It is now well accepted in foreign language pedagogy that assessment is not solely an end-‐of-‐unit activity. Rather, it is important for teachers to monitor learners’ language development using a variety of techniques throughout the course of a unit of study. Among the many skills to be assessed in foreign language classrooms, speaking presents unique challenges. First, because spoken language samples immediately disappear, it is harder for teachers to give meaningful feedback that can be immediately applied. Second, speaking tends to be assessed formally and only a few times in a term, resulting in unhelpful, institutionally-‐required grades that neither prompt learners to produce more language based on feedback nor motivate them by recognizing the progress they have made. With these considerations in mind, our talk will:
• Define speaking/oral proficiency
• Distinguish between formative and summative assessment
• Discuss the use of speaking portfolios as a motivational and developmental strategy
• Discuss strategies for assessing speaking throughout and at the end of a unit of study, in ways that learners are able to keep track of and take ownership over
Light refreshments will be served.