Research into task design of assessment tasks for YLs

I am making available an MA assignment I wrote a while ago about the design of assessment tasks for children. In it, I examine how tasks which effectively assess the language ability of children can be designed. It was written while I was working at Cambridge English as a Subject Officer for the YLE tests and I refer to the research the tests underwent as part of the 2007 review of the YLE tests.

NB The two internal documents from Cambridge English are not publicly accessible (Guidelines for Oral Examiner Training and Coordination and Instructions to Oral Examiners) Also note that the latest YLE information is available online: 

I hope you enjoy reading my MA assignment.


Cognitive levelling

More than a month after my last post and I am back at my desk looking at cognitive levelling this week and the research that has been done into this area, or not, as the case may be. This seems a more recent area of research in the field of children.

As well as estimating the age at which a child can be reasonably expected to do something, say ‘Can tell the time in clock hours e.g. It’s nine o’clock.’ I have been trying to band the abilities into four areas: open (age 6 upwards), 7 or older, 9 or older and 11 or older. This is still very much up for discussion as so much happens around the age of ten when more abstract thinking and understanding come into play. For instance, when should children be expected to write a well-constructed paragraph with a topic sentence, main body and final sentence?

I hope to answer that question more expertly as this week goes by.

YL can-do descriptors for rating

I have just finished the second day of selecting can-do descriptors from a list of new and adapted ones to be sent out for rating. It involves carefully selecting descriptors that fill gaps in the current syllabus.

I will be co-presenting a workshop on this at this year’s IATEFL conference so come and find out more. We’re on in the morning on the Monday.