Formative and summative assessment
Two major forms of assessment, formative and summative assessment, are employed by secondary school teachers in China.Formative assessment is essential for providing feedback on a student’s progress so that any errors or difficulties can be identified and corrected (Fennell & Maccoll, 1983). For example, formativeassessment can be useful in determining the degree of mastery of each of the objectives identified in a certain skill progression. The results of such an assessment would be a series of scores for eachtask in the progression, enabling the teacher to pinpoint problems, to provide students with
detailed feedback on their progress, and to make decisions relating to how instruction should bestcontinue.
Self-assessment develops students’ ability to be responsible for their own study, to
participate in the assessment activities. It encourages them to develop such skills as
reflecting on theirown learning experiences, evaluating their own learning situation,
seeing their own accomplishments and the things need to be improved. Self-assessment
can also help students develop new learningobjectives, and gradually become
autonomous and self-reliant learners.
Summary of the findings
On formative assessment
• makes teachers of English change their traditional ideas of languageassessment;
• helps students learn to self-assess and to understand the importance of cooperative
• gives more chance to speak English;
• helps low-achieving students become more confident;• makes students show their potential talents;
• evaluates students’ achievements and weaknesses;
• arouses students’ interest of learning English;
• is good for teachers to get feedback from studenthimself/herself , peer students
and parents teachers themselves;
• helps monitor teaching and learning and encourages children to learn;
• helps students participate in classroom activities...