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|Name of oral assessment task
|EAL curriculum level range
|A1, A2, BL, B1, B2, CL, C1, C2
|Listening and responding/interaction and negotiation
|To assess students’ ability to discuss the things they did on the weekend
|Students take part in a discussion with the teacher about what they did the previous weekend. They are encouraged to ask the teacher about what he/she did on the weekend, and to plan what they would like to do on the next weekend. Students can also be asked what they will be doing on the following weekend.
|Assumed knowledge and description
|Language centre/mainstream class
Purpose and value of task
This task assesses students’ abilities to talk about the activities they do in out of school contexts. Diary/journal writing and talking about what students do on the weekend or after school is a common way of encouraging students at early Stages of English language learning to communicate. This kind of recount also assists them to learn useful vocabulary sets such as the days of the week, times of the day and night, and the names of activities and pastimes. It also gives them experience in hearing and using the simple past and future tenses. At the earliest stages students often are given simple templates to structure their diary/journal writing, and they then use these formulaic sentences and phrases when talking about what they did. This task is related to TEAL Writing Task 1 My weekend.
The students in the samples had all had many experiences with talking and writing simply about their weekend and after school activities.
The students are all at were able to communicate basic information about their weekend or after school activities, and were eager to tell the teacher what they had done. All students, except for Sample 6, are at early stages of English language development. They are mostly confident in being able to recount their activities, and to use formulaic language to talk about their weekends and to ask each other questions. Although the students vary a lot in age, their language skills are quite similar, with their reliance on formulas, and a range of well-known activities. The younger students also generally interact with greater engagement and spontaneity than the older students. They are all able to understand more than they can say, perhaps due to the fact that conversations around weekend activities commonly take place with students at these early levels. Sample 6 is included to show the contrast between the very earliest proficiency and later stages. Because a conversation about weekend activities does not really stretch students’ language skills beyond simple recounting, use of basic time markers, use of basic grammatical structures and well-known vocabulary, it is not really suitable as an activity for the later stages of English language acquisition.
Because a conversation about weekend activities does not really stretch students’ language skills beyond simple recounting, use of common time markers, use of basic grammatical structures and well-known vocabulary, it is not really suitable as an activity for the later stages of English language acquisition. Sample 6 is included to show the contrast between the very earliest proficiency and later stages, where students may competently take part in a discussion, but are not really given scope to display higher proficiency.