I need to start a thread on a forum outside of the online course I am taking. I am finishing up a Master's degree in TESOL. Please tell me your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with assessments. Informal, formal, ?? Thanks, Dee
I think assessments in some form are required to check the progress of your students. One problem though is people studying only to pass some kind of test or exam. This happens in many countries where there is high competition like China and Japan and students need to score well to enter their next school whether it is elementary, high school or middle school. So the focus of their studies becomes the exam rather than gaining new knowledge and experiences.
Standard. formal exams like IELTS are used to check whether students have attained a certain level of English necessary for what they want to achieve whether it is to enter a university or for immigration to another country. Theoretically people should just take the exam without any preparation and the score should reflect their ability at the time, but in reality people will prepare specifically for the exam and they may get a higher score than their real ability.
For me personally, when I was studying Japanese, taking one of the proficiency exams was a source of motivation to study. It also gave me a piece of paper which I could use in job applications to show my ability.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions!