Jia, Yueming (2004-12). English as a second language teachers' perceptions and use of classroom-based reading assessment.. Doctoral Dissertation.
The purpose of this study was to explore ESL teachers?? perceptions and use of
classroom-based reading assessments. The research questions underpinning this
study were: 1) What types of classroom-based reading assessments are used in ESL
classrooms and how are they used? 2) What are ESL teachers?? perceptions regarding
the function and effectiveness of classroom-based reading assessments? 3) What and
how do external factors influence ESL teachers?? use of classroom-based reading
assessments? 4) What and how do internal factors influence ESL teachers?? use of
classroom-based reading assessments?
The participants of this study were six middle school ESL teachers and seven
elementary school ESL teachers. Data consisted of interviews with the participating
ESL teachers, classroom observations, and assessment materials.
The finding of this study indicated that there were three kinds of classroombased
reading assessments commonly used by ESL teachers in the classrooms: tests,
observation, and using writing to assess reading. These classroom-based reading
assessments served ESL teachers in two ways: helping teachers make decisions about
individual students and helping teachers make decisions about instruction. In addition,
classroom-based reading assessments were viewed as effective instructional
instruments. ESL teachers highly valued classroom-based reading assessments,
considered them accurate and valuable, and thought these assessments could provide
great help to the daily teaching of reading. Students, statewide mandated
standardized tests, and districts were three major forces that influenced this
Four conclusions can be drawn from this study. First, classroom-based
reading assessments played a central role in ESL teachers?? teaching and assessing of
reading. Second, ESL teachers highly valued classroom-based reading assessments,
considering them valuable, accurate, and efficient. Compared to statewide mandated
standardized testing, ESL teachers preferred classroom-based reading assessments.
Third, ESL teachers?? use of classroom-based reading assessments was largely under
the control of districts or school authorities and there were many disagreements on
the ways of assessing reading of ESL students between teachers and the districts or
schools. Finally, statewide mandated standardized testing had distorted ESL teachers??
use of classroom-based reading assessments in practice.