Mgs. Eliana Ivanova Pinza Tapia THESIS ADVISOR
The following research work developed by Mislav Kovacic has been thoroughly revised. Therefore, authorizes the presentation of the thesis, which complies with all the norms and internal requirements of the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja. Consequently, I authorize this presentation for the corresponding legal purposes.
Loja, September, 2012
Mgs. Eliana Pinza THESIS ADVISOR
The thoughts, ideas, opinions and the information obtained through this research are the only responsibility of the author.
Date, September, 2012
Mislav Kovacic I.D. 1723198782
CESIÓN DE DERECHOS
Yo Mislav Kovacic, declaro ser autor del presente trabajo y eximo expresamente a la Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja y a sus representantes legales de posibles reclamos o acciones legales.
Adicionalmente declaro conocer y aceptar la disposición del Art. 67 del Estatuto Orgánico de la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja que en su parte pertinente textualmente dice: “Forman parte del patrimonio de la Universidad la propiedad intelectual de investigaciones, trabajos científicos o técnicos y tesis de grado que se realicen a través o con el apoyo financiero, académico, o institucional (operativo) de la Universidad”.
Loja, September, 2012
Mislav Kovacic C.I.: 1723198782
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CESION DE LOS DERECHOS IV
LITERATURE REVIEW 5
CHAPTER I: EFL STUDENT CASE STUDY
Artifact 1: Simple present and past 19
Artifact 2: Pronouns 21
Artifact 3: Compound sentences 23
Artifact 4: Order of adjectives 24
Artifact 5: Articles 25
Artifact 6: Review 27
Artifact 7: Paragraphs 28
Artifact 8: Writing process 29
Student self-evaluation 30
CHAPTER II: STANDARDS BASED POSITION PAPER
Standard 1.A Language as a system 34
Standard 1.B Language acquisition and development 36 Standard 2 Culture as it affects student learning 38 Standard 3.A Planning for standards-based ESL and
content instruction 39
Standard 3.B Implementing and managing
standards-based ESL and content instruction 42 Standard 3.C Using resources and technology
language learners 46 Standard 4.B Language proficiency assessment 48 Standard 4.C Classroom-based assessment for ESL 49
Standard 5.A ESL research and history 51
Standard 5.B Professional development,
partnership and advocacy 57
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 64
This thesis has two parts. The first part follows the development of one student’s writing skills. This part starts with a pretest in which the student’s strengths and weaknesses are analyzed. On the basis of this analysis a plan of action is made to address the student’s weakness and reach the specified goals. The student’s progress is then monitored and documented with 8 different artifacts that dealt with her weaknesses. At the end, a post-test is administered to the student and her progress is analyzed.
Writing is one of the four core skills that need to be considered in language teaching. This is also one of the most neglected skills in language teaching in Ecuador. As a result students often have below average writing skills which inhibit students in a wide array of writing activities, such as writing emails, essays, reports, etc. This thesis demonstrates one way of developing this part of language by using a standards based approach
This thesis is part of the master’s program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The primary motivation was to successfully complete the program and to be awarded the master’s degree in TEFL.
There were two objectives for this thesis. In the first part, the main objective was to use the knowledge gained in this program into designing a course for one individual and help them reach their personal goals. The student’s goals were mainly to improve her writing skills as this is an area which she felt she was lacking in most. Reaching her goals involved developing and finding appropriate materials based on the initial placement test and subsequent progress in classes. The student was given 8 classes in which her progress was documented through the use of different artifacts that were used in classes.
This was an applied research in which different theories on developing writing skills were first analyzed and then applied in practice with the student. As was previously mentioned, there was only one student in the research, making this a case study project. The main importance lies in the application of different theories and knowledge to help understand the processes behind second language acquisitions, specifically writing skills, and aid one student in their development.
subject area. Over the past two years, different standards were met through project work in this program and this part of the thesis documents how the goal was accomplished.
NCATE/TESOL has eleven different standards, each one within a specific domain. At least one standard, representing each domain, was selected to present my work and achievement of the given standard. The objective of this part of the thesis is to demonstrate our personal development as professionals, as English teachers.
This study involves two parts. In the case study, the learner is a 27 year old professional from Ecuador who works in tourism. She has studied English before at a local language institute where she obtained the proficiency certificate from the institute. She also studied the language in her high school and university. Since graduating from university, she has not had the opportunity to learn or use the language extensively. As she was recently promoted to a new position in the company where she works, she has decided to start studying English again after her five year long pause. The learner is a native Spanish speaker, but also speaks some French and German.
Prior to starting her classes, she took the placement test which will also be analyzed as the pre-test. According to the results of this test she was assigned to an A2 Elementary level. Although her speaking skills were quite high for the level, she did have a low grammar score which obviously affected her writing skills.
The learner decided to study general English once a week (Saturdays) for 5 academic hours. Additionally, she also agreed to participate in this project by attending a one-on-one lesson once a week for one-on-one academic hour. During this time the learner focused solely on developing her writing skills as that is the skill that is least emphasized in our general English class.
The first part focuses on the information behind writing acquisition and the second part of this literature review deals with the NCATE/TESOL standards. These standards are behind the standards based approach that was used in planning lessons for the student in the case study. Before this project was started, a review of relevant theoretical background was completed below.
Definition of writing
In Schmitt’s book (2002) Silva and Matsuda say that in the past writing was not considered a proper goal of language learning. It was only used as a tool to promote the learning of speech. Language specialist believed that people who learned to speak would inevitably be able to write as well. That started to change in the second half of the twentieth century.
However, according to the same authors, writing still remains one of the least understood areas in second language acquisition. They state that one of the reasons is the term writing itself which can refer to many different subjects, such as orthography, literature or the actual process of writing and essay.
Above all, writing is a complex phenomenon in which writers have to consider the following: writer, reader, text, and reality in order to construct written discourse accordingly. Both the writer and reader are more complex than it might seem. According to Murray (1982) they can be one person or more than one, they can be friends, critics, teachers, etc. This role will influence the rhetorical structure of the writing piece and the writer’s discursive identity (Ivanic, 1998).
responds explicitly or implicitly (Bakhtin, 1986). These other texts also provide discursive features that are often imitated in subsequent writing.
Process and product approaches
There are two main approaches in writing pedagogy nowadays according to Nunan (1999).They are the process and product approaches. The author states that the process approaches emphasize the steps students need to follow to write in a second language, while the product approaches focus more closely on the final product.
Nunan describes the process approaches as ones on which the focus is on quantity rather than quality. The final products will not be error-free as writers are encouraged to write without worrying about correctness in the first stages. This is then followed by different strategies, such as peer-editing and revising, to try to get the final product. The same author talks about the product approaches as ones in which learners imitate, copy, or transform models provided by the teacher or the textbook. The main emphasis is on the sentence and its correctness.
Brown (2001) says that product approaches were dominant in the past when teachers were mostly concerned with the final product. At the time, final products were expected to meet certain standards of the rhetorical style, have accurate grammar and have conventional organization. At the center of this approach was a model which the students were expected to imitate.
Controlled composition and the paragraph pattern approach are representatives of the product approaches. Controlled composition was developed within the audiolingual approach (Silva and Matsuda, 2002) and is therefore viewed as a tool to reinforce oral habits. In this approach, teachers focused on habit formation and error elimination to create and reinforce desirable language behavior. Writing is seen as a service activity to reinforce other language skills and to help language habit formation.
increasing awareness that writers need to produce extended texts and not just grammatical sentences. Therefore, the focus is on the paragraph and its elements. Basically, in this approach, students learn the different patterns and learning to write involves developing skills in identifying, internalizing and producing these patterns.
On the other hand, Brown (2001) identifies process approaches as ones in which students learn and focus on the process of writing, including understanding their own composing process, building writing skills and strategies and focusing on revision and rewriting. Students should be given enough time to go through their own processes, to write and rewrite, and the role of the teacher is to give constructive feedback and to encourage peer correction and editing. Silva and Matsuda (2002) say that teachers should build an encouraging and collaborative workshop environment, provide enough time and as little interference to allow students to work on their own strategies and processes.
Characteristics of written language
According to Brown (2001) written language has the following characteristics that should be taken into consideration: permanence, production time, distance, orthography, complexity, vocabulary, and formality. Permanence is one factor which can make the writing process scary for new learners. Once something is written down in its final version, the writer loses power over the text and cannot make any changes to it. Therefore, teachers should try to help students by introducing them to the process of revising and rewriting early on.
Production time is a factor which implies that most written work has a different time deadline. This is especially the case in classrooms where students often have limited time to complete their writing assignments. Brown suggests that some process time should be sacrificed to help our students achieve their goals.
vocabulary will be used and vice-versa. In general, writing places a heavier demand on vocabulary than speaking does.
Nunan (1999) compares written and spoken language and notes that written language is context independent, monologic in nature, edited and redrafted, records the world as things, and lexically dense. He says written language is context independent because writers communicate across time and distance and the piece of writing has to recreate the context for the readers. It is usually monologic because it is written by one person. Finally and as previously mentioned, the lexicon is more complex and contains more content words as nouns carry most of the meaning.
In addition to the mentioned characteristics, we also have to consider genre in writing processes. Harmer (2007) says that writing is extremely genre-bound. Writers are bound by certain characteristics that belong to the discourse community and which are considered specific to the genre. For example, an advertisement will look very different from an essay and both are easily recognizable due to their characteristics.
Contrastive rhetoric is based on an article published by Robert Kaplan in 1966. He stated that different languages have different patterns of written discourse which might make learning writing skills more difficult for some cultures than others. For example, while English writers tend to get straight to the point, Chinese writers will spiral around the point, making it difficult for Chinese learners to learn the proper English discourse.
the mistakes they make are not due to their own inadequacies, but they are due to the contrast between the two languages.
Types of classroom writing
Brown (2001) lists five major types of classroom writing. He begins with the imitative or writing down type. In this, learners simply copy what is on the board, e.g. English letters, words, sentences. The goal is for the students to learn the different conventions of the English language. A perfect example of an activity of this type is the dictation where the teacher reads a text slowly and the students copy what they hear.
Second type of classroom writing is intensive, or controlled. In it, students are presented a paragraph which they have to change in some way. This technique is quite useful for reinforcing grammatical concepts (Brown, 2001). E.g. students may be given a paragraph and instructions to change all the simple present tense verbs to simple past verbs. As is evident from the example, this type of writing requires very little, if any, creativity from the students. Guided writing is similar to controlled but in it, the teacher does not have as much control. An example of this is an activity in which students watch a video and then have to write a short summary. The teacher helps by asking guiding questions such as who the main character is, where the story takes place, etc.
Self-writing is the next type. This is one of the most common activities in all classrooms as it involves the essential skills of note-taking. What makes this activity different from the others is that there is no audience, the only person who usually reads this is the student him or herself. On the other hand we have display writing, and as the name suggests, this involves everything that will be on display. For instance, short answers, essays, reports, etc.
This type of writing involves real-life skills that students use in their daily routine. The last one is personal; the main difference usually being its informality as opposed to the more formal academic and vocational types of writing.
In addition to the previously-stated knowledge, a complete overview of the different NCATE/TESOL standards is presented in the second part of this literature review. This shows how the Master’s program helped us evolve into better teachers who are able to conduct case studies and help students reach their individual goals.
TESOL is the primary source for the development of ESL standards in the United States. Many states, such as California and New York, used the TESOL standards for teachers of second and foreign languages.
The NCATE/TESOL standards were developed by TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) after research showed that Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) did not have any standards that would be applicable to teaching of second or foreign languages. These standards were first developed in 2001. There are currently eleven different standards in five domains.
TESOL standards revision
As previously mentioned, the standards were published quite recently (2001), and therefore the subsequent revision (2005) was more of an update than a rewrite. The objective remains the same, and that is to prepare teachers for initial license in ESL teaching. Likewise, they still have the five domains, which are language, culture, instruction, assessment, and professionalism.
Domain 1. Language
The first domain is related to the actual language and the knowledge, understanding, and use of major theories of language to help students develop language and literacy in the content areas. Within this domain we have two standards; they are: language as a system and language acquisition and development.
In the first one, teachers need to be able to show understanding of language as a system. This includes knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and semantics. Teachers need this knowledge to be effective teachers because EFL student needs will differ depending on the cultural background. Furthermore, it is this knowledge of the language that will help teachers observe similarities and differences between languages, something that helps teachers understand native language interference and how it affects students’ acquisition of English. This will also allow teachers anticipate problems and difficulties students my experience. Finally, comprehensive understanding of the language they are teaching allows teachers to serve as good models of both spoken and written English.
The second standard in this domain is language acquisition and development. Teachers understand the different processes that students undergo in their acquisition of language. This understanding includes the communicative, social, and constructive nature of language which teachers can use to build linguistic scaffolding for their students. Likewise, teachers can show an understanding of the personal and affective variables to create positive learning atmosphere for all their students in which students do not fear to use English.
Domain 2. Culture
There is only one standard in this domain and it is culture as it affects student learning. Mastering this domain will involve understanding and using major concepts, principles, theories and research connected to the role of culture to build positive learning environments for everyone.
Teachers can show that they can recognize the importance of culture in language acquisition and they address this issue in practice. Learner’s cultural background needs to be considered to choose appropriate techniques. If this aspect is not considered, the results will not be as favorable. Teachers can also recognize potential cross-cultural conflicts and can act to prevent them and the negative consequences that bring to the learning environment.
Understanding the learners’ home culture is also important in creating a sense of community and involving the learners’ families into the process of language acquisition. This includes knowledge of values, beliefs, roles and status, family structure, learning styles and modalities, to name just a few. All these factors allow teachers to plan and design culturally sensitive lessons result in a pleasant learning environment and instruction.
Domain 3. Planning, implementing, and managing instruction
Teachers who successfully master this domain know and understand strategies related to planning, implementing and managing ESL/EFL instruction. They are able to teach using a variety of teaching strategies which develop and integrate language skills and can accomplish this by using different teaching resources and technology.
language proficiency. Planning includes specific standards-based objectives, and they use a number of different techniques to achieve them.
The second standard is implementing and managing standards-based ESL and content instruction. Teachers know, manage, and implement a range of different standards-based teaching strategies to develop and integrate English listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Not only academic objectives are considered, but also a variety of activities that the learners find relevant and meaningful for their social environment. Teachers base their lessons on students’ interests to help enhance comprehension and communication and to reach students’ language development goals.
The final standard belonging to this domain is using resources effectively in ESL instruction. Teachers show familiarity with a wide range of materials, resources, and technology, and use them effectively in their classroom. This allows them to choose appropriate, motivating and culturally sensitive materials to help their learners achieve their objectives. The materials may come from one of the following sources: ESL curricula, trade books, textbooks, online multimedia, the Internet, etc.
Domain 4. Assessment
This domain has three standards in which teachers demonstrate understanding of issues and concepts of assessment. Furthermore, they are able to use the same in their classrooms.
Important part of this first standard is also the knowledge of how assessment for native speakers and ESL/EFL students differ. Assessment may be culturally biased and therefore invalidate our learners’ results. This can happen if we use pictures with which our students are not familiar, e.g. a picture of a famous actor if the student does not have a TV. Linguistic bias is another example, if we enforce only one dialect which favors some students and does not consider other possibilities. Finally, the last example related to actual test items, students need to be familiar with possible types of questions if we are to avoid bias. E.g. we should not include multiple choice question, if our learners have never seen them before.
The second standard is language proficiency assessment. Teachers can use a variety of standards-based proficiency instruments to show growth and identify areas that need more work. They can correctly identify, place, and reclassify language learners by knowing how to interpret and apply the results in classroom instruction. They can also use and design a range of different assessment instruments, both formative and summative.
Finally, the third standard is classroom-based assessment for ESL. Teachers here can show understanding of the relationship between teaching and assessment and are able to assess their learners in an integrative way. One method is by creating a student portfolio which reflects on the student’s progress over time. As this is a collection of student’s classroom work, it allows unbiased assessment. Teachers also understand the value of assessment using rubrics, self-assessment, and peer-assessment to promote self-learning.
Domain 5. Professionalism
The first standard is ESL research and history. We need to be able to demonstrate knowledge of history and current educational policies to design effective instruction for their learners.
CHAPTER I: EFL STUDENT CASE STUDY – A CASE STUDY OF AN
EFL WRITING STUDENT
The pretest used was the standard EF placement test (http://www.englishtown.com/partners/coef/checkout/register.asp) which tests the following skills: grammar, reading, and listening. This was followed by a 10 minute speaking test which is also standardized and in it the interviewer asks set questions to determine the right level for the student. Finally, as writing section had to be added to determine the areas where the student needs most help.
As is evident from the results of the placement test, the student is an elementary student with above level scores in her reading comprehension and speaking abilities. The oral interviewer determined that she was at a high elementary level of English at the time of the test. However, it is also noticeable, from the writing pre-test, that this student has not used English for a long time and that her grammar suffered as a result with obvious L1 interference problems.
This student took the HIMA Adaptive test.
The HIMA Adaptive Test is highly accurate, since each question is weighted according to difficulty. Therefore, only the resulting % of each section is important. Students may have different % for receiving the same number of correct and incorrect questions, so those values are not shown
Correct Incorrect Blank Score
Overall score: 17 13 0 33%
Grammar: 4 6 0 21%
Reading: 7 3 0 45%
Listening: 6 4 0 32%
Recommended level: A2 Elementary
Adaptive Test results (Overall %) New Real English CEF Level
0 - 25% A1 Beginner
26 - 39% A2 Elementary
40 - 55% B1 Intermediate
56 - 74% B2 Upper-Intermediate
75 - 99% C1 Advanced
Based on the results and analysis of the pretest, I have decided to focus on correcting grammar errors first. My assumption was that because the student studied English in the past, she would not need extensive grammar explanations, but just simple reminders as to certain grammar rules.
The student was reminded that sentences in the English language need a subject and that often these are in the form of subject pronouns. In this first stage she was also instructed to start her sentences with a subject pronoun and a simple sentence was taught (subject+verb+complement).
In the second lesson, and as a result of the first artifact, I emphasized the different pronouns in the English language. This is one area which causes problems quite often, even at higher levels. This is probably due to the fact that object pronoun do not exist in the Spanish language.
I explained the different pronouns, i.e. subject and object, and followed that by administrating the worksheet. In it, the student had to fill in the blanks with the correct pronoun.
In this lesson we covered the compound sentences. The student was introduced to the most common conjunctions like and, but, or and their uses. She was also instructed in the use of comma with compound sentences.
This lesson was planned to focus on order of adjectives in the English language. Even though this student did not show that this is problematic in her artifacts, I noticed in our classes that she did sometimes make the mistake of using the adjective after the noun. This, coupled with my professional experience, made me realize it is something that is important to focus on and prevent fossilization of this error.
Another common error is the use, omission or overuse, of both definite and indefinite articles. This artifact was designed to address this problem and explain their usage.
In this lesson, the focus of instruction switched from grammar to the writing process. The first part of the lesson was reviewing the previous 5 lessons, and after that, the student was told to write a short essay to an assigned prompt.
Based on artifact #5, the rest of the time was spent teaching the student how to improve her writing and the process behind it. For this lesson, I decided to focus on paragraphs.
In the last lesson we reviewed the writing process. The student was introduced with the concepts of brainstorming, drafting, revising, proofreading and rewriting. Exercises that deal with the concepts were designed in the worksheet below.
According to the self-evaluation, the student had very low self-esteem when she first joined our school. As she did not use the language for a period of five years, she felt that it would be extremely difficult to learn everything again. Fortunately, that was not the case with this student, and as she realized this her self-esteem rose at the end of the course.
The student understands that she still has a lot to learn and with her new position she feels that time might be a problem in the future. Hopefully, it will not be a problem she will not be able to solve as she is on the right track of achieving written fluency.
In the post-test, the student was presented with a similar task as the one she found in the pretest. The task was to write a paragraph on the importance of the English language in her life. This was a timed exercise; the student was given 20 minutes to complete the task as I did not want to rush her and get the results which would be affected by lack of time. She was instructed at the beginning of the class that she would need to apply everything that was covered in the two-month period to this writing assignment.
CHAPTER II: STANDARDS BASED POSITION PAPER
In this paper TESOL/NCATE standards have been used to analyze how the MS program has been directly applied to my daily responsibilities as an English teacher. All five of its domains and its corresponding standards have been examined.
Domain 1. Language
Standard 1.a. Language as a System
Candidates understand the English language as a complex system involving phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and semantics and can use this understanding to help their students in their language acquisition.
Artifact for Standard 1.a: Language as a System
Name of Artifact: Cambridge Advanced English Test Results
As part of Standard 1.a, candidates have to demonstrate proficiency in English and serve as a good language model for their ELLs (1.a.4.). Therefore, I have decided to improve knowledge of the English language and certify my results by taking different EFL exams. The first one we had to take was the TOEFL exam to get accepted into the program and since then I have also taken Cambridge ESOL CAE exam.
As the artifact clearly shows, I achieved exceptional marks in all 4 language skills and passed with Grade A, which gives me the equivalent of a C2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Level C2 is the highest level on the CEF and this shows that I possess the sufficient language skills which are necessary to model the language for ELLs in both spoken and written English.
Standard 1.b. Language acquisition and development
Candidates can use different methods to aid their ELLs’ language achievement. They can do this by using their knowledge and understanding of different theories and research in language acquisition and development.
Artifact for Standard 1.b: Language Acquisition and Development
Name of Artifact: 4 Lesson Plans
Date: August 2011
The lesson plans include scaffolding the language for the learners to aid their comprehension and production while taking into account the different personal and affective variables that affect language acquisition. Therefore, we have activities that focus on developing linguistic, intrapersonal, interpersonal intelligences, among others. This provides individualized language and content learning goals.
Domain 2. Culture
Standard 2. Culture as it affects student learning
Candidates know and understand the different principles, and the role of culture behind language acquisition. They can use this knowledge to construct supportive learning environment.
Artifact for Standard 2.: Culture as it Affects Student Learning
Name of Artifact: Professional Experience
Date: April 2010 – Present
Indicator 2.e. says that candidates will understand and apply concepts about the interrelationship between language and culture. I have achieved this goal indirectly in my current job. As the person in charge of hiring new teachers, I try to hire teachers from different English-speaking countries so that they can transmit their knowledge and the interdependence of language and culture.
Domain 3. Planning, implementing, and managing instruction
Standard 3.a. Planning for standards-based ESL and content instruction
Candidates can use their knowledge to plan a standards-based class. Concepts, research, and best practices are involved in this process.
Artifact for Standard 3.a.: Planning for Standards-Based ESL and Content Instruction
Name of Artifact: Project Plan
Date: February 2011
In this assignment we had to design our own class for adults, in this case business oriented class. ELLs’ needs had to be assessed first and based on that a class was designed. Activities are student centered and the role of the teacher is that of an aid and not an all-knowing authority.
Standard 3.b. Implementing and managing standards-based ESL and content instruction
Candidates can implement different strategies to develop ELL skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. They use academic content to achieve these goals.
Artifact for Standard 3.b.: Implementing and Managing Standards-Based ESL and
Name of Artifact: Goals and Outcomes
Date: September 2010
In this assignment we were asked to consider the goals and outcomes of a course we designed. In my case, I designed an IELTS course which obviously had to focus on academic development of the four language skills and the way to improve them. Indicator 3.b.2. was accomplished in this task.
Language was view with a goal to achieve ELLs’ language and personal developmental goals. Activities that develop authentic use (university surroundings) of the language were developed and students were given access to content-area learning objectives (online studies).
Standard 3.c. Using resources and technology effectively in ESL and content instruction
Artifact for Standard 3.c.: Using Resources and Technology Effectively in ESL and
Name of Artifact: Technology
Date: January 2012
In course 530 we examined different tools that are available on the Internet to meet our learners’ language and content learning needs (indicator 3.c.4.). Websites such as Google+, wikis, Twitter and Blogs were investigated and we were able to enhance, create and adapt materials for our learners.
Domain 4. Assessment
Standard 4.a. Issues of assessment for English language learners
Candidates can demonstrate understanding of the different processes that affect assessment; they can explain these to the members of their community and participate in groups to design new tests.
Artifact for Standard 4.a.: Issues of Assessment for English Language Learners
Name of Artifact: Kinds of Tests and Testing Effects on Teaching
Date: September 2011
Course: TEFL 547 Testing and Evaluation in TEFL
In this artifact different Cambridge ESOL (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, and CPE) were analyzed. Their strengths and weakness were presented and based on this a decision can be made on the best exams to use in the classroom. Testing effects were also examined, such concepts as backwash, reliability and validity.
Standard 4.b. Language proficiency assessment
Candidates can make informed decisions on language assessment. They can use assessment to properly identify and place ELLs.
Artifact for Standard 4.b.: Language Proficiency Assessment
Name of Artifact: Placement testing at EF
Date: October 2010 – Present
My professional experience has me involved in placement testing on a daily basis. Not only is this something that is done for students at the place where I work, but it is also done for large corporations, public schools and the Ministry of Education. Therefore, I need to show an understanding of national requirements, procedures and instruments to be used for the tasks of identifying ELLs’ entry and exit levels.
Standard 4.c. Classroom-based assessment for ESL
Artifact for Standard 4.c.: Classroom-Based Assessment for ESL
Name of Artifact: Assignment 3 for TEFL 547
Date: September 2011
In this artifact a pretest was designed to identify areas of weakness for one ELL. The results were examined and subsequently a lesson was designed to focus on these areas. Finally, after this lesson, another posttest was administrated which showed favorable results of the lesson.
Domain 5. Professionalism
Standard 5.a. ESL research and history
Candidates are able to conduct their own research and can demonstrate knowledge of both historical and present educational policy. They can apply this knowledge to their personal practice in their daily duties.
Artifact for Standard 5.a.: ESL Research and History
Name of Artifact: Concept Paper – Native Language Interference in Speakers of
Date: July 2011
The artifact starts with a theoretical background where it is shown that historical research can be read. This is then followed by research work which included designing the questionnaires, selecting the candidates and conducting the interviews. The results were then analyzed and based on the results of this research, the teaching techniques used up to that point were modified to address the problems of native language interference with an aim to limit future L1 interference.
Standard 5.b. Professional development, partnership, and advocacy
Candidates have to demonstrate that they can take advantage of professional growth opportunities and well as the ability to serve as advocates for issues affecting EFL.
Artifact for Standard 5.b.: Professional Development, Partnership and Advocacy
Name of Artifact: International Standards and How to Implement Them
Candidates have to show they can advocate for appropriate instruction and assessment by sharing their knowledge with both colleagues and parents. They have to provide support for teachers, administrators, and families as they make decisions in the school and community (indicator 5.b.7.).
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
EFL student case study
Based on the results of her progress, this student is highly motivated as she understands that this is a skill she will need more and more in her professional career. Her goal is to eventually get a job in another country where she will need to use English every day. Currently she is at an A2 level and will need to go up to at least a B2 level to achieve this goal. At the current pace, it will take her around a year to do this so the only worry is the issue with time she mentioned in the self-evaluation.
As she has had one-on-one classes for the past two months, she must also decide if this is something she wants to continue. As previously mentioned, she is studying in a group class on Saturdays, but the classes do not focus on writing as much as they do on other skills. If she is not able to continue with her private classes, she will need to talk to the teacher and they should design supplementary activities for her specifically focusing on development of writing skills.
Obviously, it is difficult to expect someone to learn everything in a matter of a couple of months, but I strongly believe this student more than capable of achieving her goals with a little guidance from her next teachers. She has all the skills necessary for success and as her new position will involve her in the language more, her progress will be faster as well.
TEFL program portfolio
Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language
pedagogy (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education
Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). Essex: Pearson Education
Ivanic, R. (1998). Writing and identity: The discoursal construction of identity in
academic writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
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