the “missing” factor in evaluating language-production, part (1)

As an educator, you are inevitably faced with the fact that your target students have to be evaluated, in a way or another, at the end of the day. Some would be evaluated daily, some weekly, monthly, or even per a semester. That is all important. Better yet, evaluating a language is, by all means, always full of wonders. The persistent need to evaluate speaking abilities is increasing now more than anytime in the past; most apparently evident in the divine practice of an “oral-presentation”!

Evaluating a presentation has always been intricate and seemingly challenging to me at times. That is because of the intervention of different skills within; skills that I think are not necessarily related to the evaluation target (i.e. evaluated items) in the first place. Take for instance, that for a presentation to be successful, a student has to be equipped with: public speaking skills, searching skills, outlining or organization skills (this includes powerpoint-related skills), and let’s not forget, confidence and rapport skills. Otherwise; the existence of a good level of accuracy would not necessarily qualify a student to achieve the highest grade when doing a presentation!

That being said, we are ultimately driven to the conclusion that we might not be very precise about our evaluation process, since we aren’t actually evaluating “language production” only, but all of the above mentioned “relevant” skills.

For this utter fact, we might as well rethink our evaluation principles, especially when evaluating a presentation or any other production element in language learning.

One of the solutions to this problem is that we are ultimately in need of implementing items in our curriculum that deals with: public speaking, internet searching and even study skills, in an effort to reach a comprehensive, fair and flexible evaluation module.

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