The initial assessment is a simple circle divided into quarters representing the four modes of communication in English, with a smaller circle at the center (see Figure 1). Each of the four "slices" represents what the students currently know (in each of the four modes). Next, students are asked to divide each "slice" to show where (either at home or in school) they are doing the learning in that mode. Next, students are asked to name activities and strategies they use in formal classroom situations and informal or social situations to learn reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Finally, once the class has constructed a list of possible activities, each individual student writes the activities they typically use onto their own assessment.
Essentially, these are the steps we follow in class:
Once completed, the initial pie provides a picture of how and where the students learned English as well as a perspective of their abilities. A discussion may occur at this point regarding the effectiveness of the activities described in each section. Alternate activities in their new environment may also be discussed.
The other two pies consist of unmarked circles with a list of terms describing aspects of language use (see Figure 2). Students are asked to divide the first pie based on what they know about each aspect; the larger the piece the more they know. The second pie is identical, and requires students to interpret what they think they ought to know to meet their goal. Again, the larger the piece, the more important the aspect.
Perhaps a narrative of what might happen in class can explain how this self-assessment might work.
© Copyright John Grether and Sharon Cogdill 1998, 1999
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Last update: 25 March 1999