Assessment of Young Learners
Manchester University, UK
This paper is based on a MEd dissertation on the assessment of
elementary school learners in Korea.
Due to the backwash effects of the university entrance examinations,
ELT assessment in Korea has largely been based on reading and listening.
However, with the new emphasis placed on speaking in the elementary school
curriculum, the testing of students' speaking has become a major issue.
In considerations of the practical constraints as well as external and
influences such as motivation and teacher training, many avoid speaking
tests altogether. This paper looks at developing a valid, reliable and
useful test for the Korean elementary school.
The test is a diagnostic progress test. This test looks at factors
such as the cognitive development of young learners and the importance
of affective schemata in testing. It aims to bring to light what teachers
can do in the classroom to promote positive washback through regular speaking
Eunyung Park spent most of her childhood in the USA and attended
ESL classes for the first few months of school. However, the interest in
ELT started while she was at Ewha University while doing part-time tutoring
of ELT for children. She has taught at various institutes (private language
schools), elementary schools and businesses for the past seven years.
Since March 1998 I have been with the Seoul Teacher Training Center as
an instructor. During the last six months she has been in Manchester working
on her dissertation for her Master's degree from Manchester University.
During the past seven years she has been involved with material design
as well as helping to write books for the mock university entrance exams.