Professional Development Course on Catering for Diversity in English Language Teaching ENG5316 Assessing Diversity in English Language Learning Session 4 Assessing spelling, handwriting and written expression Prepared by YANG, Chi Cheung Ruby, Department of English, HKIEd Nature of Written Language Written language involves the linking of language, thought and motor skills. 2 Learner Factors that Influence Reading and/or Writing Performance Prior content knowledge Attitudes and motivation Acquisition of language competence Physical development Attention, perception, and memory (Lipson & Wixson, 2009) 3 Written Language Assessment Work Sample Analysis It involves reviewing students’ classwork and homework. It is useful to: analyze work samples from different subject areas compare the student’s work samples from earlier in the school year with the current samples in order to note progress (or regression) (Spinelli, 2006) 4 Written Language Assessment Observation Observations should be made when the student is: copying from texts on the desk copying from the board writing compositions Areas of focus: Posture Handedness Grip of the writing instrument Quality and speed of writing 5 Written Language Assessment Checklist for Observing Writing Habits 6 Written Expression Assessment 7 Written Expression Error Analysis Teacher can select from various writing samples, including in-class and homework assignments. Identify the types and patterns of the errors 7 Written Expression Assessment Diagnostic Inventory A comprehensive inventory that assesses the student’s written language skills in specific areas (Spinelli, 2006). 8 Diagnostic Inventory 9 10 10 Spelling Assessment Spelling Error Analysis Types of spelling errors: Letter additions Letter omissions Letter substitutions Letter reversals Letter transpositions 11 Task 1 Based on the writing sample provided, try to identify the types of spelling errors made by the student. 12 13 Spelling Assessment Spelling Demons 14 Spelling Assessment Spelling Demons Certain words are commonly misspelled by general population. The 100 commonly misspelled words are known as spelling “demons”. 15 Spelling Assessment Dictated Spelling Tests Words selected from any graded word list and students’ performance indicates their spelling grade level. Instructional level: 75-90% accuracy 16 Spelling Assessment Informal Spelling Inventory It is used to determine the approximate grade-level proficiency for spelling words (in isolation). Teachers can construct their own informal spelling inventory (of about 20 words). The list of words is dictated to the student. Adequate mastery: 90-100% correct Instructional level: 75-89% correct 17 Spelling Assessment Diagnostic Spelling Inventory It can help to determine which specific skills need further evaluation. 18 Spelling Flow List 19 Spelling Flow List To administer fewer words and closely monitor progress toward mastery, teacher selects several key words and assesses them three days in a row. If the word is spelled correctly three days in a row, proficiency is assumed. To check long-term mastery, the teacher dictates the word again one week later. Once mastery is achieved, more words will be added to the spelling mastery list (Spinelli, 2006). 20 Phonemic Awareness Spelling Assessment To determine whether students have phonemic awareness, the teacher asks them to spell words that they do not already know. Because they have not learned to spell these words, they must rely on invented spelling (Spinelli, 2006). 21 Administering the Phonemic Awareness Assessment Teacher calls out each word at least twice (or as many times as the student requests). The teacher tells the student to spell each word as best he/she can, writing each sound he/she hear in the words. Then compare the number of letters written to the phonemes in the word. 22 Interpretation for the Phonemic Awareness Assessment Students who consistently write three or four letters: Have some ability to segment phonemes Students who write only one or two reasonable letters per word: Beginning to segment phonemes Students who write nothing / string together letters indiscriminately: Have not learned to segment phonemes 23 Handwriting Assessment Prerequisite skills for handwriting: Muscular control Eye-hand coordination Visual discrimination How can teachers assess students’ prerequisite skills for handwriting? 24 Handwriting Assessment Handwriting legibility The clarity and readability of handwriting Fluency The rate of written production 25 Handwriting Assessment 26 Checklist of Handwriting Skills Handwriting Assessment Handwriting Error Analysis Misdirection of letters Excessive slant Poor spacing Messiness Misalignment Excessive or insufficient amount of pencil pressure 27 Task 2 Based on the writing sample provided, try to identify the handwriting errors made by the student. 28 Handwriting Assessment Analysis of Handwriting Errors 29 Handwriting Assessment Rating Scale: Zaner-Bloser Evaluation Scale Assessment of students’ handwriting based on samples provided for comparison. A separate rate scale is available for printed and cursive writing. 30 Handwriting Assessment 31 Handwriting Assessment 32 Handwriting Assessment Rating Scale: Zaner-Bloser Evaluation Scale 33 Handwriting Assessment Rating Scale: Zaner-Bloser Evaluation Scale Ratings can also be made more objective by considering the five major handwriting skills: shape, slant, spacing, size and smoothness. Each is judged as either Satisfactory or Needs Improvement. 34 Handwriting Assessment Rating Scale: Zaner-Bloser Evaluation Scale Excellent: All the five factors are satisfactory Good: Four of the five factors are satisfactory Average: Three factors are satisfactory Fair: Two satisfactory areas Poor: One satisfactory area 35 Task 3 Based on the writing sample provided, try to assess the student’s handwriting using the Zaner-Bloser Evaluation Scale. 36 Handwriting Assessment Observation It is important to consider not only the legibility of the student’s writing but also the speed. Speed can be assessed by asking the student to copy a passage (of 100 words) and time how long it takes the student to complete the copying (McLoughlin & Lewis, 2008). 37 Handwriting Assessment Observation How is the student seated? In what position is the student’s paper? Does the student grip the pen or pencil too tightly? Does the student write with the right or left hand? When the student writes, does he/she move the entire hand smoothly across the page or just move the fingers in an attempt to draw each letter? 38 Handwriting Assessment Observation Does the student exert a great deal of pressure on the paper? If writing with a pencil, does the student break pencil points frequently? How often does the student erase or cross out mistakes? What is the size of letters (too small or too large)? What is the proportion of one letter or word to another? 39 Handwriting Assessment Observation How about the slant of words (too much or irregular)? What is the letter formation (e.g. poor circles or straight lines, lines disconnected, etc.)? How about letter alignment (off the line, etc.)? What is the speed of the student’s writing (too fast or too slow)? Does the student have difficulty copying from the board or from a text on the desk? (vision problem) 40 Assessing Written Products Evaluation of written language using the student’s actual work products. Issacson (1988) suggested that fluency, content, convention (including spelling and handwriting) and vocabulary should be evaluated. Salvia and Hughes (1990) suggested that the two major areas of content and style should be evaluated. In the area of style, errors might be located in grammar, mechanics (e.g. punctuation and capitalization), and word usage. 41 Assessing Written Products 42 References Issacson, S. (1988). Assessing the writing product: Qualitative and 43 quantitative measures. Exceptional Children, 54(6), 528-534. Lipson, M.Y. & Wixson, K. K. (2009). Assessment and instruction of reading and writing difficulties: An interactive approach (4th ed). Boston, Mass.: Pearson Education. McLoughlin, J. A. & Lewis, R. B. (2008). Assessing students with special needs (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall. Salvia, J. & Hughes, C. (1990). Curriculum-based assessment:Testing what is taught. New York: Macmillan. Spinelli, C. G. (2006). Classroom assessment for students in special and general education (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.