What assessment is about and why it is important
Assessment is the systematic, ongoing process of evaluating the child’s language learning. It can be used to provide an indication of current skills, knowledge, experiences, ideologies, and attitudes. Assessment can form the basis for planning the next steps along the child’s language learning pathway. These assessments can be formal or informal, summative, or formative, child-led or teacher-initiated. Teachers assessing children should situate the child in a learning path which is ongoing. It builds on past experience and learning and is oriented towards learning targets for the future. The path is marked out by curriculum expectations whilst at the same time comparing the achievements, skills, and knowledge of children with previous evaluations and assessments to identify the small and big steps on the child’s (language) learning journey. The focus of assessment should be on helping children understand this journey, their progress and the next steps along their language learning pathway which allows them to become active agents of their own learning. This means:
Assessment of young learners should not focus on results and grades but on the process of learning and the individual progress of the child.