Question: Is it possible to assess speaking in large classes?
Answer: Yes – if you plan!
It’s useful to give formative feedback on each learner’s speaking ability on a regular basis, so they know how to communicate more effectively. If you teach large, mixed-level classes, this can be difficult. However, it’s not impossible.
In every lesson try to include a speaking activity, even if it’s short. This could be a:
- small group discussion
- role play
- class survey
- group presentation.
You can monitor and assess different pairs or groups of learners each lesson. With presentations, you can monitor and assess during rehearsals too.
Plan who to assess in each lesson.
- Make a simple chart.
- Record the date, lesson and activity.
- Choose 2–4 learners to assess.
- Write notes about them.
- Then you can give them some formative feedback and support.
|Date||Topic/Lesson||Speaking activity||Learners and comments|
|10 March||Life skills: Problem solving||Pair work: Discuss two solutions to each problem||
Lillian: Confident, communicates well, mistakes with word order.
Lesogo: Not confident, needs time to think and plan what to say. Nice pronunciation.
Gift:Not confident, needs time to think and plan what to say. Nice pronunciation.
Which class will you try the chart with?