Video: Planning evaluation of the learners´ progress


Below are the key-elements of the video:

Now let's talk about how to design the assessment of student improvement when teaching with the TBLT method.

In the TBLT method, the main goal is fluency (= being able to communicate fluently). Accuracy (= knowing how to use grammar rules well) is also important, but it is not the main goal.

Therefore, when the teacher assesses students, he/she must remember that fluency is more important than accuracy.

Remember that the teacher does not interrupt or correct students when they do the task? This happens precisely because the teacher must not block the students' communication with grammatical corrections.

The teacher makes grammar corrections during the post-task, which focuses on vocabulary, grammar, etc.

But when does the teacher do the assessment?

The answer is simple: always. Assessment is a continuous process: teachers are always assessing students and their assessment may or may not be followed by feedback. What does this mean?

For example, we said that during the task the teacher does not correct the students. The teacher listens to what the students say, and observes how they learn, but does not correct students who make mistakes or say "bravo!" to a very capable student. He does not give feedback, but still makes an assessment, because he knows what the students are doing and, above all, whether they are doing it well or badly.

In the post-task instead, the teacher gives feedback: corrects mistakes, explains rules, etc.

What does a task-based verification look like?

A task-based verification must recall a real-life situation. For example, it can be a role-play, a practical activity, a project, a case study, etc.

Remember that projects are more creative activities. Therefore, they are better for more advanced learners. Conversely, simple tasks (solving a communication problem) are less creative. So they are better for beginner students.

Just like during a normal TBLT lesson, you can positively evaluate a student if he/she completes the task, and not only if he/she speaks correctly. This is because, as we said before, fluency comes before accuracy. 

Now let's see what you can do to design your students' assessment.

  1. Introduce the topic. Describe the general situation. Ask students to pay attention to the information you give them. In fact, this information is important for solving the task.
  2. Comprehension (listening or reading) Listening and reading are two activities that help students gather information. These are important for understanding the task and doing it. Remember that listening is usually more difficult than reading. So you can start with reading and help the students get a general idea, and then you can continue with listening. Of course you must have the listening and reading materials with you. 
  3. Case study. Divide the students into pairs. That way they can find a solution more easily. Give them different materials to construct their answers.
  4. Production (speaking or writing). 

At this time, students have to present a product.

If you want to assess writing, ask the students to work alone.

If you want to assess speech, use the same pairs that you used during the case study. Give the students written instructions and ask them to prepare a presentation. After the presentation you can answer the students' questions.

To assess the objectives, use the CEFR table that we saw earlier in module 3. The European Framework of Reference for Languages in fact allows you to understand the students' level and whether they can do the task you want to give them. 

Do you want to download these key elements in pdf, click here