teaching online : evaluate definition in teaching of english

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teaching online : evaluate definition in teaching of english

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Importance of evaluation for English

      Evaluation is an essential part of teaching. We cannot separate teaching and evaluating or testing. Tests and examination are very important  in the  teaching  and  learning  of  English.  A planned programmed of evaluation is essential for the measurement of the results of teaching or instructions in English. If we go on teaching English and do not evaluate the achievement of the students in the learning process, · we shall not be able to know whether or not they have benefited by what has been taught to them.

       Tests make it possible to know whether the aims of teaching subject have been fulfilled or not. We have in fact, four aims of teaching English in our country.

  1. To enable the sh1dents to understand spoken English.
  2. To enable the students to speak English.
  3. To enable the students to understand written English.
  4. To enable the students to write correct English.

        (1) The results of tests taken in English give an indication of the pupil’s acquisition of linguistic skills. An examination in English tests the mastery of the students in four  fundamental skills, understanding spoken  English, speaking correct English, understanding written English and writing correct English.

       (2) Periodic tests in English act as a spur to learning. They motivate the students to work hard. In our present educational set-up, students work seriously at their studies only in order to pass their examination. Tests enable them and their teachers to judge their progress from time to time. If their performance is good of in the examination, the tests serve as an incentive. If it is poor, the students realize the need for more work and effort on their part.

       (3) Tests and examinations help the teacher in assessing his success in teaching. In order to determine whether the teaching has been effective or not, we have to take the help of tests and examinations. The teacher can adopt a different method of teaching if the majority of his students do not fare well in the examination, whether it is annual or periodical examination.

       (4) Tests also help the teacher to diagnose the difficulties of his students. He then tries to remove them so that they may be able to derive full benefit out of his teaching.

Characteristics of a good test in English

      A good test in English should have the following characteristics:

        (1) A good test in English should measure the attainment of students in four language skills viz. listening, speaking, reading and writing English properly. As language learning is largely a matter of forming habits and skills in the use of language, the test must cover a wide range of skills. It must measure the pupils control over all the four language skills.

       (2) There should be a variety of test items, but one item should- test only one skill. The test should be carefully designed. The examiner should be quite clear in his mind about what skill a particular test item aims at.

       (3) The language of the questions should be quite clear. It should  not be  ambiguous  at all.  ·

       (4) In case of essay type questions, the approximate length of the answers to be given should be clearly stated.

       (5) The question should aim at testing the student’s mastery of the structures and vocabulary items taught to them rather than their knowledge of certain memorized answers, which is often the case at present.

       (6) Stero-type questions should be avoided. Objective type questions should be set. They should test the real knowledge and ability of the students and not their cramming power.

      (7) A good test of English should cover as many areas of the subject matter as possible. It should be fairly distributed over the whole course. Due emphasis should be laid on testing the knowledge of the text book grammar, vocabulary and composition.

       (8) In a good test of English, due credit should be given t-0 the work done by the students in the class.

       (9) It should tests only what has been taught and not what has not been taught.

      (10) The test instructions should be brief, clear and even in nature.

     (11) The students should be able to give answers to the required number of questions within the time limit. The test should be such that it can be done and revised by an average student in allotted time.

       (12) A good test in English must locate the difficulties of the students, so that they may be removed immediately.

       (13) A good test in English should be neither too difficult nor too easy. It should be equally applicable to weak, average and bright students. It should have easy, average and difficult questions to fit these categories of students.

       (14) The answers should be easily and fairly storable. It is for this reason that objectives type and short answer type questions must be included in a -good test of English.

      (15) A good English Test should be a combination of –

(a) Objective Type Questions.

(b) Questions requiring short answers and

(c) Essay Type Questions. Their ratio should be as follows..

(d) Essay Type Questions = 50 Percent.

(i) Objective Type Questions = 25 Percent.

(ii) Short Answer Type Question = 25 Percent.

Tests in English

Different Type of Tests in English­

(a) Objective Type Tests.

(b) Short Answer Type Tests.

(c) Essay Type Tests.

(A) Objective Type Tests

       Objective Type Tests are objective based tests. They have been introduced to remove the shortcomings and defects of Essay Type Tests.

They are based on a large number of questions requiring very short answers. Their answers, sometimes, are only in the form of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Sometimes, the students are required only to put tick mark at the right alternative out of the given alternatives in the test.

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Objective Tests are of the following types –

       (i) Recall Type Test –This type of objective tests the student’s power of recalling some items from memory.

       (ii) Completion Test-In this type of tests incomplete sentences is given. The students are asked to complete them by supplying appropriate word or words.

       (iii) True or False Test-In this type of tests some statements are given. The students are required to tell whether the statements are true or false.

       (iv) Multiple Choice Test-Here, the students are to choose the correct answer out of many given answers.

       (v) Matching Type Test-In this test, the students are to select matching pairs of words out of two given groups of words.

Advantages and shortcoming of Objective Type Tests

Objective type tests have many advantages over essay type tests viz.

  1. They are useful for measuring many specific skills.
  2. The scoring also is objective.
  3. They are not influenced by the subjectivity of  the examination .
  4. Their scoring also takes less time than in the case of essay type tests.

However, they have some short comings viz.:

  1. They are difficult to construct. Constructing a good objective type test requires a good deal of time, labor and thought.
  2. These tests are for testing; recognition and comprehension and expression of ideas.

(B) Short Answer Type Tests

       Short answer type tests play a very important role in evaluation in English. They should have a sure place in the evaluation programmer of English. In these tests, students are required to give very short answers to questions. Short answer type tests play a very important role in teaching English. They should also be included in evaluation of English teaching and learning process. Here, the students are required to answer questions in a few sentences.


       Short answer type tests have the following advantages over essay type tests.

  1. They make it possible to have a large number of questions in the test. So, such questions can be spread over the entire course.
  2. Short answer type tests have the advantages both of objective type tests and essay type tests.
  3. They are exact and specific and want specific and exact answers.
  4. They also require the students to give their answer in short time with full alertness.

(C) Essay Type Tests

       Essay type tests are the most common in our school. In these tests, the students are required to give answers to the questions in the form of short essay. This type of test has become the object of criticism from all quarters.

  1. Generally essay type tests are criticized because they encourage cramming.
  2. Their chief drawback is that there is subjectivity in their marketing. That is why, they are also called subjective tests. Scoring is reliable in them because it differs with every examiner.
  3. The questions in these tests are often vague and the students do not understand what they are required to write. Hence, their answers are also vague at times.

       The teacher of English, while judging the ability of students in English, must use all these three types of tests. Essay Type Tests and Short Answer Type Tests are essential for fudging comprehension of subject matter, appreciation, originality, reasoning power and power of expression. Objective Type Tests are essential for measuring the pupils achievement in vocabulary, spelling, grammar and spoken English. Their scores, combined together, will give a sure indication of the pupil’s achievement in English.

Evaluation of spoken English-

       Oral test must form an essential part of the evaluation of spoken English skill of the students, especially during the first two or three years of learning English. In the beginning, tests should be mostly oral. Written tests can be introduced only at a later stage when the students have learnt the skill of writing English fairly well. Even at the senior stages, where tests are mostly written, oral tests must not be ignored altogether, at least in the measurement and evaluation of spoken English skill.

       Oral tests are given to test the student’s ability to understand spoken English or to speak English fluently. They are the best means of improving the pronunciation of the students and measuring their oral expression. They not only keep the students alert and attentive but also stimulate them mentally. Therefore, the students should be encouraged from the very beginning express themselves orally as often as possible. Some marks must be set apart for oral testing at the end of every term or session. Short questions should be put related to familiar objects and topics taught in the class during the session and the students should be asked to give their answers orally.

Oral tests should test the following abilities of the students:­

(a) Listening comprehension

(b) Expression skills

(a) Listening comprehension

In order to know whether the students have understood what has been spoken by the teacher, the following types of tests may be used.

       (i) Picture comprehension-The teacher shows the class a large picture depicting some scenes. Then he makes a few statements about it. Some of which are correct and some are incorrect. The pupils listen to the statement and write down ‘R’ for the right statement and ‘W’ for the wrong statement.

        (ii) Story comprehension-The teacher relates a story and asks a question with three or four possible answers out of which only one is correct. The pupils indicate the number of the correct answer.

        (iii) Body motion test-The teacher asks a student to perform certain physical action. He watches the movements of the students after giving command for movement. He watches the movement in order to test the comprehension of the command by the student.

       (iv) Writing answers to a story-The teacher relates a short story. The pupils listen and write out short answers to the question asked. The teacher may relate the story twice before asking the questions and demand their answers.

(B) Testing expression ability

Testing of expression ability can be done by the following ways—

        (i) Producing different sounds-The teacher writes down pairs of words similar in sound such as sit-seat; pull-pool; wine-vine. The pupils are asked to read the pairs aloud.

      (ii) Describing a picture-The teacher shows a picture from the reader and asks the students to say two or three sentences about it.

       (iii) Conversation-(a) The teacher and one of the students have a simple conversation on a common topic.

       (b) Two students are asked to have a simple conversation on a common topic.

       (iv) Reading aloud-The student reads aloud some sentences. The stress and intonation used by the student in those sentences §lre noted.

       (v) Describing actions-The teacher performs a few physical actions and asks the students to describe them.

Evaluation of Reading and Writing Skills

(A) Evaluation of reading skill

       A student’s achievement in reading can best be evaluated from his responses to new material. The presentation of the familiar material may elicit only memorized responses. So, tests of  reading should . preferably have three unseen passages, each of  a different kind of writing i.e. dialogue, conversation, narration and description. This is to ensure  that  the  student has  developed  the  ability  to read  and comprehend different kinds of prose.

       Reading comprehension should be separated from expression. Many students are unable to express themselves, though, they comprehend the subject matter quite well. In questions on comprehension, the examiner is expected to give marks only for comprehension . But consciously or unconsciously, he gets prejudiced by poor expression and holds back the marks, the students deserve. It is therefore, desirable to set only objective type questions or very short answer questions to do justice to the student’s genuirie skill in reading comprehension. Relevant passages and stanzas from the texts may be quoted in the question paper and objective type and short answer type questions may be set on them.

       In the lower classes, flash cards may be shown and the pupils may be asked to carry out the commands or request etc. The commands may involve physical movements or activities on the part of the students. ff he performs the right kind of physical activity, it will show that he has understood, the command read by him through the flash card. Free translation from English into mother tongue may be employed as a test of reading ability. For testing reading ability of the student, they may be asked to read aloud some sentences. Their stress and intonation may be noted when they are reading the sentences.

(B) Evaluation of writing skill

       Free composition is not a satisfactory device to test pupil’s achievement in writing in English. Hence, questions may be set on some functional topics. The text of letter writing may take the form of a letter printed on the question paper. The students may be asked to write a letter in reply to it. Thus, the questions for testing the pupil’s achievement in writing should be definite, real and purposeful. Since creative ‘ability is not to be measured in a test of composition, it is, desirable to provide the students with the necessary information. For example:

       “You went to the Railway Station to receive a friend, who was coming to stay with you for some days.”

Some other examples of tests in composition are as follows: ­

       (i) Write a short scene using the following words. In the morning, washer man’s family, small garden, washer man sitting by a tree, smoking pipe, wife by him, both talking, son reading under the tree, daughter sleeping on a cat.

      (ii) Write a dialogue between kitty and Reeta using the following key words :-

Kitty – Mahatma Gandhi born?

Reeta – 2nd October 1869, where?

Kitty :_Porbundar in Gujarat, when go to school?

Reeta – In 1876.

       Conclusion-In order to evaluate the achievement of students in learning English, the teacher should measure the ability of the students in understanding spoken English, speaking English, forming structures, possessing reading skill and possessing writing skill. The teacher should make use of a simple test for each of these skills. The test may assume the form of objective type questions or short answer type questions. The ability of the students can be measured by judging the answers given by students.

Objective Type Tests or New Ways of Evaluation

       Many new ways have been evolved for measuring skills in English through objective type tests. Some of them are given here as examples of objective type questions.

  1. Matching Tests-Here, we have to match a set of words arranged in two columns. They are tests to measure various skills in English.

Objective Type Questions

  1. In the following tick mark (√) against the clause which correctly complete the sentences.
  2. I had finished the work before –

(a) he has come

(b) he came

(c) he come

Hint for first item: Form (b) should be tick marked.

  1. If you had asked me­

(a) I will have told you.

(b) I can have told you.

(c) I would have told you.

  1. He will come to Amritsar if­

(a) He would get leave.

(b) He gets leave.

(c) He will get leave.

  1. True False Tests –
  2. In the pairs of sentences, given ahead, write (R) against the correct sentences and (W) against the incorrect one.
  3. There are no books on the table.                                                                                 (       )

1-A There are no any books on the table.                                                                            (       )

  1. Take pity on the poor.                                                                                                   (       )

2-A Take pity on the poor’s.                                                                                                  (        )

  1. He as well as you is to blame.

5-A He as well as you are to blame.

Objective Type Questions

  1. I must take leave ……………… you. [(a) Of, (b) for, (c) from]
  2. He died …………… cholera. [(a) by, (b) of, (c) with]
  3. He fell ………… the horse. [(a) of, (b) from, (c) off]

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