Dynamic Assessment in Iranian EFL Classrooms: A Post- method Enquiry

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Department of English, Tabriz branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

Abstract

Derived from the emerging paradigm shift in English language teaching and assessment, there has been a renewal of interest in dynamic assessment (DA) to be used as an alternative to the traditional static testing in language classrooms. However, to date, DA practice has been mostly limited to clinical treatments of children with learning disabilities, and it has not been widely incorporated into the EFL contexts. In order to find out the reasons behind the slow trend of DA practice, this research adopted a framework, based on the post method pedagogical principles and recommendations, to delve into the prospect of methodological realization of DA approaches in Iranian EFL classrooms. To this end, two instruments, a questionnaire and an interview were developed to explore the practicality of DA through seeking 51 Iranian EFL teachers' perception of DA practice in their classrooms. The results indicated that most of the teachers were negative about the practice of DA in their classrooms and believed that a full-fledged implementation of DA in Iranian EFL classrooms is too demanding. The feasibility of DA in Iranian EFL classrooms, where teachers are deprived of DA training, guideline, and technological resources, is questioned seriously due to the factors such as time-constrained nature of DA procedures, large number of students in EFL classrooms, the common practice of static tests as the mainstream, and overreliance on the teachers' teaching and assessment abilities. The paper suggests the framework of inquiry in this study, which was derived from the post method pedagogy, to be utilized as a blueprint for a critical appraisal of any alternative method or theory which is introduced into ELT contexts.

Keywords


Ableeva, R. (2010). Dynamic assessment of listening comprehension in L2 French. Unpublished  doctoral dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University.

Alavi, S.M.,Kaivanpanah, Sh., & Shabani, K. (2012). Group dynamic assessment: An inventory of  meditational strategies for teaching listening. The Journal of Teaching language Skills, 3(4), 65.

Aljaafreh A, & Lantolf JP.1994. Negative feedback as regulation and second language learning in the zone of proximal development. The Modern Language Journal. 78: 465–83.

Antón, M. (2003). Dynamic assessment of advanced foreign language learners. Paper presented at the American        Association of Applied Linguistics, Washington, D.C. .

Ajideh, P. & Nourdad, N. (2012). The Immediate and Delayed Effect of Dynamic Assessment on EFL Reading Ability. English Language Teaching, 5 (12).101.

Bachman, L. F. (1990). Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Benesch, S. (2001). Critical English for academic purposes: Theory, politics, and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Brown, H. Douglas. 1994. Principles of language learning and teaching. 3rd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Brown, J. D. & Hudson, T. (1998). The alternatives in language assessment. TESOL Quarterly, 32(4): 653–675.

Donato, R. (1994). Collective scaffolding in second language learning. In J. Lantolf & .Apple (Eds.).  Vygotskian approaches to second language learning research (pp. 33-56). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Elliott, J.G. (2003). Dynamic assessment in educational settings: realizing potential. Educational Review,55, 15-32.

Feuerstein, R. , Rand, Y. &  Rynders J. E. (1988). Don’t Accept Me as I Am. Helping Retarded Performers Excel. New York: Plenum.

Haywood, H. C., & Lidz, C. Z. (2007). Dynamic Assessment in Practice: Clinical and Educational  Applications. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.

Kozulin, A. & Garb, E. (2002). Dynamic assessment of EFL text comprehension of at-risk students. School Psychology International, 23, 112-127.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2001). Toward a postmethod pedagogy. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 537–560.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). Critical Language Pedagogy: A Postmethod Perspective on English Language Teaching. World Englishes, 22 (4), 539-550. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j. 1467971X.-2003.00317.x

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods: Changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 59–81.

Lantolf, J.P. & Poehner, M.E. (2004). Dynamic assessment: Bringing the past into the future. Journal of  Applied Linguistics, 1, 49–74.

Lantolf, J.P. & Poehner, M.E. (2006). Dynamic assessment in the foreign language classroom: A teacher’s guide. University Park, PA: Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research  (CALPER).

Lantolf, J.P. & M.E. Poehner. (2010). Dynamic Assessment in the Classroom:Vygotskian Praxis for L2 Development. Language Teaching Research,15, 11-33.

Lidz CS.1991. Practitioner’s guide to dynamic assessment. New York: Guilford. Siyyari M. 2012. Comparability of holistic/analytic intrareliability in student/teacher assessment of writing. Language Testing  in Asia. 2, 59-71.

Murphy, R., & Maree, D.J.F. (2006). A review of South African research in the field of dynamic assessment. South African Journal of Psychology, 36, 1038-1061.

Prabu, N. S. (1990). There Is No Best Method – Why? TESOL Quarterly , 24 (2), 14-38

Poehner, M.E. (2007). Beyond the test: L2 Dynamic Assessment and the transcendence of mediated learning. The Modern Language Journal, 91, 323–40.

Poehner, M.E. (2008). Dynamic assessment: A Vygotskian approach to understanding and promoting, second        language development. Berlin: Springer.

Poehner, M.E. (2009). Group dynamic assessment: Mediation for the L2 classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 43,  471–91.

Poehner, M. E. & Lantolf, J. P. (2005). Dynamic assessment in the language classroom. Language Teaching   Research,9 (3), 1-33.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wang, T. H. (2010). Web-based dynamic assessment: Taking assessment as teaching and learning strategy for          improving students’ e-learning effectiveness. Computers & Education, 54, 1157–1166.