Language Learning: Summative, Formative And Summative Assessment

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Language learning might be interpreted as a process that inevitably leads to a product of some kind which normally embodies the educational goals and course objectives. What determines the success of the learning process in pedagogical contexts is the learners’ achievement of a set of pre-determined objectives which are established in terms of learners’ needs and are stated in the course syllabus. Inevitable in any pedagogy, thus, is inclusion of some evaluative measures that allow assessment of the extent to which learners’ have achieved the ultimate objectives. For the same reason, possible, Joughin (2009) has taken learning and achievement as synonymous where assessment becomes the delivery of achievement. Numerous terms have been used to describe different types and approaches to learner assessment each of which covers the assessment procedures from one angle. One of these dichotomies is the formative/summative assessment dichotomy which has increasingly stimulated interest. Based on Ainsworth and Viegut (2006), formative assessment refers to various assessments of the educational components during educational and learning processes when the data obtained support teachers and students in decision-making. Summative assessment, however, occurs at the end of a learning unit and determines if the content being taught has been retained. The terms were originally coined by Scriven (1967), who emphasized their differences both in terms of the goals of the

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