learning, close the “loopholes” of their learning, and play the diagnostic function and selection function of evaluation. So for the so-called “poor” students, evaluation often brings them a burden and psychological pressure, so that they lose the motivation to move up. The FA under the guidance of this theory helps teachers to discover students' performance in superior intelligence and encourage students to use their superior intelligence to transform inferior intelligence so that everyone's potential can be full tapped. Therefore, English teachers should implement FA as much as possible in their teaching process in order to tap students' development potential adequately.
2.3.3Communicative Competence Theory
Communicative competence theory was proposed by Dell Hymes of America. His theory of communicative competence caused a great sensation in linguistics and foreign language teaching at that time and brought about revolutionary changes. The widely used communicative teaching method is based on this theory. This theory has brought profound changes to foreign language teaching since it was put forward. Hymes believes that a person's potential ability includes not only language knowledge but also the ability to use it. That is to say, a person's knowledge is not only measured by how much he has mastered, but also whether he can use it flexibly and reasonably.
Canadian linguists Canale and Swain made an in-depth supplement to this theory in the 1980s and put forward a construction model of this theory. Bachman, an American linguist, further developed this theory in the early 1990s. Bachman believed that communicative competence should be called language competence, including the ability to organize language and the ability to apply language. At the same time, he placed emphasis on the application function of language. However, general communicative competence refers to the process of communication within a specific cultural scope with one's own national culture as the starting point and reference. It has distinct cultural limitations and the characteristics of rejecting other cultures. On the other hand, intercultural communication competence and communicative competence are also interrelated, and communicative competence is the foundation of intercultural communication competence.
The traditional evaluation method only plays emphasis on the final scores of students, but does not plays emphasis on the development of students' abilities. With the continuous progress of society, the students with high scores and low abilities cultivated under this evaluation model can no longer satisfy the needs of the country and society for a variety of talents. Especially for subjects that require practical ability like English, if students can only do exercises but not use English in communication, education will not play its proper role.
Meta-cognitive strategy was put forward by Flavel in the 1970s, and was also called introspective cognition which was regarded as a higher level psychological process. Meta-cognitive strategy refers to an individual's cognition of his own cognitive processes and his ability to monitor those processes. Meta-cognitive strategies can be roughly divided into the following three types: planning strategy, monitoring strategy and adjustment strategy.
Planning strategy includes setting learning objectives, browsing the reading material, generating questions to be answered, and analyzing how the learning task will be completed. Planning a study session is like a football coach making recommendations before a match based on the characteristics and appearances of the opposing team. Students should have a general “strategy” for each lesson, whether it is to complete assignments or prepare for tests. Successful students don't just wait for the teacher to inform the related content of examination. They always predict how long it
will take to complete assignments, obtain relevant information before writing, review notes before exams and organize study groups if necessary.
Monitoring strategy is to evaluate and feedback the results and deficiencies of cognitive activities according to the cognitive goals in the actual process of cognitive activities, correctly estimate the degree and level of their achievement of cognitive goals, and evaluate the effects of various cognitive actions and strategies according to the effectiveness criteria. When “successful” students study for a test, they will ask themselves questions and find out the chapter they don't understand. When their reading and note-taking methods won't work for, they will try other study strategies in order to grasp all the key knowledge as far as possible.
Adjustment strategy is based on monitoring strategy, if problems are found, then you can take corresponding remedial measures; Or according to the effect of cognitive strategy inspection, you can modify and adjust your cognitive strategies in time. Adjustment strategies can perfect students' learning habits and enhance their self-learning capacities.
Meta-cognitive strategy plays an obvious role in guiding students to identify their own learning capacity and learning outcomes. If students lack meta-cognitive strategies, and lack the ability to use meta-cognitive strategies, it is impossible to correctly understand themselves and regulate themselves. In the process of learning, students will find out a lot of learning strategies, but it is necessary to use meta-cognitive strategy to help students decide which strategy to use in which case.
In FA, students as the subjects of learning, should learn meta-cognitive strategies to plan, monitor and adjust their learning methods. In addition, teachers should popularize knowledge of meta-cognitive strategies for students and develop their awareness of self-reflection and self-assessment. Then teach students the method of self-assessment, so that students really participate in the evaluation process. Of course, the premise is that teachers should fully believe that students have the capacity to evaluate themselves.
Chapter Three Research Methodology
This chapter introduces the three questions of the study firstly. Then the author shares the participants of the study. Thirdly, the research instruments are introduced, including questionnaire, interview and classroom observation. And then the author describes the process of data collection and data analysis. Finally, the reliability and validity of the data are presented in the last part of this chapter.
On the basis of a review of related researches, this research aims to explore the status quo of applying FA in junior high school English teaching. The specific research questions are as follows:
(1)To what extent do English teachers know about the concept of FA?
(2)How do English teachers use FA in their teaching process?
(3)What are the problems and related causes of the implementation of FA?
This research involves the participation of 6 English teachers and 281 students they teach in Yantai xxx Middle School. Two English teachers and two corresponding classes were selected from Grade 6 to Grade 8 for this study. Because of the senior high school entrance examination, the author didn't take the Grade 9 students as research participants. The basic information of participants is presented in Table 3.1 and Table 3.2.
Table 3.1 Demographic Information of Research Participants (teachers)
Demographic characteristics Categories N Ratio
Gender Female 4 66.67%
Male 2 33.33%
Age 21-30 1 16.7%
31-40 4 66.66%
41-50 1 16.7%
Teaching age 1-5 years 1 16.7%
6-10 years 2 33.33%
11-20 years 2 33.33%
21-30 years 1 16.7%
Educational background Below bachelor's degree 2 33.33%
Bachelor's degree 3 50%
Master's degree 1 16.7%
Table 3.2 Demographic Information of Research Participants (students)
Demographic characteristics Categories N Ratio
grade Grade 6 90 32.03%
Grade 7 91 32.38%
Grade 8 100 35.59%
Three kinds of research instruments was used in this research, including questionnaire for students, interview for teachers and classroom observation to explore the current situation of the implementation of FA in junior high school English teaching.
This questionnaire is adapted from The Study of Formative Evaluation Applied to Junior High School English Teaching by Li Meijie in 2015 which is presented in Appendix One. It includes 23 closed items which are based on five-point Likert scale, ranging from “totally disagree (1 point)” to “totally agree (5 points)”. Other basic information (purpose, participants and content) about this questionnaire is as follows:
(1)Purpose of questionnaire
This questionnaire aims to investigate the subjects, content, forms and influence of FA used by English teachers in their teaching process. Through these four aspects, we really understand the basic current situation of FA used by junior high school English teachers in their teaching process.
(2)Participants of questionnaire
The author selected 281 students from Yantai xxx Middle School as participants of this questionnaire, including 90 students from Grade 6, 91 students from Grade 7 and 100 students from Grade 8.
(3)Content of questionnaire
This questionnaire includes four dimensions: the subjects, content, forms and influence of FA. Among them, the content are compiled according to the core competences advocated by the English Curriculum Standards for Senior High Schools (2020), which includes language ability, thinking capacity, cultural awareness and learning ability. The specific distribution of question types is shown in Table 3.3.
Table 3.3 Content of Questionnaire
Types of questions Related questions N of items
Subjects of FA 1-6 6
Content of FA 7-17 11
Forms of FA 18-20 3
Influence of FA 21-23 3
(1)Purpose of interview
The interview aims to understand the school's evaluation system, English teachers' cognition of FA and their methods of implementing. Finally, through the fourth question of the interview, the author understands teachers' suggestions on the implementation of FA, so as to provide reference opinions for teachers, schools and relevant education departments.
(2)Content of interview
The semi-structured interview includes four questions based on the three research questions in this study which are presented in Appendix Two. The four questions are as follows:
a.How much do you know about FA?
b.How does your school organize assessment?
c.Do you use FA in your teaching process? How exactly do you use it? Can you give me some examples?
d.What's your suggestions for the implementation of FA?
(3)Participants of interview
The participants of interview include six English teachers from grade 6 to grade 8. The basic information about the six English teachers is shown in Table 3.4.
Table 3.4 Basic Information about the Six English Teachers
Name Gender Age Teaching
Age Grade Educational
John Male 39 17 Grade 6 Below
Linda Female 40 18 Grade 6 Below
Mark Male 35 6 Grade 7 Master's degree
Shirley Female 32 5 Grade 7 Bachelor's degree
Lily Female 44 21 Grade 8 Bachelor's degree
Sophia Female 28 6 Grade 8 Bachelor's degree
(1)Purpose of classroom observation
The purpose of classroom observation is to further explore current situation of the use of FA. At the same time, classroom observation can also verify the accuracy of questionnaire data and interview data, so as to improve the authenticity of data.
(2)Content of classroom observation
In this study, an observation scale was selected from A Study on the Current Situation and Improvement Strategies of Junior Middle School EFL Teachers' Formative Assessment Literacy-A Case Study of Suixi Area in Anhui Province by Wang Zhenzhen in 2019 before classroom observation, so that the information the author wanted to collect could be collected more accurately. The observation scale is divided into four dimensions: assessment content, assessment forms, assessment subjects and evaluative feedback. The observation scale will be presented in Appendix Three.
(3)Participants of classroom observation
The participants of observation include six classes in xxx Junior High School (Class 6 and Class 9 of Grade 6, Class 3 and Class 5 of Grade 7 and Class 5 and Class 6 of Grade 8). The basic information of every class is presented in the following Table 3.5.
Table 3.5 Basic Information about the Six Classes
Class and Grade N English Teacher
Class6, Grade 6 47 Linda
Class9, Grade 6 43 John
Class3, Grade 7 48 Mark
Class5, Grade 7 43 Shirley
Class5, Grade 8 50 Sophia
Class6, Grade 8 50 Lily
3.4Data Collection and Data Analysis
Before questionnaire survey was administered, the author got approval from the head teacher in advance and tested its reliability and validity by SPSS 22.0. Before the formal start of the questionnaire, a unified oral instruction language was used to conduct the collective survey in the class, and the requirements were explained minutely to all participants. Students were required to fill in their personal information truthfully and complete all the questions within ten minutes. A total of 281 questionnaires were issued and 281 were recovered with a recovery rate of 100%. In designing the questionnaire, the author deliberately set up three reverse questions (Q5, Q13 & Q22) in order to eliminate invalid questionnaires. After statistics, a total of 11 invalid questionnaires were eliminated. And there are 270 valid questionnaires with an efficiency of 96.4%. After the questionnaire was collected, the author used EXCEL and SPSS 22.0 to analyze the obtained data.
After collecting the results of the questionnaire survey, the author sincerely invited these six English teachers to have a semi-structured interview. All the teachers showed enthusiasm and actively involved in the interview. The questions in this interview are compiled by the author according to the three research questions in this study and the questions in the questionnaire survey. During the interview, the author recorded the answers of the six English teachers interviewed with a recording software. After the interview, the author transcribed and analyzed the data collected from the recording.
After the questionnaire survey and interview, to ensure the authenticity and validity of the questionnaire survey results and interview results, the author observed three English classes in each of these six English teachers. Before the observation, the author developed the corresponding observation scale; During the classroom observation, the author recorded by the video in the back of the classroom so as not to disturb the normal teaching order. After the classroom observation, the author made statistics on the video data according to the observation scale.
3.5Reliability and Validity
In order to ensure the reliability of the questionnaire, the author sent the draft of the questionnaire to classmates for preliminary test before the formal distribution of the questionnaire, and SPSS22.0 was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire. The Cronbach's Alpha is always used to express the reliability of one questionnaire. If the Cronbach's Alpha>0.7, we can say the reliability of the questionnaire is good. From Table 3.6, we can observe that the Cronbach's Alpha of the questionnaire used in this survey is 0.941, which means the questionnaire is a reliable measurement tool.
Table 3.6 The Cronbach's Alpha of the Questionnaire
Cronbach's Alpha N of Items
In order to test the validity of the questionnaire used in this study, SPSS22.0 was used to conduct exploratory factor analysis of this questionnaire, and the results are shown in Table 3.7. In general, KMO>0.9 means the questionnaire is very suitable for factor analysis; The result of KMO and Bartlett test of this questionnaire presents the KMO is 0.906 and p<0.05, which means the questionnaire is very suitable for factor analysis.
Table 3.7 The KMO and Bartlett's Test of the Questionnaire
KMO and Bartlett's Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. .906
Bartlett's TestofSphericity Approx. Chi-Square 4175.605
Chapter Four Results and Discussion
This chapter shows the results and discussion of this study. Based on the three research questions mentioned above, the author designed relevant research methods to find the answers, including questionnaire, interview and classroom observation. According to the data collected by these research methods, the author carries out rigorous analysis and starts a series of discussions.
4.1Teachers' Cognition towards the Concept of Formative Assessment
In fact, teachers' cognition of FA will influence their application of FA in teaching practice, which is also the reason why the author investigates this question. In order to investigate this question, the author interviewed six English teachers. According to Li Meijie's classification method, the author divides teachers' cognition degree of FA into five levels as shown in Table 4.1
Table 4.1 Teachers' Cognition of Formative Assessment (Interview)
Cognition Degree N Ratio
English teachers can fully grasp its concept. 1 16.67%
English teachers can basically grasp its concept. 2 33.33%
English teachers have a partial understanding of its 2 33.33%
English teachers have heard of the concept, but not the 0 0
English teachers have never heard of this concept. 1 16.67%
According to Table 4.1, we can easily draw the conclusion that in the six English teachers, only one English teacher can fully grasp its concepts, principles and operating methods; Two English teachers can basically grasp its concepts, principles and operating methods; Two English teachers have a partial understanding of its concepts, principles and operating methods; And only one English teacher has never heard of FA. From what has discussed above, we can easily come to a conclusion that 83.33% of English teachers have heard FA and have different degrees of understanding of it. For example, when the author asked the six English teachers Q1, Sophia said that “I am not familiar with the specific concept of FA actually, but I have a general idea of what it means. FA generally refers to the assessment of children according to their performance in the teaching process. Its main function is to find children's problems in time to help them correct. I think FA is very important for children.” And Mark's reply is that “I know FA is also called process assessment, which is not based on a single exam, but is used in the teaching process. But in order to take the high school entrance exam-oriented teaching system, we usually do not use too much in our teaching process. Although this kind of assessment has great effect on students, it is difficult to implement in middle schools. I think it is easier to implement in universities.”
From the answers of the above two teachers, we can see that most English teachers have some understanding towards the concept of FA. They all think that FA is very important for students' learning, but some teachers still think that FA is contrary to the current high school entrance examination system, so they do not advocate too much use of FA in the teaching process. As for John who had never heard of FA, after the author gave him some examples, he said, “I also use these assessment methods, but I have never heard of this concept.” According to Constructive Learning Theory, teachers' cognition of FA has great influence on its implementation. Therefore, in order to improve the implementation level of English teachers, we must first improve their cognitive level.
4.2Implementation of Formative Assessment
In order to grasp the implementation status of FA, the author issued questionnaires to 281 students ofYantai xxx Middle School and systematically counted the data. In this questionnaire, Q1 to Q6 mainly investigate the subjects of FA; Q7 to Q17 mainly investigate the content of FA; Q18 to Q20 mainly investigate the forms of FA; Q21 to Q23 mainly investigate the influence of FA to students. In order to ensure the reliability and validity of the data, the author also interviewed six English teachers. Besides, the author also observed the classes of the six English teachers after the questionnaire survey and interview to observe whether teachers actually use these assessment methods in their teaching process and how they use it. The data and its related analysis of questionnaire survey, interview and classroom observation are as follows.
4.2.1Subjects of Formative Assessment
Firstly, the author investigated the subjects of FA through questions 1 to 6. Before setting up these six questions, the author referred to Ding Lina's paper Survey on the Implementation of Formative Assessment in Junior Middle School English, thus determining the subjects of FA includes four: teachers, parents, students themselves, and students' peers. The first question examines whether students reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses in English learning. Q2 to Q3 examine whether parents participate in the assessment process of students and students' cognition of parents assessment. Q4 to Q5 examine whether the English teacher asked the students to evaluate each other and students' cognition ofpeer assessment. Question 6 examines the participation English teachers in the process of assessment. Students' answers to items 1-6 are shown in Table 4.2, and the analysis results are as follows.
Table 4.2 Subjects of Formative Assessment (Questionnaire)
N Min Max Mean Std.
Q1: I often reflect on my disadvantages and advantages in English learning. 270 1 5 3.77 1.053
Q2: My parents often evaluate my English learning. 270 1 4 3.56 0.842
Q3: I think my parents' assessment is very helpful to my English learning. 270 3 5 4.41 0.760
Q4: Our teacher often encourages us to evaluate each other. 270 1 5 3.78 1.057
Q5: I think peer assessment can improve my English learning. 270 3 5 4.35 0.709
Q6: Teacher assessment always plays a leading role in my assessment of academic achievement. 270 2 5 4.42 0.78
According to the data of Q1, we can see that students' answers to this question are not uniform. When asked if they reflected on themselves, some students said “totally disagree”, while others said “totally agree” (Min is 1 and Max is 5). As the average is 3.77, we can see that the self-reflection ability of junior high school students is not strong enough. Of course, it can also be learned that junior high school English teachers seldom ask students to evaluate themselves. When asked about this question, Mark replied, “After the quizzes, I will compare their scores vertically and horizontally. If I find that some students have fallen behind or are partial to the subject, I will talk to him or her alone so that they can reflect on themselves. I rarely ask them to reflect on
themselves in written form, rather in oral form. But there is not enough time to talk to every student.” From this teacher's answer, we can learn why some students say “totally disagree”, while others say “totally agree”.
According to the data of Q2, the mean value of this question is 3.56, which means that it is obvious that junior high school English teachers seldom involve parents in the assessment of students, and some parents even never evaluate students' performance in learning process. When asked about this, Sophia replied, “I sometimes ask parents to check students' homework and sign under it, but I rarely ask their parents to do this because I know they are very busy with their work. In fact, I have a lot contact with parents than before. Since the implementation of the Double Reduction Policy, neither students nor their parents know their grades, so we will talk to the parents of students who have fallen back significantly.” It can be seen from this teacher's words that parents had few opportunities to take part in the assessment of students before, but the Double Reduction Policy has strengthened the relationship between teachers and parents now. According to the mean value of Q3, we know that parents assessment on their children is actually very necessary, because most children think that parents assessment is very conducive to their English study.
From the data of Q4, we can see that the mean value of it is 3.78. That is to say, teachers do not give students many opportunities to evaluate each other. When asked about this question, John said, “The junior high school students are too young to evaluate others, so I will not let the students evaluate each other.” And Mark said, “We have held a food festival before. Students work in small groups and prepare their own food. After cooking, students in other groups will have a taste. Before tasting, students will first introduce their own dishes in English to other groups. After tasting, students in other groups will evaluate and score the group. Activities like this, while really good for kids, do require a lot of time, and we can' t afford to devote a lot of time to these activities”. And Shirley told the author that “in her classes, when one group are having a free talk, other students are asked to listen to them carefully and write down their problems on their textbooks”. From the three teachers' answers, we can see that the current situation of peer assessment has made some progress. Of course, we can also conclude some problems from their answers. For example, some teachers think time is not enough, while others think junior high school students' assessment ability is not enough. However, the average value of Q5 is 4.35, which means students do really need peer assessment in their English learning.
According to the data of Q6, the average value is as high as 4.42. Therefore, we can easily draw the conclusion that junior high school English teachers still play a leading role in the assessment process.
All in all, according to the analysis of the data collected above, we can know that the current assessment in junior high school English teaching is still dominated by teacher assessment, followed by peer assessment, self-assessment, and parents assessment. And data from classroom observation can also confirm this conclusion, as shown in Figure 4.1.
Figure 4.1 Subjects of Formative Assessment (Classroom Observation)
4.2.2Content of Formative Assessment
Table 4.3 Content of Formative Assessment (Questionnaire)
N Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Q7: Our teacher often tests my English listening. 270 3 5 4.43 0.762
Q8: Our teacher always corrects my pronunciation. 270 2 5 4.17 0.936
Q9: Our teacher always lets us have a free talk. 270 2 5 3.92 1.057
Q10: Our teacher always tests my reading skills. 270 3 5 4.37 0.708
Q11: Our teacher always tests my writing skills. 270 2 5 3.85 1.049
Q12: Our teacher always plays video in class or presents the teaching content with tables or pictures. 270 3 5 4.41 0.775
Q13: Our teacher always dictates English words. 270 3 5 4.50 0.564
Q14: Our teacher always tests my understanding of sentence function. 270 1 5 3.81 1.065
Q15: Our teacher always evaluates my method of learning English. 270 1 5 3.74 1.093
Q16: Our teacher always tests my understanding ofwestern culture. 270 2 5 3.79 1.053
Q17: Our teacher always tests our 270 2 4 3.03 0.753
creative thinking or critical thinking.
Then the author investigated the content of FA through questions 7 to 17. These questions were designed according to the thesis The Study of Formative Assessment Applied to Junior High School English Teaching by Li Meijie in 2015 and core competencies advocated by English Curriculum Standards for General Senior High Schools (2017 Edition, 2020 Revision). Among them, Q7 to Q14 examine English teachers' assessment of students' language ability; Question 15 is students' learning ability; Questions 16 is students' cultural awareness; Questions 17 is students' thinking capacity. Students' answers to items 7-17 are shown in Table 4.3.
According to the data of Q7 to Q14 in Table 4.3, junior high school English teachers test the most is the students' vocabulary memorization situation with the average value of 4.5. We know that English teachers still places the most emphasis on students' learning and mastering of English words. The second component of language ability is English listening with the average value of 4.43. Obviously, junior high schools have attached more importance to the students' English listening. And the third component is viewing ability with the average value of 4.41. English Curriculum Standards for General Senior High Schools (2017 Edition, 2020 Revision) add the viewing ability to the original four abilities (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Increasing the ability of “viewing” is mainly due to the continuous enrichment of teaching resources in the current English learning process, which has exerted a non-negligible influence on traditional teaching, and such resources play an essential role in promoting listening, speaking, reading and writing. Obviously, the objects to view include graphics and images, video and audio, and even real objects and scenes. Then the fourth one is students' reading ability with the average value of 4.37. And next one is students' oral expression ability. However, it can be seen from the data that junior high school English teachers' assessment of students' oral expression ability is more focused on students' pronunciation with the average value of 4.17, and students are not given enough opportunities to talk freely (the average value of Q9 is 3.92). The fifth one is writing skills with the average value of 3.85. Obviously, the examination and assessment of English writing skills is still not enough in the current junior high schools.
And the last one is students' understanding of sentence function with the average value of 3.81. It can be seen that English teachers pay more attention to students' grasp of basic knowledge than their understanding of these knowledge. This will not be conducive to improving students' ability to transfer knowledge and innovate. This also goes against core competencies advocated by curriculum standards.
According to the data of Q15 in Table 4.3, teachers attach less importance to students' learning methods with the average value of3.74. Like learning ability, teachers also attach less importance to students' learning methods with the average value of3.79. And according to the data of Q17, it can be seen that English teachers do not pay enough attention to the cultivation of students' innovation capacity or critical thinking with the average value of 3.03. That is to say, junior high school English teachers do not pay much attention to the cultivation of students' thinking capacity.
After collecting and analyzing the data of the questionnaire survey, the author also interviewed these six English teachers for the content of FA. When asked about the Q3 of interview outline, Sophia's reply is that “I use FA a lot in my teaching. Like the students after dictation of words, phrases or sentences, I will statistics their grades after correcting, and then find the students with poor grades to have a talk. If the students have made great progress, I will write detailed comments in their notebooks to encourage them. In this way, they will be more confident and their interest in learning English will increase. Besides, such as their homework or quizzes, I also evaluate students in this way. If a student writes a good essay, I will also ask the student to share it in class and give him or her extra points, which would also encourage other students to learn from the excellent student.”
And Mark said that “we will have a free talk for five minutes before class. I will give them a topic and the students will communicate with each other in groups. During their conversations, I would write down their wrong words or grammars on the blackboard, and finally give them points according to their comprehensive performance. If I think a student's pronunciation is good, I will praise him or her in class, and if a student's pronunciation is not good enough, I will ask him or her to practice follow the tape after class. In addition, if students do good English hand-copied paper, I will post their works on the display wall and give them credit. For the children who are not good enough, I will not criticize them, but encourage them.”
In addition, John said that “our school allows students to practice their English listening and speaking on EKWING.COM. After students finish their daily tasks, I will evaluate them on this website according to their performance. If they are excellent, I will give them little colorful flags. The next day, I would also give them praise and bonus points in my class, and for students who did not perform well, I would talk to them after class. In addition, the website will also have a colorful flags list, attendance list and PK list. Different lists show students' different abilities, which can give more students the chance to be on the list, thus giving them the motivation to study English.”
Through the data of questionnaire and interview, we can know that the frequency of using FA in junior high schools has increased a lot and the content of FA is more diversified. Among the four dimensions of core competencies, English teachers evaluate students' language ability the most, students' cultural awareness the second, and students' learning ability the third and students' thinking quality the least. And data from classroom observation can also confirm this conclusion, as shown in Figure 4.2.
As can be clearly seen from Figure 4.2, the assessment of language ability is as high as 73.6%; the assessment of cultural awareness accounts for 10.10% of the total; the assessment of learning ability accounts for 9.00% of the total; and the assessment of thinking capacity accounts for 7.30% of the total. From the data of classroom observation, we can see that the conclusion of classroom observation is consistent with the conclusion of questionnaire, which means our data is reliable and valid. From the data, we can see that in the four dimensions, except for language ability, the assessment of other three dimensions is very few, which is indeed contrary to the core literacy advocated by English curriculum standards.
Figure4.2 Content ofFormative Assessment (Classroom Observation)
4.2.3Forms of Formative Assessment
As for the forms of FA, the author investigated two main forms in the questionnaire survey: written comments and oral comments. The data are shown in Table 4.4.
Table4.4 Forms ofFormative Assessment (Questionnaire)
N Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Q18: Teacher often evaluate me in the form ofgrades. 270 3 5 4.05 0.798
Q19: My teacher often adds detailed comments to my exercise books. 270 2 5 3.78 1.049
Q20: My teacher always evaluate students in the form of oral 270 3 5 4.37 0.708
As for the form of teachers' written comments, we can see that instead of writing detailed comments, teachers often use the form of grades to evaluate students (the average value of Q18 is 4.05 and the average value of 19 is 3.78). From the data of Q20, it can be seen that the English teachers in this school always evaluate students in the form of oral comments with the average value of 4.37. We can also draw a conclusion that instead of writing comments, teachers often use the oral comments to evaluate students. As for the specific oral comments of teachers in classroom, the author observed four kinds in the six teachers' classes: classroom questioning, test, product analysis and homework. And the frequencies used in these forms are shown in Figure 4.3.
Figure 4.3 Forms of Formative Assessment (Classroom Observation)
From Figure 4.3, we can clearly see that the main content of junior high school
English teacher assessment is the content of classroom questioning which accounts for
69.7%; The second is the assessment of the students' test which accounts for 12.9%;
The third is the assessment of students' homework which accounts for 11.8%, and the
last one is the analysis of students' products which accounts for 5.6%. Since classroom
observation could not observe whether teachers used written comments, the author
interviewed six English teachers after class. The interview question is whether they
write detailed comments for their students. Teacher Lily, Linda, Shirley and Sophia said that they sometimes write detailed comments on students' test paper or homework; While teacher John and Mark said that they rarely write detailed comments for students. Thus, we can draw a conclusion that female English teachers are more likely than male English teachers to use written comments.
4.3Problems and Related Causes of the Implementation of Formative
Through the above data analysis, as well as other data obtained from questionnaire, interview and classroom observation, the author summarizes five problems of the implementation of FA in current junior high school English teaching and explores the related causes.
4.3.1The Deficiency of Teachers' Cognition
According to the interview data of teachers, most teachers do not have an accurate cognition of the concept, principles and methods of FA. Some teachers have not even heard of FA. This results in the inability to give full play to the maximum value of FA for students. After the interview, the author summarized several possible reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, as Lily said, this school has not trained teachers about teaching assessment. Secondly, if an old teacher like John does not keep pace with the times, he will have a poor understanding of the current educational situation. Thirdly, influenced by exam-oriented education, teachers always misunderstand FA. Teachers always think that FA will hinder the development of students, but the fact is just the opposite. As can be seen from Table 4.5, in fact, FA has a great impact on students, and most of them believe that FA can improve their enthusiasm in English learning (the average value of Q21 is 4.02) and is helpful to their English learning to varying degrees (the average value of Q22 is 4.03). In addition, when asked whether FA had more influence on students than exams, most students said yes (the average value ofQ23 is 4).
That is to say, for students, FA is more important than SA, which also brings English teachers more thinking.
Table 4.5 Influence of Formative Assessment (Questionnaire)
N Min Max Mean Std. Deviation
Q21: I think assessment in English learning can improve my enthusiasm in English learning. 270 1 5 4.02 1.065
Q22: I think assessment in English learning is very helpful to my English learning. 270 3 5 4.03 0.780
Q23: I think assessment in the learning process is more helpful to me than the final examination. 270 1 5 4 1.067
4.3.2The Singleness of Assessment Subject
According to the data of the questionnaire, teachers are still the main body of assessment. Through the data of classroom observation, it is also clear that teachers play a dominant role in assessment (Teacher assessment accounts for 81.5%). It can be seen that the subject of FA is relatively single, which ignores the participation of students as well as the importance of home-school cooperation. When asked why this happened, the teachers expressed their different views. John said “I usually don't ask students to evaluate themselves or their peers, because I think students are too young to evaluate themselves or others.” However, Shirley said that it was a waste of time to ask students to evaluate each other. Students are under a lot of learning pressure and don't have much time to do these activities. And Sophia, Lily and Mark all said that they did not have much contact with students' parents before. Nevertheless, after the implementation of the Double Reduction Policy, they have more contact with students' parents than before. They all expressed the necessity ofevaluating students with their parents.
In the course of the interview, Mark told the author about a case: A mother of a student in his class called him to inquire about her son's situation in school. To the mother's surprise, Mark said that her son was usually very active at school. As in this mother's mind, her son has always been introverted and not very talkative. Later Mark found out that the mother had been a soldier and had implemented military management on her child, which led to her child feeling particularly depressed at home. After her communication with teacher Mark, the mother reflected on her management style, so that the child can maintain a happy state of mind at home now. Through this case, we can find the importance of cooperation between parents and teachers, only in this way, can we ensure the healthy growth of children.
As the master of learning, students should participate in their own assessment process. Similarly, students, as developing people, may indeed have low meta-cognitive ability, so they need teachers to teach them meta-cognitive strategies to find their shortcomings in the process of evaluating themselves so as to improve themselves. Peer assessment is also very important, because in the process of students' mutual assessment, students can notonlyfind theirown shortcomings, learn from others' strengths, butalso exercise students' communication, cooperation ability and interpersonal skills. To sum up, teacher assessment, parents assessment, peer assessment and self-assessment are all indispensable.
It is undeniable that at present, many junior high school English teachers have realized the importance of FA and have changed a lot. For example, in Shirley's class, when a group is having a free talk, she will ask other students to listen carefully and point out the group's mistakes, and then give one point to the students who point out others' mistakes. The statistical period of points is one week, and the group or individual with the highest points will get a gift. This is a successful case of peer assessment, because it will greatly improve students' attention and enthusiasm in class. However, in the interview, Shirley said that because these gifts are bought for students with her own money, sometimes the high cost will lead to a decline in the quality of gifts or a reduction in the number of gifts, so she hopes to get financial support from her school or the government. In class observation, the author also observed that Lily had a similar assessment way with Shirley. She would show students' writings in class and ask other students to look for mistakes or better ways to express a sentence. Similarly, the students who answered would get one point. This assessment method can not only improve students' writing level, but also enhance their confidence in English writing learning. To sum up, it is true that teachers are still the main figure of FA at present, but many teachers have come to realize that the evaluation of students by other subjects is essential to their development in all aspects. It is worth noting that teachers find it difficult to carry out their evaluation methods due to the lack of financial support from schools or the government.
4.3.3The Malconformation of Assessment Content
According to the data of questionnaire survey and classroom observation, students' language ability is the most frequently evaluated, while the other three aspects are less evaluated. Through the investigation, the author found that teachers' English academic assessment content rarely involves students' English learning strategies, attitudes, habits, emotions, cooperation and cross-cultural awareness. The assessment content is basically based on vocabulary and grammar. According to Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, there are eight types of human intelligence, and they come in different combinations. Therefore, in order to fully tap the potential of children, the content of assessment should be diversified. As for the reasons for this phenomenon, the author summarizes the following points based on the interview data and relevant literature.
Firstly, the traditional thought of exam-oriented education is deeply rooted. Teachers generally believe that high school entrance examination results have a great impact on students and even their families. If students don't get high grades, it will affect their future. Therefore, the high school entrance examination has become a focal point about which schools, teachers and parents are concerned, and the examination scope of the high school entrance examination has become the main or even the whole content of evaluating students' English level.
Secondly, the assessment literacy of all subjects is not up to the requirements. The assessment process of FA is more complicated, which puts forward higher requirements for the assessment subjects, requiring them to evaluate objectively and fairly, requiring them to have some assessment knowledge, and to view the assessment results correctly. But for now, teachers, students and parents are falling short. For example, FA has high requirements on teachers, who should not only have a systematic knowledge of English subject and professional skills, but also have keen multicultural qualities. In the interview, teacher Sophia said, “Because I know too little about western culture, I can't discuss more western culture with my students.” From the teacher's words, we can see that the assessment quality of teachers can have a great impact on the assessment effect. In the questionnaire survey, we can see from Table 4.2 that the average score of students' self-assessment is 3.77, while the average score ofpeer assessment is 3.78. It can be seen that students' assessment ability still needs to be strengthened. Of course, it also requires parents and teachers to make joint efforts to cultivate students' self-assessmentabilityandtheabilitytoevaluateothers. FromQ2ofTable4.2,itcanbe seen that the average score for parents' assessment is even lower. In other words, the frequency of parental participation in student academic assessment is very low. It also shows the lack of home-school cooperation. Similarly, the improvement of parents assessment also needs the joint efforts of teachers and schools. In this regard, many teachers said that since the implementation of the Double Reduction Policy, they have more contact with students' parents than before. They will communicate with parents about their students' school situation and academic performance, so that parents can more fully understand their children's school situation, so as to evaluate their children based on evidence.
To sum up, whether the assessment content is comprehensive or not is closely related to the assessment accomplishment of teachers. In order to give students a more comprehensive assessment, teachers should first have more comprehensive knowledge and ability. Secondly, due to the diversity of assessment subjects, the joint efforts of all
assessment subjects are needed to enrich the content of assessment. That is to say, in addition to the efforts of teachers, it also needs the joint efforts of students and parents. Only in this way, can the assessment content be richer.
4.3.4The Singleness of Assessment Form
According to the data of questionnaire survey, teachers mainly evaluate students in the form of grades and asking questions in class. Other forms of assessment are rare. The relatively single assessment method is difficult to comprehensively judge students' English learning level, and is not conducive to teachers' timely discovery and remedy of students' English learning deficiencies. Therefore, teachers should adopt diversified evaluation standards and methods and provide diversified feedback for students so that every student can get a sense of achievement. For example, if a child's academic performance is not good enough, but he did well in his homework, the teacher can write detailed comments on the student's exercise book to show encouragement, so as to strengthen their motivation and enhance their self-confidence. For example, if a student has done a good job in handwriting, he can also be praised in class.
All in all, there are a lot of assessment forms, like the assessment with classroom learning assessment table, classroom learning activity assessment table, interview outline, study portfolio, and assessment of various themes (English learning situation questionnaire, the family English learning assessment table, the English group learning activity assessment), etc. which can be applied to the usual teaching, in order to carry out a more comprehensive assessment of students, promote the development of students in a more comprehensive way.
There are several reasons why FA forms are single and old-fashioned. In the interview, John said, “Apart from teaching, I have a lot of other work to do. As a result, I have less time to spend with my students. I don't have much time to explore effective ways to evaluate students. I can only make simple and basic assessment.” Therefore, the first reason for teachers to explore new forms of assessment is the lack of time. In addition to the time problem, some teachers said that they did not know much about the 48
forms of FA, so they did not know what other forms of assessment could be used in addition to the basic forms of classroom questioning. Therefore, we can attribute the problem to the lack of teacher training. In brief, the problem of the outdated form of teacher assessment is not only related to teachers, but also to the education departments and schools. Therefore, in order to enrich the forms of FA, it needs the joint efforts of the education departments, schools and teachers.
4.3.5The Irrationality of Feedback
Evaluative feedback is the teacher's assessment of the student's answers in the form of language. This form of feedback is considered as a “judgment” on the learner's performance (Cullen, 2002). As for the evaluative feedback, the author observed the classes of these six English teachers according to the classroom observation scale, and theobservationdataisshowninTable4.6.AccordingtoTable4.6,itcanbeclearlyseen that general feedback accounts for 71.9%, while specific feedback only accounts for 5.6%. Through this data, we can conclude that the first shortcoming of teacher evaluative feedback is that the feedback information is too general. In the classroom observation, the author also found that the most common feedback used by English teachers were “good”, “well done”, “nice” and other very general words or phrases. Specific feedback was scarce. Generally speaking, these simple words can not satisfy the students' desire for more detailed feedback. Students always want to get positive reasons and further explanation from the teacher. Nunan (1991) also pointed out that such overly general and mechanized feedback is problematic. If teachers' feedback is always too general, the intrinsic value of feedback will be reduced. Rather than simply praising students with “Good”, specific assessment will give students a more accurate idea of what actions they will be praised for. Of course, some teachers also use specific feedback. For example, when Sophia was teaching Unit 2 in English textbook for grade 8, she asked the students to share their problems. One little girl said she felt she was too fat. Then the teacher gave her feedback, “I don't think you are fat. On the contrary, I think you are very beautiful.” I believe that this seemingly simple sentence can make the little girl more confident in the future.
It can be seen from the classroom observation data that the second problem of teachers' evaluative feedback is that there is no feedback, accounting for 17.4%. That is to say, many teachers do not give any feedback after the students have answered the questions sometimes. For example, in Mark's class, after the students answered the questions, he just sat the students down without giving any feedback on their answers, even though the students gave a correct answer. This will deal a big blow to students' enthusiasm to answer questions.
Through the data observed in class, we can observe a good phenomenon, that is, when teachers evaluate students, they use more positive assessment words, accounting for 67.4%; On the other hand, the ratio of negative assessment words was only 10.1%. As we all know, FA with praise is helpful to stimulate their learning motivation and boost their self-confidence.
Table 4.6 Evaluative Feedback (Classroom Observation)
Feedback N Ratio
positive, specific 8 4.5%
positive, general 112 62.9%
negative, specific 2 1.1%
negative, general 16 9.0%
nonverbal 9 5.1%
no feedback 31 17.4%
As for the reasons for these problems, according to the interview, most of the teachers said that because there were many test sites in the high school entrance examination and many learning content in class, so they would not spend too much time on the assessment of students. And there are about 50 students in each class, so it is very difficult for teachers to correct students' homework on time, much less to write detailed comments for students. At the same time, this is why the evaluative feedback is too general. Besides, as we all know, theory is the foundation of teaching practice. Therefore, as Zhang Danning said, teachers should continue to further study curriculum reform to establish a new concept of evaluative feedback and some related theories of pedagogical psychology so as to provide theoretical support for teaching practice, which can help teachers make more targeted evaluative feedback on students and achieve the best teaching effect.
To sum up, we can see that there are still many shortcomings in the application of FA. The reasons for these deficiencies are also diverse and multifaceted, including the country, the examination system, schools, families and students. This proves that the effective promotion of FA depends on the efforts of teachers, students, parents, schools and other educational departments. In the process of implementing FA, teachers should strengthen communication with all aspects and strive for understanding and support from other aspects, so as to better implement FA and enhance their own assessment literacy. Therefore, we know that there is still a long way to go for the perfection of FA, and its perfection also needs the joint efforts of all parties.
Chapter Five Conclusion
The main findings of this study are summarized in this chapter firstly. Then, the implications of this study are elaborated systematically. Finally, the limitations of this study are indicated. The major findings are elaborated from three aspects: teachers' cognition on FA, the implementation methods of FA and the problems and related causes of FA implemented in junior high schools. As for the implications, the author mainly talk about six aspects in order to enhance the implementation of FA in junior high schools. As for the limitations of this study, the author identifies three aspects that may reduce the validity of this study: limitations of the geographical location, participants and time.
5.1Major Findings of the Study
As for the major findings of this study, the author makes the following summary based on the three research questions mentioned in chapter 3 research methodology and the research results in Chapter 4.
5.1.1Teachers' Cognition towards the Concept of FA
Through interviews with six English teachers in Yantai xxx Middle School, we know that most English teachers have had a certain understanding of the concept of FA. However, it is worth noting that most teachers' understanding of FA is not comprehensive enough, and some teachers even have a wrong idea about it. Some teachers believe that the implementation of FA is a waste of time, can not promote students' English learning, and has little practical value. And they even think that it is against the high school entrance examination system. There is even a teacher who have never heard of FA. It can be seen that many teachers have not formed a correct and in-depth understanding of the value, principles and implementation strategies of FA, so that most students and parents feel very strange to FA and cannot cooperate with teachers to conduct it.
Scientific evaluation concept is the premise of effective implementation of FA and the important guarantee of successful implementation of FA. First of all, teachers should delve deeply into the curriculum standards and understand the latest educational concepts and evaluation requirements. Secondly, teachers should constantly strengthen the study of professional theoretical knowledge, timely understand the development of students' academic evaluation, and absorb new evaluation methods. Finally, teachers should strive to be qualified developers and researchers of FA.
5.1.2Implementation of FA
Firstly, after the investigation of the subjects of FA, the author found that the current English classroom assessment in junior high schools is still dominated by teacher assessment, and the assessment from other subjects is very few. After interviewing the six English teachers, the author found that the reason was not that the teachers did not realize the importance of diversified assessment subjects, but that they thought the students were too young to evaluate themselves or others. As for parents assessment, many teachers said that they failed to communicate with parents about their students' school situation in time because they thought parents were too busy with their work. However, since the implementation of the Double Reduction Policy, the contact between teachers and parents has greatly increased. Besides, most of the teachers believe that the home-school cooperation is beneficial to students and will continue to do that.
Secondly, through the investigation of the assessment content, the author found that teachers' assessment of students mainly focused on the language ability of students whose content closes to the content of the high school entrance examination most. However, there are few assessments on students' thinking capacity, cultural awareness
and learning ability, which can also reveal that teachers pay the most attention to students' language ability. Nevertheless, this does not mean that teachers do not play emphasis on the cultivation of students' core literacy. Because through the interview and classroom observation, the author found that English teachers have made a lot of progress in professional literacy, and are trying to improve their own assessment ability. However, there are still many loopholes in the application of FA for many different reasons. For example, some teachers said that because they know little about western culture, so they cannot effectively evaluate students' cultural awareness; Some teachers are unable to pay attention to other aspects of students in the course of lesson preparation because of numerous tasks outside teaching; Some teachers can't cultivate students' thinking abilities due to their low critical thinking and creative thinking.
And Finally, when we talk about the forms of FA, there are two forms come to mind firstly: written comments and oral comments. In written comments, English teachers used the most grades; In oral assessment, what teachers evaluate most in class is how students answer questions. From the above conclusions, we can see that the current form of junior high school English teacher assessment is still very traditional. Of course, this does not mean that teachers think other forms of assessment are not important. On the contrary, they think they are very important. For example, the presentation of students' achievements can improve their self-confidence; Writing detailed comments for students' work shows teachers' respect for students' homework and so on. So why don't teachers use these forms of assessment more often? Most of the teachers said it was the lack of time, because they had too many other tasks besides teaching, sometimes they could not seriously correct students' homework, let alone prepare other forms of assessment. In addition, during the interview with teachers, the author also found the Yantai xxx Middle School attaches great importance to the students' English “listening” and “speaking” abilities, so it places great emphasis on the use of EKWING.COM. Through this network, teachers can greatly enhance the efficiency of checking students' completion of homework. The convenience provided by information technology enables teachers and students involve in the evaluation process together, and continuously obtain real-time information feedback to achieve the purpose of promoting teaching and learning, ensuring the efficiency of evaluation. The development of information technology has undoubtedly improved the efficiency of foreign language teaching and evaluation, but whether educational technology can effectively improve the validity of teaching and evaluation really determines the value and necessity of online evaluation model. In other words, if we want to give full play to the role of information technology in education, we must find an effective way to perfect the combination of the two.
5.1.3Problems and Related Causes of the Implementation of FA
As for the implementation shortcomings of FA, the author found the following five points: (1) the deficiency of teachers' cognition; (2) the singleness of assessment subject; (3) the malconformation of assessment content; (4) the singleness of assessment form; (5) the irrationality of feedback. As for the causes of these problems, the author summarizes the following four aspects according to the interview data and literature references:
Firstly, it's about the impact of the high school entrance examination on students, parents and teachers. As for the Chinese, the high school entrance examination is second only to the college entrance examination. Therefore, the examination scope of the high school entrance examination has become the main and even the whole content of teachers assessment of students' English learning level. In the interviews with teachers, most teachers said that the current focus of junior high school English education is still grades and tutoring students to help them enter high school smoothly, without considering the requirements of FA and society's need for talented person.
Secondly, the assessment literacy of subjects is not enough. First of all, the assessment literacy of English teachers is not enough. Most English teachers have not systematically studied FA, and their understanding of some non-testing assessment methods is only at the perceptual stage. Therefore, they can't master the operation methods of FA accurately. In addition, teachers lack the consciousness of self-renewal and professional development, and do not timely learn advanced student academic assessment theories according to relevant regulations and realistic needs. Secondly, limitations of parents. Many parents are in business who said that they are too busy to teach their children. And most of them feel that their own education level is not enough, so they sometimes do not cooperate with teachers and the school. Last but not least, limitations of students themselves. First of all, they do not develop the habit of self-restraint and active learning, nor do they have the consciousness of self-reflection and self-assessment; Then due to the limitation of students' ability, self-assessment and mutual assessment are only superficial and cannot be deeply evaluated. To sum up, to give full play to the role of FA, only the efforts of teachers and schools are far from enough. Besides teachers and schools, our country, parents and students also need to make some efforts.
Thirdly, it's about the lack of support from education departments and schools. In the interview with six teachers, some teachers said that they did not use FA because they had too many tasks other than teaching and did not have enough time to prepare for FA or other teaching activities. And some teachers said that in the process of conducting FA, all the gifts given to students are purchased at their own expense. After a long time, it will cause financial burden to them and make it difficult to continue these incentive programs. Therefore, they hope to receive financial support from schools or education departments to ensure the smooth progress of FA.
5.2Implications of the Study
Based on the research results, discussion in chapter 4 and references, the author puts forward some suggestions on the deficiencies and related causes of the implementation of FA.
Firstly, education departments and schools should strengthen relevant knowledge training for teachers. For a long time, China's teacher education (including normal university students training and teachers continuing education) has paid relatively little attention to classroom assessment. Many teachers have not received relevant training or received less training, resulting in their understanding and behavior deviation of FA. Teacher education institutions should consciously strengthen relevant training in teacher training, and teaching research departments should also strengthen relevant discussions in teaching and research activities, so that teachers can accurately understand the nature of FA, master the basic strategies of FA, and improve the ability of implementing FA. For example, during the author's internship in Yantai xxx Middle School, the author once attended Lv Yanqin's lecture on “Cultivating Students' Core Literacy”. During the lecture, Lv placed a strong emphasis on the importance of FA and provided a template for teachers to prepare lessons. She divides the whole teaching process into three steps: before teaching, while teaching and after teaching. Firstly, there are three parts in “before teaching”: planning, preparation and assessment. In this assessment, teachers should know how to test whether teaching aims are achieved; And teachers should also know what kind of students' behaviors should be encouraged in class. Second, the step of “while teaching” also includes three parts: management, organization and assessment. In class, teachers should grasp the opportunity of assessment, use appropriate assessment methods, choose the correct assessment content and master the assessment technology. Last but not least, the step of “after teaching” also includes three parts: homework, assessment and feedback. In this assessment, teachers should know how to use these evaluative results. Only integrating teaching, learning and evaluation, can we achieve teaching aims more effectively. In addition, teachers should also learn various teaching theories to support their teaching, such as meta-cognitive strategies, multiple intelligences theory and communicative competence theory.
Secondly, we should advocate the diversification of assessment subjects. The subjects of multiple assessment should include teachers, students themselves, students' peers and parents. Multiple assessment subjects can improve the assessment reliability and make the effectiveness more scientific. As for students, teachers should first overcome the opinion that students cannot evaluate themselves or their peers well, and should trust students. Teachers should explain to students the positive significance of students' participation in their assessment, and then guide students to jointly select assessment content and establish assessment standards. At the same time, questionnaire, self assessment scale and other means can help with students' self-assessment and self-reflection. Then, teachers should supervise the implementation of students' self-assessment and reflection. If necessary, teachers should also give appropriate help and feedback, gradually cultivate the students' self-assessment and self error correction ability. When inviting parents as the subjects of students' academic assessment, teachers can first show the staged achievements of students to parents and attract parents' attention to FA. And then teachers can publicize the significance of FA to parents by means of parents' meetings, symposiums, leaflets and advertisement columns. And competent parents are invited to participate in the formulation and discussion of the content and methods of FA, and parents' suggestions are supposed to be widely adopted. Finally, the home-school network platform can be used by teachers to keep in touch with students' parents and give full play to parents' auxiliary and supervisory role.
Thirdly, teachers' assessment of students should be more comprehensive. Based on the core literacy of the English subject, English teachers should pay attention to each part of the core literacy and conduct in-depth research on what it contains, instead of being limited to the assessment of students' language ability. English language competence is the hallmark of the English discipline. Basic English language competence refers to English knowledge and English skills. Different from the comprehension ability and expression ability in language ability, the thinking capacity is a thinking quality closely related to English learning. For example, to understand the connotation and denotation of English conceptual words; Relate English conceptual words to the world around them; According to the given information to extract the common characteristics of things, with the help of English to form new concepts, deepen the understanding of the world; Learn to think and solve problems from different angles according to the conceptual English words and sentence patterns. For example, when Wang Zhuxiu (an English teacher from a junior high school in Guiyang) taught the Unit 6 of Grade 8 I'm going to study computer science, she asked the students to discuss the topic of “The best resolution is to have no resolutions.” From this discussion, teachers can identify students' critical thinking. Cultural awareness focuses on understanding the cultural connotation of different countries, comparing similarities and differences, absorbing the essence, respecting differences and so on. For example, when Guo Peixiang (an English teacher from a junior high school in Yantai) taught the Unit 5 of Grade 9 You are supposed to shake hands, she asked students to talk about the table manners in China firstly. And then she asked students about table manners in other countries. Finally, she asked students to think about the differences of table manners between China and other countries. From these activities, teachers can identify and cultivate students' cultural awareness effectively. Learning ability mainly includes meta-cognitive strategies, cognitive strategies, communicative strategies and affective strategies. Only when teachers clearly grasp the content of core literacy can they design relevant activities and evaluate students' performance in a targeted way. Of course, when designing teaching activities, teachers should also contact teaching aims to avoid deviating from the syllabus.
Fourthly, teachers should adopt diversified and advanced assessment forms. It is difficult to comprehensively understand students' English learning by examining their learning results in a single form, and it is not conducive for teachers to timely discover and remedy students' inadequacy in English learning through a simple assessment. Therefore, teachers are supposed to place a strong emphasis on the assessment of students learning and adopt a variety of assessment methods (Fan Ruli 2004). Portfolio assessment, for example, originated in the late 1960s from project Zero led by Professor Gardner at Harvard University. It means teachers and students collect all sorts of data systematically, including the traditional homework, test volume, study result, the audiotape and so on, also including student's introspect material, group assessment and teacher suggestion. They are used to evaluate students' efforts and progress, and are the basis for evaluating the learning process and results (Luan Di 2020). With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and big data, teachers are supposed to explore new modes of teaching and classroom assessment to keep pace with the development of Internet. For example, the online assessment model founded by Liu Min and Wu Shinian in 2020; the online assessment platform developed by Yang Manzhen and Liu Jianda in 2019; and EKWING.COM, which the school where the author interned uses now. These new assessment forms will greatly improve the efficiency of assessment and satisfy the diversity of assessment subjects and content. The traditional test is limited by methods, and the sections of the exam are separate. Information technology brings a new perspective to test research. After uploading listening materials on the cloud platform, teachers can design many comprehensive test questions, so as to improve students' sense of participation and man-machine interaction.The examination of language skills is no longer single and isolated. The application of online technology leads examinees into a specific situation to complete language tasks. It provides technical means and methods to improve the authenticity of the test. More new assessment network platforms and models need the joint efforts of all sectors of society to explore, in order to perfect the FA.
And then teachers must ensure the accuracy and validity of feedback information. As an important part of making up for the deficiency of students' English learning, the feedback function of FA plays an important role in English teaching. The use of feedback should be based on descriptive language, focusing on the principles of objectivity, pertinence and detail. Teachers should not only put forward students' shortcomings, but also raise detailed opinions about improvement, and continually collect assessment feedback information. Besides, rather than simply praising students with “Good” and “Well done” , specific comments will help students know more precisely what actions they will be praised for. Therefore, when teachers evaluate students, the more detailed the feedback language used, the better.
Finally, it's about the advice to schools and education departments. Education departments and schools have a positive impact on the smooth improvement of FA. The author suggests that relevant education departments and schools take practical measures to help teachers effectively carry out FA. First of all, schools and education departments should try their best to reduce extra work besides education for teachers and leave more time for teachers to perfect teaching. Secondly, education departments and schools should provide more training opportunities for teachers so as to correct teachers' cognition of FA and stimulate their motivation to improve it. Thirdly, education departments and schools should provide teachers with financial support to ensure the smooth progress of FA. For example, at the end of the semester, the school where the author interned will give students various awards according to their performance, such as progress award, group first prize and so on, and issue corresponding scholarships. Finally, irregular inspection and supervision should be conducted for the implementation of FA in English teaching, so as to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of FA.
In addition to the above six suggestions, the combination of FA and SA should not be forgotten. The purpose of dividing FA and SA is to better recognize and understand the types and functions of assessment. If the relationship between them is treated in isolation or the indelible boundary between them is considered rigidly, their conceptual distinction will be meaningless (Wang Shuo & Zong Xulian 2020). That is to say, in teaching, teachers can exert the maximum effect of assessment only by combining FA with SA. Therefore, more teachers and researchers are needed to explore better ways to combine FA with SA.
5.3Limitations of the Study
The first is about geographical limitations. The location of this investigation is the Yantai xxx Middle School, which is located in the city with excellent teachers and good quality students. Therefore, the conclusions and suggestions obtained in this investigation cannot cover all junior high schools across the country.
Secondly, the participants are not enough. The questionnaire survey samples of this research mainly focus on the junior high school where the author conducts teaching practice, with 281 students in total. The interview involved only six English teachers.
Therefore, the survey results are not universal.
Thirdly, the investigation time is a little short. This survey only took four months, which is not sufficient for investigating the application of FA in junior high school English teaching across the board. If the investigation time can be increased, the author may produce more full and thorough findings on the application status of FA.
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