Assessment and language education with (very) young learners

Critical Language Education

When we think of assessment and language education with very young learners and young learners, a range of questions come to our mind. The first one is the concept of assessment itself, since we tend to limit this term and accept – in a more traditional perspective – only some forms of assessment tools, such as tests and essays, as valid ways to “measure” one’s performance.
Although we recognize these traditional assessment tools as a relevant means of evaluation, we should develop other possibilities nowadays, especially when it comes to language education with (very) young learners, mainly considering a critical perspective regarding the languages, the educational process, the educators’ expectations, and the children’ potentialities.
Besides, from the critical perspective, we are concerned with linguistic features, like vocabulary, grammar, listening and speaking skills, and so on, but not only with them. We also know that we must involve non linguistic features, as social behavior, emotional skills, and learning strategies, in the language education process and, consequently, in the assessment.
In addition to having assessment literacy in order to understand the types of assessment that could be relevant for each context, it is significant for educators to think of assessing children to improve their learning processes. That is what we call Assessment for Learning, in contrast to what we call Assessment of Learning.


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1 PhD student / researcher in the field of Critical Language Education with children. E-mail: 2 PostDoc researcher and PhD researcher / advisor in the field of Critical Language Education with children. E-mail: MORAES, I. T.; BATISTA, E. G. Letramento em avaliação para professores de línguas estrangeiras para crianças: orientações teórico-práticas. Revista Horizontes De Linguística Aplicada, 19(2), 15–42. 2020. QUEVEDO-CAMARGO, G. Efeito retroativo da avaliação na aprendizagem de línguas estrangeiras: que fenômeno é esse? In: MULIK, K. B.; RETORTA, M. S. (Org.). Avaliação no ensino-aprendizagem de línguas estrangeiras: diálogos, pesquisas e reflexões. 1. ed. Campinas: Pontes Editores, 2014. p. 77-94.

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