An Investigation into English Teachers’ Understandings and Practices of Formative Assessment in the Malaysian Primary ESL Classroom: Three Case Studies

F Mudin, Vivemarlyne (2019) An Investigation into English Teachers’ Understandings and Practices of Formative Assessment in the Malaysian Primary ESL Classroom: Three Case Studies. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Formative assessment has gained increasing prominence in international educational discourse and practice as a promising way to promote student learning (Black and Wiliam, 1998b). However, its implementation represents complexities, as the term and effectiveness are still contested. While a great deal of research has been conducted on formative assessment in primary and secondary Western schooling, limited research has been done in a primary English as Second Language (ESL) context in Asian settings. Drawing on the interpretivist paradigm, this exploratory, qualitative case study investigated the understandings and assessment practices of three primary ESL teachers. Analysis is based on data collected through classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, field notes and documents. The findings indicate that these primary ESL teachers’ understandings of the notion of ‘formative assessment’ were somewhat vague. The participants seemed to lack comprehensive, profound understanding of the vital importance of formative assessment and its potential to facilitate learning. There were noticeable gaps, variations and confusions in their articulated understanding of formative assessment. However, despite the disjuncture between the teachers’ understandings and actual practices, there was evidence to suggest that they attempted to incorporate elements of formative assessment in their practices, although not consistent with their espoused understandings. This study found that the three ESL teachers engaged, to some extent, in formative assessment practices such as oral questioning, observation and oral feedback to promote learning in their classes. In spite of the teachers’ significant efforts, factors such as conceptual constraints, traditional means of language assessment, lack of professional development, contextual constraints, teachers’ beliefs and an examination-oriented culture considerably affected their assessment practices. The findings of this study support the recommendation that there is a need to develop appropriate forms of formative assessment strategies that are more conducive to the Malaysian primary ESL context

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2020 13:18
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2020 13:18
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76496
DOI:

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