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Essay: Thesis: Effectiveness of assessment tools in elevating students with different language proficiency

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Chapter 1
Teaching is analogous to cooking. All cooks desire to make customers enjoy the cuisine they have tirelessly prepared. But cooking is never a one big shot. As time passes by, taste buds of customers change. It requires tremendous effort of savor assessing from time to time to tell whether the food can suffice the craving of the customers and qualifications of the restaurant owner. Similar with teaching, teachers need to constantly assess whether the students of today have learned or not. Cooking is made to transform moods through its dishes while teaching is meant to transform lives through its lessons. So, if cooking needs relentless assessing of flavor, so much more with teaching. Teaching requires appropriate and upgraded assessment tools or procedure to better serve the generation of today.
In connection, public schools in Manila are foreseen to accommodate hundreds or thousands of students. Students are grouped according to their final average. There are two wide-ranging types of sectioning, namely the higher and the lower sections. Majority of students in the higher sections are competitive and purposive because of the interest to succeed in the school and in the community unlike those who belong to the lower sections are simply hopeful to pass the grade level and to get hired in blue collar jobs. To prove this, the researcher had interviewed students who were frequently absent from the lower sections. One male student proudly explained that he worked as one of the dragon dancing team members for many festivals which made him earned less than two hundred pesos. Then, another student also told that her classmate had decided to quit school in order to work as a vendor. These are very painful words to hear from students but giving a shoulder to cry on is not the only option teachers can do. Through teaching, students can get reasons to pursue their education amidst trials and challenges in all forms. Finding out how is like digging a vast land to get a rare gold. As a result, given this realistic scenario in the public schools pushes the researcher to contemplate and to research on possible teaching practices that can make the students with minimum level of proficiency attain what are projected from them to learn quarterly. Learning is a gradual and continuous process that needs constant assessment in order to achieve the target level of development and proficiency. To monitor the changes in proficiency of every learner, educators must utilize assessment tools that allow recall and application of facts and ideas. It is the vowed mission of teachers to assure a quality and justifiable development of every child. Therefore, there is a prerequisite to utilize other auxiliary yet noteworthy assessment tools to define the changes in the learning phase of every child.
Further, the innumerable task of selecting worthwhile assessment tools is the prevalent and timeless challenge among educators in language classes. Therefore, teaching and learning should also be upgraded into the next levels. Language teacher can never do away with paper and pencil assessment. Students’ scores from any type of tests like matching type, multiple choice, true or false and the like are objective yet are not enough to provide evidence for language proficiency. English language teachers are called to be part of the solutions to the numerous numbers of challenges in education. Therefore, the researcher has taught of using product and performance assessment tool to support and strengthen what students have learned by determining the level of language proficiency of students.
Likewise, authentic education is much more than standards. Generally, how to make students from the lower sections equally proficient with students from the higher sections in English must be taken into consideration. Students from the lower sections can objectively get an admirable score from any kind of objective tests. However, determining whether it is really the result of their cognitive development, they must be able to use them in actual situations they can relate with.
Finally, the researcher’s main goal is to determine the extent of effectiveness of the product and performance assessment tools among students of Jose Abad Santos High School with different language proficiency levels.
This study aimed to determine the extent of effectiveness of the product and performance assessment tools in elevating the level of students with different language proficiency in Jose Abad Santos High School.
Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions:
1. What was the individual and the collective language proficiency
levels of the respondents as revealed in the:
1.1 pretest;
1.2 posttest?
2. How significant was the difference between scores of the students in the:
2.1 pretest;
2.2 posttest?
3. How effective was the use of Product and Performance
Assessment Tools in elevating the language proficiency level of the respondents?
4. What was the general implication of the findings in assessing and uplifting the language proficiency of the students?
In the aim to define the effectiveness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools, the given null hypotheses were tested.
1. There was no significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the students.
2. There was no significant difference in the language proficiency level of the respondents before and after the utilization of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools.
The ultimate goal of this study was to elevate the levels of students’ language proficiency through the use of assessment tools, so that in the long run they would be able to perform better in school and most of all in their community.
Department of Education Officials. The officials can get data-driven insights and suggestions on pedagogies to upgrade students’ quality of learning and to gradually elevate students’ language proficiency level through the use of Product and Performance Assessment Tools.
Curriculum developers. They can use the findings as pieces of evidence to strengthen the need to upgrade teaching pedagogies and practices on the so called paradigm shift.
School Administrators. They can encourage classroom teachers to include product and performance assessment tasks in the teaching and learning process as a means of charting the learning progress of students daily or on topical bases.
Teachers. Teachers are challenged and inspired to revolutionize existing teaching practices specifically in assessment. The study desires to enlighten them about the importance and effects of using modernized assessment tools for the new generation of students and its favorable effect to the teaching-learning process.
Students. Students can make sense of their learning. They can establish connections between what they know in and out of the classroom. Through this assessment tool, they can openly monitor their progress. Likewise, they can have the knowledge about what they are expected to accomplish.
The terms used in this study were practically defined to aid a more profound and extensive understanding of the Product and Performance Assessment tools and their variables.
Approaching Language Proficiency. It refers to the level of the respondents after the employment of the assessment tools. It means that students at this phase have reached the average or the normal knowledge on language structures.
Developing Language Proficiency. It refers to the current stage of the respondents prior to the operation of the study. It describes respondents as having minimum background knowledge on language structures.
Elevating. This term pertains to the main purpose of the study which is to gradually and progressively attain language proficiency of the respondents.
Language Proficiency. It refers to the degree of competence or expertise of the respondents before and after the execution of the study. Students can recall and use language structures in different situations or tasks. It utilizes the following descriptions: beginning, developing, approaching proficiency, proficient and advanced.
Learning Gains. It refers to the difference between the Pretest and Posttest of the students which calculates the effectiveness of the assessment tools based on the test results.
Product and Performance Assessment Tools. These are the authentic and tangible sources of teachers in charting the change of students’ language proficiency level.
The researcher generally weighed the extent of effectiveness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools in elevating the students’ level proficiency of Jose Abad Santos High School for the School Year 2014-2015. The group was composed of 42 students officially enrolled. However, the 7 students missed the complete implementation of the study because of 10 to 20 days of absences. As a result, there were only 35 respondents. The language structures were taken from the 2nd to 3rd quarters only. The researcher had chosen and decided to conduct the study from 2nd to 3rd grading periods since these are with less classes’ interruptions. During 1st grading period, students were still undergoing orientations and adjustments. On the other hand, 4th grading period had composed of shorter period of time and marks the beginning of finishing school forms. Therefore, the only grading periods that could cater the very nature of the study were the 2nd and 3rd. Then, Product and Performance Assessment Tools strictly employed the GRASPS pattern. GRASPS stands for Goal, Role, Audience, Scenario or Situation, Performance or Product and Standard as introduced in Understanding by Design (Ubd). The study solely aimed to define the effectiveness of the assessment tools in achieving higher language proficiency level.
The study had undergone three stages to define the effectiveness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools in enriching the level of students’ language proficiency. The three stages were studied and analyzed to determine its comprehensiveness and appropriateness to the very nature of the study and its aim. Figure 1 showed the flow of the study.
Figure 1
In stage 1, the researcher requested the help and expertise of the Master Teachers and First Year English Teachers of different high schools in District 3 to validate the test. Next, the researcher administered the validated pretest on the grammar lessons covered from 2nd to 3rd quarters of the Grade Seven Curriculum among 35 students in Jose Abad Santos High School, School Year 2014-2015. The said test was conducted to determine the language proficiency level of the students prior to the employment of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools.
In stage 2, after gathering the needed data, the researcher analytically constructed lesson plan for each grammar lesson. Also, the researcher made use of GRASPS or the GOAL, ROLE, AUDIENCE, SCENARIO or SITUATION, PRODUCT or PERFRORMANCE and STANDARDS as a form of assessment tool. These GRASPS in the lesson plans was used to find out its effectiveness not only in telling whether a child has learned or not but in achieving higher language proficiency levels as well.
In stage 3, the researcher administered posttest which was the final requirement in a Quasi-Experimental study to define the extent of the effectiveness of the said assessment tools. From the result of the study, the level of grammar proficiency of every learner was revealed. The researcher patterned the levels of proficiency with that of the K-12 Curriculum which were Beginning, Developing, Approaching Proficiency, Proficient, and Advanced.
English is the second language of Filipinos across time and space. Teaching and learning language is continually confronted by copious challenges. Thus, language educators are also tested to come up with valid and reliable decisions. To enable learners attain language proficiency is one of the prevalent and timeless aims of every teacher and student. Therefore, every language educator must plan, gather and analyze information about students’ language proficiency. To be able to do so, they must arm themselves with significant and innovative assessment tools.
According to the Brain Based Theory, human brain is a parallel processor that can do several activities at once. The search of meanings among humans is innate and comes through patterning. In short, everyone is capable to process wholes and parts simultaneously and as a result is able to make connections. Also, Jean Piaget’s theory of genetic epistemology argues that everyone must be given the chance to grow gradually without some interruptions like in language because if not, growth and development are ruined.
In this regard, students must be able to make connections between what they know about language and what they have in their lives. Students need to put into performance and products their knowledge in order to achieve higher level of language proficiency. It is a historical ideology that after every discussion of a grammar concept or lesson, students are engaged in a formative assessment to test whether they have understood the lesson. As a tendency, students memorize the whole grammar lesson for the sake of passing a quiz or seatwork. This practice does not cultivate long-term memory. But, these quizzes or seat works are very vital to objectively define the learning phase of every child. To find out the level of language proficiency, there is a great need to utilize other assessment tools that can augment language proficiency.
The study was grounded by three major key components namely context, performance and product. This study aimed to delineate the magnitude of usefulness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools in uplifting the language proficiency level of students from Beginning to Advanced. It claimed that when a lesson in grammar waa applied in an authentic activity, language proficiency was enriched. Activities refer to the performances and products. This stance of the study was supported by theory of communication of John Anderson ACT Theory of Communication.
ACT Theory of Communication is also known as CONCEPTACT. ACT stands for Adaptive Concept of Thought-Rational. Looking into its perspective, the researcher has found out its benefits to the study. The theory is geared toward acquiring knowledge through experiences and senses. In short, it deals with the application of lessons in authentic activities which are similar with product and performance assessment tools. The flow of the theory is shown in figure 2.
Figure 2
According to Anderson, there are three memory modules that must be understood in this paradigm. First is the declarative memory. It is considered the information, ideas and concepts that are restored and retrieved. Next is the production memory which enables humans to create products and performances that are matched with their declarative memory. And the last is working memory which is the most active one among the three because it empowers individuals to attain what is projected for them to achieve. Working memory combines the declarative and production memories. In connection, language proficiency is a cognitive internal process that involves the three types of memory mentioned. This theory is the baseline of the product and performance assessment tools. The configuration of J. Anderson’s theory and assessment tools is shown in figure 3.
Figure 3
Figure 3 reveals that the ACT theory suits and strengthens the claim of the product and performance assessment tools. This assessment tool has found out its effectiveness in elevating the language proficiency of the students from developing to approaching proficiency. Language assessment is an internal process that requires recall and employment of facts, ideas and information. When declarative and production memories are exercised, working memory begins to function. Working memory is employed in accomplishing assessment tools that results to elevated language proficiency level of students.
The researcher has found significant and related literature and studies on the product and performance assessment tools which were used to elevate the level of students’ language proficiency.
The educative process of the new millennium is steered by dramatic transitions in theories and in practices. These innovations are either seen the better ones or even the worse. The natural, uncontrollable and initial feedback of anyone towards innovations is resistance with different reasons. All levels stakeholders may respond emphatically ‘That’s impossible!’ when challenged by a new paradigm shift of education. The term paradigm shift is coined by Thomas Khunn. He is considered one of the most influential philosophers of science of the twentieth century, perhaps the most influential. How to make these things possible is the driving force of this study. Because transforming learning into a space of possibilities is the soul of the new epoch.
Teachers are products of the different centuries just like the students nowadays. What seems to be appropriate during their school days may be considered inappropriate today. How to bridge the gap between what they get used to do and what they should get used to do is a personal quest they must dwell into. Knowing whether a child has acquired proficiency or not is the paramount combat, teachers must face daily. These are only small particles of the whole new paradigm shift. An educative paradigm shift is never an easy calling but teachers remain steadfast to what they have vowed to do. Teachers adhere to Mark Twain’s famous line ‘I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.’ Educators all over the country are slowly and gradually embracing and adjusting themselves to the needs and desires of the noblest profession-teaching.
One of the most controversial subjects today is English which claims public attention and criticism. Teaching and learning English is both a national and a worldwide ultimatum. English is the widely and historically considered the second language of Filipinos. A great number of academicians and language experts have observed, studied and evaluated teaching practices since the Pre- Magellanic Era up to the present thus result to massive teaching practices modifications and replacements. Eventually, changes bring uncertainties in achieving language proficiency of Filipino learners. Based on some interviews conducted by the researcher among teachers, students belonging to the lower sections may find English unrealistic since they are not using English in their houses and in community while those who belong in the higher sections may take English seriously since they are competitive.
English language educators must update and arm themselves with the best and updated teaching approaches and practices that enable them to bridge the gap among the past, present and future circumstances. They must plan, gather and analyze data in order to respond appropriately with the increasing educational demands. This is the very nature of language assessment. Grammar is an inseparable factor in teaching English across space and time. The researcher of this study develops new assessment tool that hoists the level of students with developing language proficiency. No matter how fast the changing of the education is, teachers can never do away with using assessments. The researcher systematically arranges and discusses related studies and literature to aide extensive understanding of this new assessment tools called Product and Performance Assessment Tools. This section is divided into 3 called: A- The Present Challenges and Realities, B-Language Proficiency Assessment and C- Product and Performance Assessment Tools. At the end of this section, the researcher provides generalization of the above mentioned related studies and literature.
Twenty-first century education is marked by the modifications of conventions both in theories and in practices. The first present reality in education that stakeholders can never do away with is the new philosophical perspective about education. Theoretically at present, education is viewed as the hybridization of idealism, realism, progressivism and constructivism philosophical perspectives of education. No single expert in the field of education can say that one philosophy is better than the others. Or one is the best among other philosophies in education.
Subsequently, there is an undeniably great necessity in combining philosophies that surely suit the present needs for future possibilities. The process of combining philosophies is hybridization. According to Merriam Webster, hybridization or hybrid means something that is formed by combining two or more things. Extracting wisdom from each philosophy and putting them together is the process of hybridization. Secondly, the roles of stakeholders are given new faces like schools are expected to serve like the communities where students belong. Educators are viewed not as dispenser of information but as orchestrators of wisdom. Students are not anymore the receivers but the makers of information. We may be living in the said century but the school and its system are in need of reinvention to properly respond to the so called new paradigm shift of education.
Therefore, 21st century is all about promoting lifelong learning among learners through varied innovative teaching pedagogies and practices. So, the researcher has sought means to achieve and to enrich proficiency. Proficiency is one of the requirements in lifelong learning. The researcher believes the possible contribution of this assessment tool to lifelong learning. Product and performance assessment tools empower students to achieve proficiency and allow educators to measure students’ learning. This approach does not only allow them to get a commendable test score but also open doors for lifelong learning.
The International Labour Organization or ILO (2013), defines lifelong learning as “all learning activities undertaken throughout life for the development of competencies and qualifications” where “competencies” cover the knowledge, skills, and know-how applied and mastered in a specific context, and “qualifications” mean a formal expression of the vocational or professional abilities of a worker which is recognized at international, national or sectoral levels.’. This means alignment between what is taught inside the classroom to what is happening outside the school. Lifelong learning only takes place when students discover the meaning of learning thus results to having the reason to study continuously.
According to Delors Report, 1996 (in UNESCO for Education, 2011), lifelong learning is considered the infinite aim of education regardless of its type of curriculum. It exists beyond time and space. Different officials from public and private institutions exert much more effort as time passes by, in finding the better practices in the teaching-learning process that foster lifelong learning.
Moreover, Jennifer Bryce and Graeme Withers (2003) states that lifelong learning is establishing what they know in school and what they have in their life accounts. Bryce and Withers also make a paper entitled ‘Engaging secondary school students in lifelong learning’. This paper provides elements to be considered in the interpretation of lifelong learning that can cater any type of curriculum and genre of the present millenium.
They are as follows ‘ownership of the need to learn and its content are given to individuals; learning is about how to think rather than what to think; teachers are mentors and models of lifelong learning more than dispensers of knowledge; the purpose of assessment is to assist and encourage further exploration, rather than to categorise or merely relate students to some concept of a ‘norm’; and learning should be viewed as an enjoyable and integral part of one’s life.’ The above mentioned elements bring out the must- inseparable link of the students’ lives inside and outside the school. Delor (1996) coins the four pillars into learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and with others, and learning to be.
Delors’ Report (1999) is a powerful and timeless catalyst and standard from planning to evaluating educational changes and transformations worldwide. The report is entitled as ‘Learning the Treasure Within’ and submitted to UNESCO for the 21s. The research team of Delor where he was the chairman opened the visions of the Department of Education and UNESCO on the necessities of the 21st century in the teaching-learning process. The result of the research serves as the epitome of the different changes our educational system has undergone.
Additionally, the Filipino students and graduates are not just national men. With the birth of the new millennium, they are now called world men. World men are described as equipped individuals with world class knowledge and skills. The alliance of knowledge and skill is definitely needed by our 21st century learners. Whether we accept it or not, one of the greatest dreams of our students today is to work abroad. Working abroad sounds very promising to graduates or to the general Filipino public which is very visible in the result from the 2011 on Overseas Filipinos of the National Statistics Office, 2010 and 2011 Survey on Overseas Filipinos.
Figure 4
Number of OFWs and OCWs
The figure only shows undeniable high interest of Filipinos to work abroad. According to the survey, ‘The total number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at anytime during the period April to September 2011 was estimated at 2.2 million. The estimate for the same period of 2010 was 2.0 million. The overseas contract workers (OCWs) or those with existing work contract abroad comprised 95.3 percent of the total OFWs in 2011.’ As years pass by, the number of Filipinos working abroad is tremendously increasing. Based on the record, an additional of .2 million is present. No law forbids people from working abroad. It is anyone’s privilege and right to choose what to do and where to go.
Also the age bracket as shown in Figure 6 below, fortifies the claim that working abroad is the trending goal of most people especially those from 25-34 years of age. This receives the highest percentage of overseas Filipino workers. It can be interpreted that, newly graduates and young Filipinos are torn between two critical things. The first is working in our country with lower salary grade yet nearer with love ones. The second is, working abroad to ensure the future. Deciding which is which is the most dramatic stage. The point of the two conflicting ideas is sacrifice. Sometimes or even most of the time, the second remains painful yet powerful.
Figure 5
Age Bracket of Working Abroad
Likewise, overseas workers are composed of graduate and undergraduate Filipinos. One of the drastic situations for them is they are left with no choice once they are already abroad. The table only shows that the highest percentage of the major occupation is tabulated under laborers and unskilled workers. Unskilled labor is generally characterized by low or no education levels at all and small wages. The given figure 7 generalizes the report of the National Statistics Office.
Figure 6
Percent Distribution of OFWs by Major Occupation Group
Lastly, based on PIDS or Philippine Institute for Development Studies Volume XII No. 2( 2012), there are numerous factors of the implementation of K-12 Curriculum in the country regardless of the stirred mixed reactions from all sectors. These are the following; (1) low achievement result of Filipino students in the National Achievement Test (NAT), (2) congested ten-year basic curriculum, (3)unprepared graduates for nation and worldwide employment, (4)lack of basic competencies like communication, and (5) misalignment of national and international standards of education. One of the most shocking and frustrating consequences of these among Filipinos working abroad is that they are left with no choice but to get themselves involved in exploitative labor practices.
The above mentioned present realities require courageous effort coming from different level stakeholders to reinvent or even invent teaching practices that can respond properly to the arising complexities in the real world. Educators of different subjects must provide avenues for the training of students for what is meaningful and interesting to them. Teachers of English should work hand and hand in order to make any Filipinos work proficiently nationally or even internationally. But how to do it and where to start still remain questions to be answered.
Success is never an accident. Instead, it is an action. Every human being aims to succeed in his or her undertakings. Successful individuals are meant to fall and rise again. Therefore, he or she must regularly checks his or her steps. Similarly with education, teaching and learning are aimed to be successful. In order to tell whether teaching is efficacious or not, learning must be unceasingly assessed. This is the core of assessment.
Assessment is an integral part of curriculum. Regardless of types of curriculum, assessment exists. No matter how careful and artistic teachers are in planning and executing instructional designs, what students learn can never be predicted with certainty. It is only through assessment that teachers can measure what students have learned. Assessment is the bond between teaching and learning. It tells the current learning stage of students, where they must be and how to be there. According to Dylan William (2013), who works with schools, districts, and state and national governments all over the world to improve education, education should not be about what teachers put into the instruction but rather what students get out of it. In short, it is all about strengthening and elevating student engagement and achievement.
Teachers of different subjects can find and employ different means and tools for assessing students’ learning. One of the subjects that receive public attention is English. Language Proficiency is one of the target skills of language teachers to inculcate among students. In this study, language proficiency is defined as the standard of grammar development of the students where students must be able to recall and use language structures in different tasks. It also follows different levels of language proficiency namely beginning, developing, approaching proficiency, proficient and advanced. Finding out whether students have attained language proficiency is not the end of teaching and learning process. Strengthening and enriching the language proficiency of the students is the next action to be taken by different level stakeholders. Therefore there must be a constant language assessment in order to identify and to uplift the level of language proficiency of students.
In this study, language assessment is similar with authentic assessment. According to Archbald and Newmann (1988), assessment is about a significant and worthwhile task which students must accomplish. It tells that what students have learned about grammar during discussion must transpire in the task. The tasks are either quality products or performances.
It is the aspiration of every teacher to see his or her students be successful individuals in the society. Teaching is considered noblest the profession across time and space. The influences of teachers are wireless yet the strongest ones among the learners. Regardless of plentiful tasks, responsibilities and challenges, teachers never cease to respond appropriately and positively. With the abrupt arising of K-12 curriculum in the lives of educators, they still make all possible ways to meet halfway the scholastic requirements of the new curriculum and the needs of the people. Every teacher is nonetheless expected to be innovative and to adopt strategies for their learner needs.
The ultimate dream of every language teacher is to witness students perform using the target language. In the Philippine setting, the national target language is English. After schooling, every child is expected to demonstrate the projected learning outcome- communication. Communication is a two way conveying of information for the purpose of creating shared understanding. Communication revolves around meaning and form. In order to communicate, concepts and lessons must be learned first. Grammar instruction is as vital as any other kinds of inputs for it gives communication the life it needs to survive. Real life communication is a matter of execution and application of what has emerged in the teaching and learning process. Therefore, while still in the process of learning, one must have a clear realization of the connection of what is in school and of what the world can offer. Therefore, it is the role of every teacher to analyze students’ needs and interest too so that, he or she can come up with a product or perforance.
Isagani Cruz (2013) in his mini critique in the Philippine Star Newspaper entitled ‘Beyond Minimum’ scrutinizes the so called Minimum Learning Competencies. He brings out the difference of learning competencies gained by students in public and in private schools. According to him, students in private school have greater chances and privileges to achieve maximum learning competencies than those in public schools. One of the reasons for this setting is teaching resources. He states an example of a language classroom scenario. Students in public schools learn the different sounds and shapes of English words in the third grading period of Grade 1. Private school students, on the contrary, do not have to wait. They can learn them earlier than preparatory. In addition, according to him, minimum learning competency is free but not the maximum. The researcher who is currently teaching in a public school tries to find possible and effective means to elevate students’ competencies for free.
Moreover, the teachers should use appropriate materials and teaching devices and periodic assessment of students to allow constant reappraisal and alterations. Artistic learning and creativity are encouraged. Doctor C.G. Alberca (1999) accentuates the must among educators to be very inventive in implementing assessment tools to use.
One of the overriding hostilities of the educators of the new millennium is how to determine whether a child has learned or not. Teachers are born in the past millennium yet are working in the present epoch. Definitely, teachers are for all seasons in demand individuals. They are assessors of students’ learning phase. Students must be exposed to varied assessment tools in order to explore and use what they have learned.
Varied assessment tools can motivate a student to study harder, to do good in his studies and reap honors in the end. Performance assessment may fall under the modern approach to teaching and learning process. From this perspective, performance is definitely the other missing yet very important significant part of students’ growth and development. Through the use of performance based approach, determining whether a child has learned or not can be visibly checked. Performance Assessment is a non-traditional assessment used to complement traditional assessment in order to gather holistic information about student performance.(Fernandez, 2005)
Several researchers have given the definition and found the significance of performance and products assessment in the educative process. One of them is Mursell ( in Fernandez, 2005) who describes teaching as a success once it brings timeless result. This is a very simple yet powerful description of what teaching is really all about. Realizing this idea may seem a standard of perfection. Yet, this perfection is possible. The possibility of perception is unleashed in the so called Performance Assessment. Teachers of English must considered communication as the timeless result of their efforts. So, according to him, students must be able to determine concepts and apply them in world-related circumstances and undertakings.
Then, Obsequio (2010) defines Performance Assessment as a crucial process that demonstrates what the students know and as well as what they can do with the knowledge they receive. Also, Gasparo ( in Piodena 2013) considers PPA or Product and Performance Assessment as a successful strategy to education reform. It emphasizes reflective and critical thinking and personal investment in one’s own learning. Performance assessment utilizes meaningful, naturalistic context embedded tasks via collaborative tasks wherein students are able to use grammar lessons.
Similarly, Kirkpatrick 2003 (in Piodena 2013) mentions different advantages of performance assessments. It is very much effective for it provides more authentic assessments, encourages higher order thinking rather than memorization and recall, more engaging and therefore more motivating for the students, and more valid assessments, specifically more systematically- valid. Piodena (2013) emphasizes that there is no single assessment tool to adequately assess all aspect of student performance. Piodena enumerates types of Performance Assessment which are original stories, skit and puppet show. Original stories include several specified grammatical structures. And, skit is a real world situation where grammar and vocabulary are and can be used while puppet show uses real-world context. Equally, Obsequio (2010) describes Performance-based assessment as highly effective for it provides a wide range of assessment choices among teachers to provides performance of authentic meaningful and reality-based tasks. It directly integrates knowledge or concept and skills in a natural setting. The reality of performance tasks is that they do represent an alternative to traditional paper and pencil tasks. Even Darling-Hammond (2006) says ‘Performance assessments that require students to evaluate and solve complex problems, conduct research, write extensively, and demonstrate their learning in projects, papers, and exhibitions have proven key to motivating students and attaining high levels of learning in redesigned high schools’. These activities may be of great help to determine and justify the level of proficiency of students both in content and skills and in form and meaning.
To cite some related studies, Romero (2012) conducts a study on the effects of an Activity-Based Learning Strategy on the Mathematics Performance of Grade IV pupils. The study reveals that the experimental group with the mentioned activity receives an increase in performance over the control group which receives regular mathematics lesson. Performance Assessment uses countless tasks. According to Bygate, Skehan, and Swain define a task as ‘an activity which requires learners to use language, with emphasis on meaning, to attain an objective’.
Abedi (2010) has found out that through performance assessment, the academic career of English language learners can influence students’ development and progress. On the other side, using this approach may bring bias judgment which must be addressed immediately. Nonetheless, performance assessment is still believed to be an operative assessment tool in charting students’ progress.
Furthermore, PIODENA (2013), in her thesis entitled Enhancement of English Language Proficiency Through the Use of Performance-Based Assessment, findings revealed the significance of the study. In her study, the experimental group who is exposed to the use of product-based assessment gets higher scores than the control group in the posttest.
Teaching grammar has been modified along with the birth of other educative changes like curriculum, theories, practices and generation. Agreeing to Yahya Dkhissi, the author of An Integrative Model of Grammar Teaching: From Academic to Communicative Need, that teaching grammar does not end in recognizing concepts, rules and structures. But instead, it is just the beginning. Dkhissi (2014) puts emphasis on the use of the inductive approach along with communication and problem solving activities in order to make teaching and learning grammar motivating and interesting. It is very observable that once a person is motivated either extrinsically or intrinsically or even both, he or she can demonstrate transfer of learning from content to skills through varied performances or tasks.Likewise, the English Curriculum in Israel sets out the expected principles on choosing or making language tasks in schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The four over-arching principles for all kinds of tasks are the following ; ‘(a) Tasks are meaningful, (b) are transparent to the learner in terms of the goals, on-going process and product, (c)focus on both form and meaning and (d) encourage both convergent and divergent thinking.’. Hence, performance based approach must be comprised of tasks that observe the above mentioned underlying principles. In connection, grammar instruction using the said assessment must focus both in form and meaning.
This study leads to another approach in teaching grammar which is called Task-Based Language Teaching or TBLT. TBLT is also known as Task-Based Instruction. Tasks must be both knowledge- constructing tasks and language activating tasks. Colin J. Thompson and Neil T. Millington (2012) cite Willis’ (1996) the three main stages which are pre-task, task cycle and language focus. Agreeing with Willis (1996), pre-task empowers students recall words they can use in accomplishing the task. Whereas, task cycle is the actual showcasing of performance or product where they apply the words they recall in the pre-task level. Finally, language focus is the phase where students are directed to the recognition of grammatical structures and rules. Their responses are based on their experiences in the task cycle level. Thompson and Millington (2012) cites the significant effectiveness of this teaching approach in improving the second language oral skills of the students. TBI or TBLT mentioned above follows similar procedure from how PPBA or also known as Performance and Product-Based Assessment is utilized. PPBA in this study simultaneously undergoes introduction, discussion and drills or tasks. Introduction is used to prepare the students for the discussion. It also prepares them to fully understand the grammar lessons to be discussed. Then, through discussion, varied objective examples are shown to elicit the grammar lesson. Next is the drills phase or task phase. It is where students the grammar lessons are put into skills.
Aside from the above mentioned teaching and learning practices, another helpful study is found out. It is called Content and Language Integrated Learning or CLIL. It has proven its success in the field of education not only across countries and continents but as well as across types of schools. Graddol (in Doyle et.al. 2010) views CLIL as the ultimate communicative methodology because it provides more holistic and authentic learning process. CLIL also claims that language learning takes place in a natural setting. Language learning can take place when learners directly receive instructions and manipulate them in real-life situations.
Another modern teaching practice that can be associated with the study is the Network- Based Instruction or also known as Network- based Language Teaching and Learning. Warschauer and Kern (2000) define NBLT as a pertinent part of TBLT that empowers learners to develop their language through doing. Instead, it is all about letting students manipulate their knowledge, transform it into understanding and be able to perform. Grammar instruction is the starting point of exploration of concepts, discovery of meaning and demonstration of skills. Language teaching is both content and skills. Therefore, performances are not the only bases for students’ language proficiency. Another core of this study is product assessment.
Different sectors have opened windows of definition of what product is. According to Boundless Marketing (2014) a product is defined as a tangible things brought by labor or effort. The word has existed since 15. Relatively with education, product refers to something that is tangible where learning can be seen. In addition, another quite similar approach in language teaching is project-based. Markham (2011) describes project-based learning (PBL) as a vital element of the core curriculum that integrates knowing and doing. PBL emphasizes what students can do with what they know. This approach integrates present realities in the process of teaching and learning in order to establish. According to Buck Institute for Education (BIE), Project -Based Learning (PBL) permits students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. It highly reveals the needs to know essential knowledge and skill. These Project- Based Learning and Task-Based Instruction are equated with Product and Performance Assessment. It does not only aim to categorize whether students have learned or not but as well as to define the extent of learning. Products are the outputs serve as pieces of evidence of learning of students. Utilizing product is as important as performance to determine whether the child has moved forward or not at all.
These performance and products are one of the standards of ACT Theory by Anderson. It involves the three types of memory. However, performances and products are not only the techniques to make learning grammar lasting. Students must be able to establish connections between what they should know and what they know already prior to schooling. This is the basis for a contextualized teaching and learning process. This study applies the concept of GRASPS in the product and performance assessment tools. GRASPS stands for Goal, Role, Audience, Scenario or Situation, Product or Performance and Standard. Hence, product and performance assessment are contextualized assessment tools.
Johnson (2002) opens avenues of possible answers to the query about. Contextual teaching and learning is the heart of connection. Connection leads to meaning. Meaning gives individuals reason for learning. Contextual Teaching and Learning or also known as CLT is a brain-compatible system that connects classroom learning to students contextual daily lives. It is the connection that counts. Brown, Collins & Duguid (1989) correspondingly states that authentic situations like GRASPS are not merely just useful but essential. Teaching pedagogies must promote more essential learning rather than useful learning. According to Merriam Webster, essential is an adjective that implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character while the word useful refers to being able put to use. In short, essential learning is a natural need that talks about human existence. And useful learning is a world requirement that empowers men to survive in the society where they belong. Putting these in the educative process affords innovations both in theories and in practices.
Many stakeholders have considered learning by doing of John Dewey the most effective way to learn. Yet for decades, there are numerous difficulties in implementing this. Doing is an expression of learning. K-12 curriculum emboldens exhibition of authentic learning from all students.
Lombardi(2007, Oblinger (Ed)), defines authentic learning as real-world situations that give lifelong solutions using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice. Authentic learning is all about the inclusion of present realities in the learning phase. In addition, Lombardi(2007) states that classroom activities for authentic learning are the application of knowledge in real-world contexts like managing a city, building a house, flying an airplane, setting a budget, solving a crime and others. Authentic learning for the 21st century brings new working habits of minds and body. There are three importance of authentic learning stated in the work of Lombardi (2007), edited by Oblinger. First is, ‘Learners look for connections’. Once a student is exposed to a new concept or idea, he or she tries to magnify the relevance of the idea to his or her life and experiences. This implies that once students have established connections, they can smoothly and openly adapt learning. Second importance of authentic learning is, ‘Long-lived attachments come with practice’. Students need to air through practices what they have cognitively acquired. Once these ideas are put into practices and connected to students’ lives, learning can happen. Otherwise, attachment is broken and the information is deleted. And the third significance is ‘New contexts need to be explored’. Concepts learned are always part of larger learning pictures. The setting, activities and people play important role in making students successful in all therefore undertakings. Along with the emerging students profile today, views on teaching and learning must be upgraded. To succeed in any kind of challenges, the interplay of concepts, skills and contexts must be made known all throughout the teaching and learning process.
Authentic learning is the timeless outcome that can be achieved by all kinds of learners if appropriate pedagogies are utilized. This is strongly supported by Newmann and Wehlage maintain ‘that instruction is authentic if it helps students achieve three broad goals: construct meaning and produce knowledge, use disciplined inquiry to construct meaning, and aim work toward production of discourse, products, and performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school’.
(Wisconsin Education Association Council, Performance Assessment, Education Issues Series ,1999). Consequently, authenticating teaching and learning requires students’ profile of life experiences, interests and needs. These are just some of the contexts that promote authentic learning among learners
Baker, E., Hope, L. and Karandjeff, K. (2009) defines contextualized teaching and learning as a way of connecting subject matter concepts to meaningful situations that are relevant to students’ lives, offers one promising approach to helping students learn more effectively. Likewise, relevance of context to teaching and learning serves as the groundwork of CTL.
Education Development Center or (EDC, 2012) in Massachusetts explains that contextualized teaching and learning gives relevance to basic skills, coursework, and a connection to college and career. It allows transferability of learning from basic education to college and from college to profession. One of the most operative explanation of contextualized teaching and learning in this study is in Perin’s claim. Perin (2013) explores the nature and effectiveness of contextualization. It is stated that through contextualization of teaching and learning, a very admirable progress of academically underprepared college students is achieved. Contextualized teaching and learning is a very promising yet challenging approach. The study on contextualized teaching and learning commonly uses qualitative research. Some consider this approach subjective. To test its effectiveness, there must be an objective way of assessment which can be in a form of paper-pencil tests.
Perin et.al (2013) analyze the effectiveness of the CLT approach in the paper entitled ‘A Contextualized Intervention for Community College Developmental Reading and Writing Students’. In two experiments, a contextualized intervention was administered to developmental reading and writing students in two community colleges. The intervention was a 10-week curricular supplement that emphasized written summarization, as well as vocabulary knowledge, question generation, reading comprehension, and persuasive writing. The intrusion was based on reading passages from science textbooks, with nonspecific text from developmental education textbooks added in the second experiment. The findings of this study suggest that the intervention had utility for academically underprepared postsecondary students. This implies that through the implementation of contextualized teaching and learning, student cognitively downloading is strengthened for they are able to find meaning and connections between concepts and themselves.
So, product and performance assessment tools exploit GRASPS which is contextualized. The researcher aims to define the extent of effectiveness of this assessment tool in defining and elating the language proficiency of students from developing to higher phase. The main subject of this study is English. Isagani Cruz, (2014) states that English is one of the contextualized subjects. Language subject like English must take into consideration what students want to know, need to know, and able to do. Contextualized subjects are the tool subjects that enable learners to be equally equipped with contents and skills. In his mini critique in the newspaper, he gives an example of the use of contextualized English. Maria, the character in the critique, enrolls herself in the Core Subjects and TVL Track for the Contextualized Track Subjects. By this action, she learns vocabulary useful and essential to her career in communicating with diverse people. Context empowers men and women achieve their dream careers. Connecting it to the basic education system, students should have been exposed to a contextualized approach in teaching grammar in order to attain what is expected from them to project. Basically, students are products of their environments and experiences. And, English is not the natural language of Filipino students. How to make students appreciate English and perform using the language without forgetting themselves in the picture is the question addressed by contextualized teaching and learning. The Massachusetts Community College Workforce and Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA), funded by U.S. Department of Education, work hand in hand with Education Development Center in reporting the effectiveness of contextualized curricular across Massachusetts. The report reveals, ‘Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC) and its researchers have published. Several working papers and briefs on contextualized learning, one of which is the research synthesis Facilitating Student Learning Through Contextualization: A Review of Evidence (2011) noted above. For this research synthesis, Delores Perin, a senior research associate with the CCRC, analyzed 27 studies of contextualization conducted between 1990 and 2010. Perin’s study has found positive outcomes of contextualized instruction. Nevertheless, Perrin also has documented the limited use of contextualization in community colleges currently, with possible reasons including expense, lack of knowledge of its existence or awareness of its benefits, the effort required to implement it.
Conclusively, contextualized teaching and learning is said to be very promising and effective based on qualitative findings. To strengthen the findings, researchers must employ quantitative research to strongly support the claims of CLT in terms of mastery of concepts, proficiency of skills and relevance of ones’ profile to ones’ learning processes.
Specifically, the use of context in teaching chemistry is found out effective both in the studies of Belen( 2005) and Topacio (2006). Finally, contexts are also found in the ACT theory for it requires authentic application of chunks (grammar lessons) in real life human activities. Putting all together the above mentioned related studies and literature, the researcher has created a new assessment tool called Product and Performance Assessment Tools. The next section highlights the generalization of the study, and the limited studies where ACT theory is utilized.
Everyone around the world is gifted with the power of recalling what the past had. But, no single human can undo what has been given birth in his or her world. Likewise, no one can disclose what the future holds for him or her. Bridging the gap among the past, present and future is like waiting for a wishing star to pass over one being. Comparatively, life is education and education is life. Education is as old as life. Education has undergone tremendous development, changes, revisions and even rejections. As life gets complicated, education becomes unpredictable. Education just like life is a product of past, present and future circumstances. Human can exclaim ‘I quit!.’. But, it must not be done by any human being. Because once we say, ‘I cannot!’ to education, we give up our once in a lifetime privilege to live to the fullest of our abilities.
One of the challenges that threatens quality education is the uncontrollable rate of Filipinos going abroad as exposed in the National Statistics Office Report 2010-2011. The most pressing reality is that most of these Filipinos belong to the 25-34 age groups who are hired and labeled unskilled and under laborers abroad. Unskilled or under laborers are individuals who are engaged in low or no educational requirement jobs. Education and society can never be separated. It is timelessly believed that through education, the quality of life that awaits Filipinos in the outside world can be enhanced. This study hopes to contribute to the realization of dreams of many Filipino students once they go out of schooling. The above mentioned result of the survey is a living testament of that the overseas Filipino workers are left empty handed of choices. The need to integrate the unison of knowledge and skills in the teaching and learning process is highlighted. All small ways can contribute to the bigger steps in coming up with better solutions. The knowledge and skills of every individual must interplay to create positive change. The general query to ask now is ‘How can education extend its hands to save the overseas Filipino workers’?. And specifically, ‘ What classroom activities can help the future Filipino workers inside and outside the country get the jobs they deserve?. One of the most controversial yet the most significant idea in the field of education is performance. Knowledge and skills are interwoven. The generation of students nowadays is marked by fusion of both wherein they are entitled of control on their own learning. According to Domingo (2010), the more students gain active participation in the process, the more they understand the concepts.
Indeed, all the above mentioned present veracities require a teaching practice that bridges the past, present and future endeavors of every learner where he or she needs to display a mastery of content and a proficiency of skills. Truly, the researcher believes that these statuses of the Filipino overseas workers can be lessen or even stopped if we start using appropriate and upgraded teaching practices in education. To summarize the above emphasized related studies and literature, we can say that engaging students to a lifelong learning takes a lot of courage, initiative and passion from the administrative and teaching stakeholders. Students should be given the chances to explore ideas and concepts then apply them in real life scenarios gear toward life-long learning.
In order to understand what the education of today demands from the humanity, men must take actions and not only wait for the wishing stars to fall. They need a great number of researches and studies to gather information and data necessarily in addressing paradigm shift in this pluralistic society. Teachers, as one of the stakeholders of schools have equal rights and duties toward the education of the students. One of the greatest rights of every educator is to make innovations applicable for his or her learners. Based on the cumulative studies mentioned above, the students nowadays belong to the generation Z. Generation Z can hardly define life beyond modern times. They are equipped with the skills to do multi-tasking. As a result, they desire instant processing so they can still accomplish what they dream and want to do. Long procedures are definitely beyond their vocabulary about education. Nonetheless, educators are unseasonal professionals so they must be very flexible and wise amidst complexities and challenges the educational system is facing. Regardless of the unexplainable qualities of students of generation today, educators should still remain steadfast to what they have vowed to do. They are regarded as the foundations of solutions.
Challenges and solutions come in different forms and shapes. Todays’ education is valiant, stimulating and complex. The art of teaching maybe modified but never the soul of teaching. The lifespan commitment of education is to instill lifelong learning in every individual. The above mentioned related studies on lifelong learning highlights the alliance between knowledge and skill and its use in the outside world. According to Downs (2011), lifelong learning is not about ‘either or’ but ‘both and’. Knowledge and skill must go hand in glove to renovate individuals into effective employees, citizens and lifelong learners. Therefore, lifelong learning takes place once knowledge and skills are combined. Students must be able to discover meaning all their undertakings in the classroom. Integrating reality in the teaching-learning process, authentic learning takes place. According to psychology, once a human is motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically, he or she is capable to do something at all costs. In the field of education, students who find meaning in what they do tend to excel more because they have discovered reasons for learning.
In addition, Carnie (2003) also states that ‘The learning experience needs to be active and hands on project work than by passively receiving information. By bringing the subject matters to life in this way children can make it their own and are more likely to be able to apply what they have learned in other situations’. Carnie’s stand is in congruence with one of the purposes of education which is to provide parameters of reality-based learning experiences that enable students find meanings in their leaning and gradually make them achieve their dreams in life. But how can students bring in the outside world what they have learned about grammar is a trial to face and solve.
To overcome trials that confront education, educators must constantly assess what students have learned and what they can do with what they have learned. This is the very essence of assessment. Lifelong learning can hardly be measured with certainty without employing assessment tools. Assessment is not an end itself but a channel for educational improvement. Kulieke et al ,1990 ( in Assessment and Reporting Unit Learning Policies Branch,2005) has shown through a diagram the increasing demand and significance of assessment in the educative process. These directions for assessment underpin a new set of assessment practices and assessment culture which is utilized as a tool for learning (Gielen et al in Segers et al, 2003). Assessment is used to keep track of the students learning from the starting to end point of educative process.
Figure 7
Directions in Assessment
decontextualised, atomistic contextualized, using skills in context
Numbers of measures
single multiple
Levels of Comprehension
low high
Dimensions of Intelligence
few many
Relation to the learning process
isolated assessment integrated assessment
Teacher student
The figure shown above enlightens every teacher and student on the remarkable progressive effect of the assessment in terms of authenticity, numbers of measures, levels of comprehension, dimensions of intelligence, relation to the learning process and responsibility. This figure also strengthens the claim of the researcher that assessment tools are not just used to inform students about their language proficiency but to elevate the students’ level of language proficiency. Across the curriculum, time and space, assessment does exist. With the above mentioned social and economic realities, one of the subjects that can be of help is English.
English is a tool subject in any kind of curriculum. It is both knowledge and skills. English as the second language of students requires great efforts from students to truly master the competencies needed. Knowledge in this study refers to the grammar lessons covered in every quarter. On the other hand, skills may refer to the needed competencies where students must apply what they have learned. Knowledge and skills can never be assessed separately. One of the target competencies in language classes is language proficiency. Language proficiency is operationally defined in this study as the standard of grammar development of the respondents before and after the execution of the study. It enables the respondents to combine knowledge and skills. ‘Grammaring’ should be highlighted than grammar. It pertains to teaching grammar both as knowledge and skills to be learned by students. (Larsen-Freeman 1997; 2001 in Murcia 2006) The researcher aims not only to ascertain whether the students have achieved language proficiency but as well as to delineate the range of effectiveness of using product and performance assessment tools in elevating students language proficiency level. Language assessment is a necessity in charting the language proficiency of students. This assessment is equated with authentic assessment because it calls for reality integration and union of knowledge and skill.
Further, the language assessment tools used in this study are called performance and product assessment tools. The diverse and related researches and studies on the product and performance assessment have proven its significant contribution in the teaching and learning process. Most of the studies mentioned in the sub topics above are conducted using experimental method. It is revealed in the findings that experimental groups exposed to equated studies have demonstrated impressive learning gains.
Specifically, performance assessment is transforming ‘knowing’ into ‘showing’ (Burz & Marshall, 1996). It allows learners to demonstrate their understanding on a certain grammar lesson through role playing, interviewing, reporting and the like. This performance assessment is closely similar or if not associated with Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), Content and Language Integrated Learning( CLIL), Activity Based Learning Strategy (ABLS), Project- Based Instruction (PBI) and Network-Based Instruction (NBI). Also, discourse-based language programs emphasize context, text and discourse type. Goals, tasks and procedures are taken into account. ( Murcia, Brinton and Snow, 2014) These come in different forms and shapes but solely aim one overarching purpose. This aim is to witness students exhibit their understanding of a lesson. Performances are not the only means to develop understanding about language proficiency of the learners. This study also employs product assessment tools which refer to tangible pieces of evidence of students learning. It is truly believed that product is closely related or not associated with project ‘based instruction and portfolio assessment because they are all the results of what students have cognitively processed. Both the product and performance assessment tool mentioned in this cognitive undertaking also intent to measure the level of students’ language proficiency and gradually elevate it from beginning to advanced.
The researcher uses the GRASPS to put together best practices and research findings on product and performance assessment, contextual teaching and learning, knowledge and skills and lifelong learning. GRASPS is taken from the Understanding by Design Framework or Ubd which is underpinned with ACT Theory. The given figure below shows the use of this assessment tool in this study.
Table 1
GRASPS in the Study
Goal It is a real-world purpose that students must instill among themselves. It is also considered the overarching lifelong target of the tasks.
Role This refers to human functions in the society or career.
Audience It pertains to classmates, schoolmates, teachers and administrators who can witness the showcase of performance or products.
Scenario or Situation This means authentic problem, context or task that students must be able to solve or attend to using their knowledge and skills.
Performance or Product It is the final output of the instruction. Performance refers to demonstration while product refers to construction of knowledge and skills.
Standards These are the criteria of judging.
Studying this figure, the related literature and studies on lifelong learning, context, authentic assessment, performances, products and the others which are considered essential and helpful are put together in the product and performance assessment tools of this study. Finally, as Mc Tighe and Ferrara say (in National Education Association,1994) ‘ We take the position that the primary purpose of classroom assessment is to inform teaching and improve learning, not to sort and select students or to justify a grade.’ Therefore, the aim of the researcher to define the extent of effectiveness of product and performance assessment tools in elevating the level of students with developing language proficiency suits the main purpose of classroom assessment. In this undertaking, assessment tools are not only viewed and used to tell whether students have obtained language proficiency or not but to inform and strengthen teaching and learning.
Chapter 2
This chapter presents and discusses the method and procedures used in conducting this study. It comprises the research design, the respondents, the instruments used, data collection and statistical treatment of data which determined the extent of effectiveness of using the product and performance assessment tools in elevating the level of students’ language proficiency. The said assessment tools were employed in a regular English language classroom setting.
The researcher used a Quasi- Experimental Method to attain the aim of this study. According to NCTi or National Center for Technology Innovation, ‘A quasi-experimental study is a type of evaluation which aims to determine whether a program or intervention has the intended effect on a study’s participants.’ Quasi-Experimental Method is somehow similar to an experimental design. However, the research methods used lack the randomization in the selection of samples or respondents. There is no controlled group involved in the study. This key characteristic of the design is the very reason of the researcher to use the said method. Also, one group pretest and posttest design was employed following the diagram below.
Figure 6
The diagram showed the overall flow of the method. O1 referred to the pretest while O2 was the posttest conducted. The X in between the pretest and posttest pertained to the treatment used for the study. Both the pretest and posttest were constructed after the diagram presented above.
Pretest gave the researcher the microscopic view of the language proficiency level of the respondents individually and collectively. The said test measured the stock knowledge or the declarative memory (ACT THEORY of J. Anderson) of the students in the selected grammar lessons from Second Grading to Third Grading Periods only. Then, the utilization of the assessment tools was conducted every after discussion of a grammar lesson. In this phase, students were expected to use their declarative, procedural and working memories in achieving and enriching their language proficiency level. Finally, a posttest was administered to numerically measure the extent of effectiveness of the said assessment tools in elevating the students language proficiency. The study operationally defined language proficiency as the standard of grammar development of the respondents before and after the employment of the assessment tools that enable them to use both their knowledge and skill.
Respondents of the Study
The target group of the study was the Grade 7 Section 19 (Obedience) students of Jose Abad Santos High School, S.Y. 2014-2015 with different operationally used language proficiency levels. Out of the 42 officially enrolled, only 35 students were used in this study. The researcher had encouraged students to attend to school but socio-economic status of students was becoming the biggest competitor of the researcher in terms of students’ priorities. The 7 students had 10-20 days of absences. Consequently, the 7 students also missed the pretest for the study. Likewise, they missed most of the discussions and activities during the implementation phase. As a result, they were not able to finish the complete sessions of the teaching-learning process using the product and performance assessment tools. Based on the data gathered from the pretest, the students’ scores ranged from 20 to 50.
The study was conducted in the natural setting of an English class where both the teacher and the respondents were present. The respondents of the study were not informed about the objective of the utilization of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools in order to preserve the natural climate of teaching and learning process. The researcher of this undertaking was also the English teacher of the respondents. Prior to the submission of this research topic to the office, the researcher employed daily observations since first quarter to trace a language classroom problem where the study could be of help. During the first grading period, the researcher employed seat works and quizzes as assessment tools in determining whether they had achieved what was expected from them to achieve this year. Results of the said assessment tools were found commendable because majority of the participants got passing scores. However, they could hardly recall or had forgotten the lessons in grammar a week after the discussion of the topic based on interviews, observations and quizzes. This scenario pushed the researcher to find ways on how to truly identify whether students had achieved the daily objectives. Subsequently, the researcher decided to apply and to test the effectiveness of the product and performance assessment tools. To justify how effective this assessment tool was, the researcher also made use of operationally employed language proficiency levels. These product and performance assessment tools engaged learners in individual, pair and groups works that were designed to target language structures.
The study operationally made use of GRASPS where students could recall and apply the language structures they had learned. There were 9 sets of Product and Performance Assessment Tools. The respondents worked individually, by pair and by group. The researcher aimed to find out how effective the said assessment tool was in elevating the students’ language levels. There were nine performances and products used in the course of this study. The nine were as follow:
(1) Choosing Future Career: Students were grouped according to their dreams and asked to come up with a skit that was about themselves and their ultimate dream career in the future. The students were asked to use the words some, many, no one, or, neither-nor, is, are, the number or a number and the like.
(2) One’s Responsibilities: Respondents were individually tasked to create a scrapbook that contains their pictures from childhood to present. They were asked to recall their responsibilities, experiences and chores using those pictures. Also, they were informed that they were expected to use complete sentences.
(3) Help the Foreigner Find the Way: Students were grouped into five and tasked to help the foreigner find his way in Divisoria through a play. Also, they were required to use determiners to show definiteness of directions.
(4) Unforgettable Experience/s with Family: Students were individually asked to share through a short journal their unforgettable experience/s with their families. They were also informed to use different sentence patterns to ensure exactness of the idea/s.
(5)Daily Routine: Students were individually tasked to share their daily routine through a short journal using cohesive devices.
(6) Order of Adjectives: Students were asked to encourage everyone that Christmas is for all through the use of a facebook status. Students are tasked to use order of adjectives in their status.
(7) Best Reminder: Students were asked to work by pair. They were tasked to share orally the best reminder they have received from their family members like father, mother or guardian. They were required to use direct and indirect speech in their sharing. One of the partners was asked to transform the direct into indirect and vice versa.
(8) Getting To Know Each Other: Students were given privilege to look for a person they want to know better. Each of the partners was tasked to construct a written interview for each other using the basic WH question which they both answered.
(9)Biography: Students are tasked individually to come up with a written biography of a person they know the most. They are expected to write three paragraphs using the simple tense of the verbs.
Procedure of the Experiment
Immediately, after the approval of the thesis by the Office of the Graduate Division, the researcher outlined phases of collecting data in order to determine the extent of effectiveness of this assessment tool. There were three stages the researcher had observed and undergone:
Preliminary Stage. The researcher had determined the respondents of the study. The purposeful sampling procedure in selecting the respondents of this study was employed. The researcher chose Grade 7 Section 19 as the target group. The researcher had sought the formal approval of the school principal through a request letter to conduct the study with the condition of no class disturbances. Meaning, the respondents of the study should come from the researcher’s classes as much as possible. Next, the researcher constructed a pretest on the English grammar contents under the Grade 7 Curriculum. To ensure the validity and reliability of the test questionnaire, the researcher sought formally through a letter permission from the Office of the Division of Manila to conduct test questionnaire validation among Master Teachers and Grade Seven Teachers in District III.. Succeeding, the researcher conducted the validated pretest among the respondents in order to determine their language proficiency level. Finally, the researcher had carefully and started lesson planning using the GRASPS.
Production Stage. This stage was the actual employment of the assessment tools. This was intended to uplift the language proficiency level of the respondents. The learning activities delimited the application of the grammar lessons in real life. Each lesson lasted one hour. And the experimentation took place from the Second to the Third Quarter.
The researcher employed performance or product assessment tools every after discussion of a grammar lesson. The GRASPS was used to make the performance or product assessment expectations clearer to the minds of the students.
Validation Stage. To validate the test questionnaire, the researcher formally sought the expertise of Master teachers and Grade Seven Teachers in different schools of District III, Manila. All the suggestions and comments of the validators were used. After finishing the total implementation of the study, a posttest was conducted among the respondents in order to assess the effectiveness of employing the assessment tools. This posttest was conducted to numerically define the extent of effectiveness of the product and performance assessment tools in elevating the language proficiency level of the students.
With the help of the experts and technology, the researcher was able to collect, organize, tabulate and measure figures to establish the numerical extent of effectiveness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools. The following statistical treatments were employed by the researcher.
Mean Score. Through this, the quantitative difference of the pretest and posttest was measured and established. Also, the numerical extent of effectiveness of the said assessment tools in determining and elevating the language proficiency was revealed both in the pretest and posttest. The description was taken from the K-12 Level of Proficiency of the students while the score scale and interpretation were patterned after the five descriptions. The researcher highly regarded this scale as the one of the most appropriate and valid to realize the goal of this study to determine how effective the product and performance assessment is in uplifting students’ language proficiency levels. The raw scores were interpreted using the scale below in Table 2.
Table 2
81-100 Advanced Theoretically, it means that student is able to maximize his or her declarative, procedural and working memories through the use of the assessment tools. Operationally, the respondents can recall, enrich and use the grammar lessons at the same time. As a result, the student learns and exceeds the expected language proficiency expectations in this study.
61-80 Proficient Theoretically, the students can utilize their declarative, procedural and working memories at once. Operationally, the students can recall and use grammar lessons in different situations. Thus enable them to acquire the maximum language proficiency.
41-60 Approaching Proficient Theoretically, the student at this stage has average language proficiency which means that his or her declarative and procedural memories are slowly and gradually fused with working memory. Operationally, the respondents are starting to recall and use grammar lessons.
21-40 Developing The student at this level possesses the minimum language proficiency which means that students can recall grammar lessons (declarative memory) but needs to be enriched using procedural and working memories.
0-20 Beginning The student at this level struggles has not yet acquired language proficiency. This phase signals that the student uses his or her declarative memory or guessing ability.
Learning Gains. These charted the individual and collective difference of students learning gains in the pretest and posttest. The individual difference reveals the extent of effectiveness of the assessment tools to every respondent. To support this finding, the researcher also made use of analysis of group learning gains. The collective difference between the pretest and posttest highlighted the over-all effectiveness of the tools in elevating the general language proficiency level of the students. Likewise, the researcher also made use of Microsoft Excel to compute the difference. The researcher used the formula below to get the learning gains. The formula was taken from Emporia State University, 2006 a2 (in Rizardo,2011). The pre and post assessments mentioned were referred as the pretest and posttest raw score. The researcher composed interpretation guide for the students’ learning gains in table 3. This statistical treatment of data was employed to answer problem no. 2.
Formula: (Post-assessment ‘ Pre-assessment)
(Maximum Score*-Pre-Assessment)
Table 3
Interpretation Guide for the Students’ Gain Scores
Gain Score Descriptions Interpretations
Very high The assessment tools used had most significant contribution to the elevation of the language proficiency level of student/s as revealed from pretest to posttest.
High The assessment tools used had more significant contribution to the elevation of the language proficiency level of student/s as revealed from pretest to posttest.
Average The assessment tools used had normal significant contribution to the elevation of the language proficiency level of student/s as revealed from pretest to posttest.
Low The assessment tools used had little significant contribution to the elevation of the language proficiency level of student/s as revealed from pretest to posttest.
Very low The assessment tools used had no significant contribution to the elevation of the language proficiency level of student/s as revealed from pretest to posttest.
Weighted Mean. This was utilized to determine the validity of the of the teacher made test used. Through this, the researcher had found that the test was high valid with 4.0 weighted mean.
Paired t-test. The researcher made use of this statistical treatment to determine whether to accept or reject the null hypotheses of the study. Using the 0.05 level of significance as a scale, the researcher was able to determine the answer for problem no. 3.
Frequency of Errors. The researchers made use of this to identify the top three grammar lessons with the highest rate of errors as revealed in the pretest scores. After utilizing the product and performance assessment tools, the researcher utilized again this statistical treatment to find out if the frequency of errors of the top three grammar lessons had lessened. The researcher used the given formula below. Through this analysis, problem numbers 3 and 4 were numerically answered.
Formula: Total number of errors in each grammar lesson
Total Number of Items for each lesson* Total Number of Participants
Coding and Analysis. The researcher also employed this method of presenting and interpreting the data to support the numerical findings on the extent of effectiveness of the Product and Performance Assessment Tools.
This was intended to see if the students were able to apply the language structures they had learned.
Chapter 3
This chapter extensively presented, discussed and interpreted the collected data from the pretest and posttest. The researcher had employed analytic and comprehensive conclusion.
Pretest and Posttest Results
This part analyzed the data as revealed in the teacher made tests. In addition, it revealed the level of students’ language proficiency individually and collectively.
Table 4
Language Proficiency Level of the Students in the Pretest
81-100 0 Advanced
61-80 0 Proficient
41 ‘ 60 6 Approaching Proficiency
21 ‘ 40 28 Developing
0 ‘ 20 1 Beginning
MEAN SCORE 3 Developing
Table 4 revealed the language proficiency level of the respondents in the pretest. Individually, the data from the pretest result showed that out of 35 students, there were 28 students having the level of developing proficiency. This explained that, students at this group possessed a minimum prior language proficiency which means that were starting to do recalling and applying of different grammar lessons they had learned through product or performance. On the other hand, there were 6 students who obtained the level of proficient. This means they had maximum prior language proficiency. This means that students could recall enrich and use grammar lessons. However, there was only 1 student who displayed the level of beginning. The student at this level had no language proficiency yet. There was no one who got the levels of proficient and advanced.
Moreover, the collective language proficiency of the students before the utilization of the assessment tools was measured through the use of mean score. The mean score of the pretest was 33.34. Generally, the respondents were at developing language proficiency level.
To objectively check if there was an escalation in the learners’ language proficiency levels, the researcher conducted a posttest after the implementation of this study. The data gathered in the posttest were presented in table 5.
Table 5
Language Proficiency Level of the Students in the Posttest
81-100 0 Advanced
61 ‘ 80 6 Proficient
41 ‘ 60 27 Approaching Proficiency
21 ‘ 40 2 Developing
0-20 0 Beginning
The data were also interpreted individually and collectively. Individually, out of 35 respondents, there were 27 students who received the level of approaching proficiency which means that they were able to acquire average language proficiency that enabled them to restore and use concepts in different products or performance. Next, there were 6 students having the level of proficient. It means that they had acquired the maximum language proficiency. The students could already recall enrich and use grammar lessons in different tasks. Only 2 students were left in the developing level of proficiency which proved that they had only acquired minimum language proficiency. This means they still needed more trainings and longer time.
Generally, the respondents had reached the level of approaching proficiency having the mean score of 51.8. Students at this stage had average language proficiency which means they could recall and apply language structures. The researcher made a tabular presentation containing the data gathered in both tests. The Table 6 answered the problem no. 1.
Table 6
Language Proficiency Levels of Students
in Pretest and Posttest
Level Pretest Posttest
Advanced 0 0
Proficient 0 6
Approaching Proficiency 6 27
Developing 28 2
Beginning 1 0
Table 6 revealed the escalation of the general language proficiency of the students from pretest to posttest. Prior to the implementation of the approach, the researcher discovered that out of 35 students, there were 28 students at developing level, 6 at approaching proficient level and 1 student at beginning. Weeks after the implementation, the researcher conducted posttest among students. The posttest exposed that there was no single student with beginning proficiency. Unlike in the pretest, there were only 2 left students with developing proficiency from 28 students. More importantly, the only 6 students who projected approaching proficiency level in the pretest became 27 students after the utilization of the assessment tools. Finally, from 0 number of proficient student, there were 6 students who became language proficient through the use of the product and performance assessment tools. Aside from the given level of language proficiency in pretest and posttest, the researcher had also collated all the raw scores of the students in figure 7. This was also to support the answer to the problem no. 1.
Figure 9
Therefore the above given data showed a difference to language proficiency of the students before and after the utilization of the assessment tools. However, there was still a need to find out if the difference had significance or none at all to claim that the assessment tool was effective. So, the researcher used the learning gains. The term learning gain was operationally defined and used in this study as the total difference between the pretest and posttest scores. The learning gains were interpreted using the descriptions: very low, low, average, high and very high. These were presented in Table 7. Tables 7-10 objectively answered the problem no. 2.
Table 7
Individual Learning Gains of the Respondents
Table 7 showed the different extent of significance of the individual scores of the respondents in the pretest and posttest. Based on the data, out of 35 respondents, the 34 students gained significant difference in both tests. However, there was 1 respondent who got -2 differences between the pretest and posttest which means that there was no learning gain. Nonetheless, the table proved that students obtained higher scores in the posttest after the employment of the product and performance assessment tools. The data gathered above were summarized in table 8.
Table 8
Summary of Individual Learning Gains
Description Total Number of Students
Very high 1
High 16
Average 13
Low 4
Very low 1
Likewise, the cumulative significant difference of pretest and posttest justify the claim of the study presented in Table 9.
Table 9
Cumulative Significant Difference of Pretest and Posttest
Table 9 gave the researcher the objective and comprehensive interpretation of the numerical increment and proficiency level of the students whether they were significant or not. The table strongly proved the significant difference of the pretest and posttest results. The computed value between the two tests was 1.82 with p-value of 0.05 which made the difference significant indeed. The significant difference claimed that the Product and Performance Assessment Tools was effective. Therefore the null hypotheses were rejected. This was also proven in Table 10.
Table 10
Comparative Analysis of Pretest and Posttest
PRETEST 33.34 6.87 Developing
POSTTEST 51.82 12.05 Approaching Proficiency
LEARNING GAINS 37.79% 12.43% Average
Table 10 showed the one step forward happened after the implementation of the approach. In the pretest, students were developing. While in the posttest, students were approaching proficiency. The general interpretation of learning gains was average.
Also, to support the claim of this study that Product and Performance Assessment Tools was effective in elevating student language proficiency, the researcher analyzed the frequency of errors both in pretest and posttest. Frequency of errors was utilized to determine the top three language structures with the highest frequency. Through this, the researcher was able to identify the extent of effectiveness of the assessment tool if the errors in the bottom three lessons were lessened. This answered problem no.3.
Table 11
Frequency of Errors in Pretest and Posttest
Category Pretest Posttest
General Topics 0.77 0.41
Tenses of Verbs 0.50 0.46
Subject-Verb Agreement 0.56 0.36
Determiners 0.51 0.37
Adjectives 0.66 0.60
Cohesive Device 0.77 0.62
Sentence Patterns 0.72 0.59
Sentence Fragments and Complete Sentences 0.56 0.44
Wh Questions 0.81 0.73
Direct and Indirect Speech 0.93 0.31
Based on the data shown above, the top three lessons with the very high frequency of errors as revealed in the pretest were direct and indirect speech with 0.93, wh questions with 0.81, and cohesive device with 0.77. Further, the data also justified the answers to problems numbers 1 and 2. All of the lessons received decrease averaging 6% to 58%. Likewise, the frequency of errors of the top three lessons was diminished.
Equally, the researcher would like to analytically note the elevation of the students’ language proficiency in the said top three lessons. The researcher intended to numerically answer problem no. 4 of this study by stating the raw scores of the bottom five students in the three lessons as revelead in the pretest. The names indicated in column 1 were pseudonyms only given by the researcher. The selected respondents notably gained an increase in their language proficiency levels. This answered problem number 4 through coding and analysis tabular presentation.
Table 12
Analysis and Coding of Results on Direct and Indirect Speech
Students Category Pretest Scores Posttest Scores Evidence
0 10 A. My mother says,’ Aubrey, take care always.’
B. My mother told me I must take care always.
4 10 A. My mother reminds me, ‘Yang stop being lazy’.
B. My mother reminded me that I must stop being lazy.
0 5 A. My mother told me,’ you sleep on time’. ‘
B. My mother said that I sleep on time.
5 10 A. My family says, ‘ Stop fighting with others.’
B.(No answer)
0 9 A. ( No answer)
B. My parents told me that I must take care.
Table 12 showed that the five respondents got higher score in each category. Nina demonstrated lack of the expression ‘that’ in her indirect speech. On the other hand, Rose made the mistake of not capitalizing the pronoun ‘you’ and putting smiley at the end of the sentence. Mark lacked indirect speech while Jason had no direct speech. Lastly, Mary was able to write correct direct and indirect speeches. Nevertheless, the students were able to at least write sentences using the direct and indirect speech.
The next table showed the result of the finding in Wh questions both from pretest and posttest.
Table 13
Analysis and Coding of Results on Wh Questions
Students Category Pretest Scores Posttest Scores Evidence
E 1 2 Role: Interviewer
A. What is your favorite color?
B. My favorite color is pink.
0 3 Role: Interviewee
A. Why English is your favorite subject?
B. Because it give you a knowledge.
1 1 Role: Interviewee
A. How old are you?
B. I am 12 years old.
2 2 Role: Interviewer
A. Who’s your love?
B. My love is mother.
4 3 Role: Interviewee
A. When is your birthday?
B. My birthday is June 14, 2012.
Table 13 showed that the five respondents increased in the posttest. Also, the sample sentences wherein they were interviewees or interviewers, gave the researcher the conclusion that they knew the use and structure of
Lastly, table 14 presented the data gathered data on Cohesive Devices.
Table 14
Analysis and Coding of Results in Cohesive Device
Students Category Pretest Scores Posttest Scores Evidence
0 3 First, I wake up and second keep my pillow.
2 5 First, I clean my bed. Second, I put on my clothes.
2 3 First, I will go to the bathroom. Next, I will go to the computer shop.
4 6 Next, clean our house and then go to pisonet.
2 2
The numerical data showed that there was an increase. However, the increase was not very high given that the test was 10 item. Only Mary and Mark got passing scores in the test while Mark, Jason and Nina got failing scores. Aside from these numbers,
Table 14 showed that out of the five respondents, only Jason was not able to receive an increment. However, Nina and Rose whose scores increased yet still not passing scores for a 10 item test. On the contrary, Rose and Mark got higher scores which were also passing scores. These mean that students were starting to master and be able to apply the cohesive devices into practice.
Chapter 4
This chapter presented the summary of findings, conclusions drawn from the study and the recommendation for future research and discussion plan for dissemination.
The researcher employed a quasi-experimental method of research in this study which involved one intact group of students without using randomization procedure of selecting respondents. The data were gathered through the use of validated pretest and posttest which contained 100 item test questions on some selected grammar lessons for Grade Seven students from the Second to Third Quarters. The researcher aimed to contribute in making students most significantly the students from the lower sections be able to perform what they were projected from them. The most appropriate statistical treatments were defined to quantitatively measure the effectiveness of the study. All data were carefully gathered, calculated, tabulated and analyzed to determine how effective the Product and Performance Assessment Tools was in elevating the students’ language proficiency Level.
Summary of Findings
Based on the data analyzed and interpreted by the researcher in the previous chapter, the following findings were drawn out.
1. What was the individual and the collective language proficiency levels of the respondents as revealed in the:
1.1 pretest;
1.1.1 Individually, there were 28 students at developing, 6 students at approaching proficiency and 1 at beginning proficiency levels.
1.1.2 Collectively, the students were with developing language proficiency level.
1.2 posttest?
1.1.1 Individually, there were 27 students at approaching proficiency, 6 at proficient and 2 at developing language proficiency levels.
2. How significant was the difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the students?
The students’ pretest and posttest scores marked a significant difference. As a result, the Product and Performance Assessment tools used were effective in elevating the students’ language proficiency levels.
3. How effective was the use of Performance and Product Assessment Tools in elevating students’ language proficiency?
The frequency of errors and learning gains showed the significant effectiveness of the assessment tools.
4. What is the general implication of the findings in the teaching of grammar?
Based on the findings, Product and Performance Assessment Tools could greatly teachers determine the extent of learning gained by students because this assessment helped students remember and apply grammatical structures in different tasks.
The researcher was able to formulate the following conclusions after the collected data had been carefully computed and studied.
First, it could be concluded from the findings in number 1.1 that majority of the students had stored knowledge about some lessons in grammar. The researcher concluded that the students score in pretest revealed that they used their declarative memory (ACT THEORY) prior to the utilization of the product and performance assessment tools.
After the implementation of the assessment tools for grammar development, the researcher arrived at the conclusion that students had achieved significantly higher level of language proficiency individually or collectively. Also, the result revealed a gradual and normal proficiency increment among the students. It could also be concluded based on the findings in no. 2 that students were able to use their working memory (ACT THEORY).
Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: 1. Traditional assessment tools must be supported with upgraded and modern assessment tools in order to better understand where the students are, must be and how to get there.
2. Students with low language proficiency level must engage in tasks or activities where they can manipulate, recall and use what they have learned. This is to make them fuse what they know and what they can do with what they know.
3. Teachers should analyze learning gains of students individually and collectively to determine the extent of the effectiveness of the study.
4. School stakeholders must select and provide materials that are within the students horizons of life in order to make them establish connections between schooling and living.
5. The researcher also recommend further studies and experiments on the said account across the curriculum in order to find out its possible contribution to each subject area.

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