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The purpose of this document is to submit a proposal to the English Department of the University of Panama which considers the application of the model presented by Joan Herman from the University of California. This proposal is focused on the assessment of students’ learning and achievement at the University level.
Our Top Assessment Proposal has the following objectives: Provide the English department with a proposal…. Help the english department……. Persuade the English Department
The assessment and evaluation process must be related to the course objectives. According to its mission and vision, the students of the English Department will develop linguistic competences that will allow them to be prepared for a successful professional life.
Nowadays, English is a language spoken by over 2 million people, many of them non-native speakers around the world who are using English as an instructional and commercial language. The English Department of the University of Panama has also created a new program for the Bachelor’s Degree in English in order to prepare students who can speak English with a high command of the language.
In order to have a precise path to follow and achieve its goal, the English department of the University of Panama has the following vision: Be a leader and a model of excellence……Its Mission: Forming competent professionals.. Developing communicative competences…. Contributing to the development of knowledge.. Being a leader in the usage of modern technology… Teaching English to all the other schools that request this service…
Summary: What’s wrong with current assessments? Why a “system” of assessments? Many assessment purposes
In 1572, Oxenham took part on theraid in Panama which was headed byFrancis Drake as one of the shipcaptains . In 1567, became the firstEnglish person to come to Panama anduse the language to communicateothers.
Lather than, 1848 asignificant group came fromthe United States to work inthe Pacific Mail Company.In 1850 the Pacific MailSteamship Companyestablished a steamshipline competing with the USMail SteamshipCompany between NewYork and Chagres
From 1903 to 1979 theterritory was controlledby the United States,which had built thecanal and financed itsconstruction. From 1979to 1999 the canal itselfwas under joint US andPanamanian control.
In 19 04 the YMCAClubhouses had broughtto the Canal Zone’speople a new quality oflife.Lather than, in 1975after treaty negotiationthe YMCA opened to thepublic and offered andEnglish School.
According to this study,this year our country ranksnumber 51 on a list of 54countries which indicatesthat Panama has a verylow level of English taughtin schools.
Weak public education hampersEnglish proficiency.The poor quality of publicschools across Latin Americacombined withUnequal access to educationprovides a more convincingexplanation for the region’sweakness in English.
Education Minister Lucy Molinarsaid that for a realtransformation of nationaleducation takes place, thewhole society should withdrawauthority to continue with anongoing process of changeand updating.So, she declared the year 2013as “Meduca way toconsolidation andeducational excellence”.
1. 15 New curriculua in a Secondary Education with a focus on skill training.2. 125,385 students were benefited by “Children program”.3. 13,000 youth in grades 11 and 12 attended the After School program and 681 teachers participated in 600 hours of English .4. In 2012, they undertook the design and construction of 5 schools of excellence called , Model School.
WHAT ARE DOING THE UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE WORLD TO IMPROVE ENGLISH PROFICIENCY.THE BEST OF THOSE UNIVERSTIES ARE:1. Offers a complete English program including individual subjects such as Morphology, syntax, semantics. The literature subject is divided in all the different periods, and it also includes linguistics as a main subject. (Chulanlancorn University of Thailand)2. Another university requires an examination at the end of each semester. Also they have a continuous assessment. (Kashmir University, India)3. Some universities offer different B. A. programs in English; for example, B.A. in English and Linguistics and B. A. in Language and Linguistics so the programs have specific subjects oriented to the students’ goals (University of York, London)4. Others offer two specializations in English: Linguistics an Literature and they focus on lectures, writing workshops, seminars and project work in order to approach problems creatively and critically. Also, they emphasize on creative writing skills and oral production is emphasized through courses in drama and rhetoric. (Malmo University, Sweden)
OUR FUTUREIT IS CLEAR THAT IN OUR COUNTRY WE HAVE TO WAIT YEARSFOR THOSE PROGRAMS RECENTLY ESTABLISHED TO WORKOUT AND SHOW BETTER RESULTS.HOWEVER, DUE THE INFORMATION ABOVE MENTIONEDREGARDING OUR POSITION ON THE LIST, WE DEVELOPED THEFOLLOWING QUESTION ABOUT ADULTS EDUCATION AT THEUNIVERSITY OF PANAMA.
•Does the English department of the University ofPanama have a continuous assessment procedure thatdemonstrates the global effectiveness of the teachingprocess?•How can the English Department improve itsevaluation system in order to help students achievetheir final goals?•How can the English department prepare studentsbetter so that they can have a greater command of thelanguage and be able to teach it in the different levels?•How can the English department assess the studentslearning effectively?•How can the English department assess quality beforeor as students graduate?
Some Research about Evaluation and Assessment Glorita Riquelme
PhD student Agustina Djihadi in her blog: A Jouney Called Life citeddifferent authors to explain both terms:Ten Brink (1974), defines evaluation as the process of obtaininginformation and using it to form judgments which are to be used indecision making. The process has 5 stages (1) preparing, (2)collecting the data, (3) making judgments, (4) making decision, and (5)reporting.The process will yield information regarding the worthiness,appropriateness, goodness, validity, legality, etc., of something forwhich a reliable assessment has been made.Evaluation can thus concern a whole range of issues in and beyondlanguage education: lesson, courses, programs, and skills can all beevaluated.Egyankosh (2002), suggests that the evaluation must be a continuousprocess and this means a regular assessment of the studentsdevelopment.
Assessment, as Burhan (2009) states, does not includedecision making and reporting. It focuses on data gatheringand placing a value on something. It covers stages 1, 2, and3 of the evaluation process.Kizlik (2010) Assessment is a process by which information isobtained related to some known objective or goal. (We testor assess to determine whether or not an objective or goalhas been obtained).Assessment is concerned with students’ learning orperformance, and thus provides one type of information thatmight be used in evaluation. Testing is a particular form ofassessment, that is connected with measuring learningthrough performance.
•The evaluation process must be coherent to be successful.•As Joan Herman expressed in her research “A good assessment isnot a single test but a coherent system of measures.”•Coherent systems must be composed of valid measures of learningand they should be horizontally, developmentally, and vertically alignedto serve classroom, school, and district improvement.
We have developed the following proposal in order to help the Englishdepartment align its objectives with a vertical, horizontal anddevelopmental coherent assessment
•Students of the English department should have an annual assessment todetermine whether they can be promoted to the next level or not. Theassessment should be oral and also written (diagnostic).•Assessment can also take place after all the parts of a subject arecompleted; for instance grammar I, grammar II, grammar III, then studentscan be assessed at the end of grammar III. (Diagnostic).
•Depending on the results, students who get low scoresin their term courses or / and annual assessment shouldtake reinforcement lessons during the afternoon periods(when there are no classes in the department).•Those lessons can be based on any deficiency thestudents have in any of the four skills.•Speaking and writing workshops as well as summerreinforcement courses could be organized
•Students of the English department should also take thecertified English exam as other students from other colleges do.This is a good opportunity to assess them too. They could takethis exam at the end of the first year of studies. (Diagnostic)•At the end of the career, students should take a final examsimilar to the TOEFL in order to observe their English level asthey are about to graduate and the progress they have madethroughout the career. This exam can be taken during their thirdyear and if they do not get the required score they can retake itduring their fourth year
•Students could be involved in activities such as: newspaper ormagazine editing, reading circles, teaching English to children of severalcommunities as their communitary work. (it could be a way to assess agroup, not individual assessment)•The department should have an assessment commission in charge ofsupervising students’ progress throughout the career and reports shouldbe kept in students’ individual files.•The department should count on an assessment professional for thesupervision of its assessment and to assist and guide the department inall the process.
These are only suggestions aimed at improving the generalperformance of students in the English department and thus have asuccessful assessment.These recommendations should be analyzed and improved beforebeing implemented; in this way, we can identify the departmentstrengths and weaknesses.
•Taking into account Joan Herman’s article, the assessment proposedabove is horizontal because there are objectives, because we includestudents through instruction in order to achieve those objectives and at theend objectives are evaluated to observe if they are met.•This assessment is also vertical because it takes place first in theclassroom, later in the department and at the end at the college level.•Finally, this assessment is coherent because it measures through thedifferent courses if the students’ career goals are met.
•The development of a continuous assessment process like the one wehave presented can definitely help faculty measure if the results equalits main objectives, mission and vision.•Likewise, it can absolutely help students work harder due to the factthat their progress will be monitored all the time.•We expect this proposal could be useful for the English Department ofthe University of Panama and that it can lead to a coherent assessmentprocess as Joan Herman states.