Assessment for Learning in Primary Language Learning and Teaching

Author: Maria Britton

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm
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This volume provides a detailed account of the practical use of Assessment for Learning (AfL) in primary language classrooms. It gives an in-depth account of the ways in which eight experienced primary language teachers incorporated this type of assessment into their practice and discusses the possible impact of AfL on primary language learning. Key themes discussed in the volume include the relationship between AfL and language learning in childhood, which assessment methods are appropriate for primary-aged language learners, which methods support learner agency and engagement in the learning processes, and possible paths for future action, with a focus on implementation and researching AfL in primary language contexts. The findings of this book are relevant to global contexts and it will be of interest to postgraduate students and researchers in the fields of language education, language assessment and teacher education, as well as to primary and language teachers and school leaders.

This book makes an important contribution to ongoing discussions of AfL as well as primary FL teaching and learning. The proposed view of AfL as an assessment spiral excellently reflects its solid theoretical and empirical underpinnings. Both researchers and practitioners will find this book highly valuable, as well as inspirational.

Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Assessment for Learning has been much discussed but so far little practised with primary school aged learners of English as a foreign or second language. This study rigorously investigates the fitness for purpose of AfL for such learners. It also gives vivid evidence of the developing skills and perceptions of a set of teachers who were new to the approach but keen to try it.

Shelagh Rixon, University of Leicester, UK

This book combines in a consistent and pedagogical way conceptual reasoning with empirical evidence, and practical examples and suggestions for AfL with young learners. Its clarity, contextual awareness and, in particular, its emphasis on learner agency and the involvement of pupils in assessment processes, will undoubtedly make it a very useful resource in language teacher pre- and in-service education.

Gudrun Erickson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Maria Britton has over 15 years of experience of working in primary schools, as a researcher, teacher, teacher trainer and senior leader. She holds a PhD from the University of Reading, UK and her research interests are the teaching, learning and assessment of young language learners.


Chapter 1. Introduction to the Book

Part 1: Defining Assessment for Learning in Primary Contexts

Chapter 2. What is AfL in Primary Language Teaching Contexts?

Chapter 3. What Research Tells Us About the Use of AfL in Primary Language Teaching

Chapter 4. Assessment and Cognitive Development in Childhood

Chapter 5. The Importance of Interactions and Affect in Assessing Primary-Aged Language Learners

Part 2: Implementing AfL in the Classroom

Chapter 6: Setting Expectations and Monitoring Progress

Chapter 7: Evaluating Achievement

Chapter 8: Teaching and AfL: Tasks, Skills and Age-Related Differences

Chapter 9: Types of Implementation of AfL

Part 3: Impact of AfL on Learning

Chapter 10: Interactions through Assessment

Chapter 11: Assessment Spiral

Chapter 12: Looking into the Future


Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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