Volume 13, Issue 4 (2022)                   LRR 2022, 13(4): 73-119 | Back to browse issues page


XML Persian Abstract Print


Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Estaji M, Eslami F. Examining the Use and Value of Formative Assessment Strategies Among Persian Language Teachers of Non-Persian Speakers in Multicultural Classes. LRR 2022; 13 (4) :73-119
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-44602-en.html
1- Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran; , estaji@atu.ac.ir
2- Ph.D.Candidate in Persian language teaching to non-Persian speakers, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (816 Views)
Formative assessment has an important role in controlling the quality of teachers’ methodology in multicultural classes. Although many research studies have been conducted in the domain of formative assessment and the strategies used by English teachers, there is a dearth of research on teachers involved in Persian language instruction to non-Persian speakers. The present study aimed to recognize the most fruitful and invaluable formative assessment strategies used in the multicultural context of teaching Persian language classes and examine the relationship between the value and uses of formative assessment strategies and the teaching level of Persian language teachers. To this end, three Persian language teachers of the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels in the Persian language teaching center of Allameh Tabataba’i University were asked to answer the formative assessment strategies questionnaire (Jett, 2009). To gain more reliable results, other data collection methods based on class observation checklist (Jett, 2009; Stevens, 2012) and semi-structured interviews were used. To analyze the quantitative data, Pearson correlation (using SPSS version 25) was run. Descriptive statitics and content analysis were also applied for analyzing the interview data. Based on the results, self and peer assessment were found the mostly used strategy. The most invaluable strategy was also reported to be both self and peer assessment and involving language learners in their own learning. Although according to course observations the teachers’ practices were variant, there was a significant correlation between the teaching level and degree of use and value of formative assessment strategies. The findings of this study have implications for Persian language teachers and teacher educators in that they can raise their knowledge and awareness of classroom-based assessment through the use of effective formative assessment strategies in multicultural classes.
 
1. Introduction
One of the essential features of any educational system is assessment to investigate needs, determine goals and strategies and measure performances (Sadler, 1998). Usually, teachers use two kinds of assessment to measure class activities for learning: Formative assessment and summative assessment. Summative assessment, which lays a seal of approval on learning and usually takes place at the end of an educational program, compares the amount of knowledge or skills of students with specific standards and criteria (States et al., 2018). Formative assessment, however, has attracted attention of many educational researchers over recent years. Black and Wiliam (1998) provides a clear-cut definition on formative assessment as “all those activities undertaken by teachers-and by their students in assessing themselves- that provide information to be used as feedback, to modify teaching and learning activities. Such assessment becomes formative assessment when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet student needs” (p. 140).
     William and Thompson (2008) offered a conceptual framework based on the definition, provided by Black and Williams (1998, p. 8), which presented five fundamental strategies for formative assessment. The framework introduces an instructor to have the role of designing and establishing an effective environment for learning and the language learners in such environment are responsible for their and their peers’ learning. Nowadays, due to extensive physical and virtual exchanges and internationalization of education, especially in the field of language teaching, classrooms are held in multicultural contexts, deserving special strategies for formative assessment. Regarding expansion of Persian language teaching and growth in number of those learning Persian language all over the world, teachers in the centers to teach Persian language to speakers of other languages, experience multicultural contexts thanks to presence of language learners, who represent different nationalities and cultures in a single classroom. Therefore, regarding importance of using formative assessment strategies in the classes for teaching Persian language to speakers of other languages, that are multi-cultural in nature, and also regarding considerable gap in the literature, the writers of this research, relying on the conceptual framework William and Thompson (2008) regarding formative assessment strategies, tried to address three questions as follows:
     1. Which formative assessment strategy is the most usable in the multicultural classrooms from the viewpoint of the teachers of Persian language in three elementary, intermediate and advanced levels?
2. Which formative assessment strategy is the most valuable in the multicultural classes from the viewpoint of the teachers of Persian language in three elementary, intermediate and advanced levels?
 3. To what extent is there any relationship between the use and value of the formative assessment strategies and the educational level of the teachers?  

2. Literature Review
There has been many research on the use and value of the formative assessment strategies, applied by teachers of English language and of schools and other educational centers; however, there has been handful of such research on teachers of Persian language to speakers of other languages, who are present in class and represent different cultures. Yadegarzadeh (2005) in a study focused on the extent of teachers’ awareness of the strategies of formative assessment and the degree of their application in classroom. Estaji and Fasihi (2016) in research investigated the relationship between the use of formative assessment strategies and self-efficacy of the male and female teachers in the English language teaching centers in Tehran and also the effect of their gender and experience. Jett’s (2009) two-phase research concerned the perception of the elementary school teachers in a region in Louisville (in the state of Kentucky) on the most valuable and usable strategies of formative assessment. Setevens’ (2012) research aimed to investigate perception of teachers on cultural responsiveness, formative assessment and the inquiry-based teaching of math and science for American native students in a school in Montana state. To study the perceptions of teachers on formative assessment, Hue and Kennedy (2015) dealt with the perception and view of the native teachers of Hong Kong on formative assessment. In a study, conducted in the Philippines recently, Cagasan et al. (2020) tried to offer a framework to investigate the pattern of teachers’ formative assessment function in class, using the class observation instrument.

3. Methodology
To conduct this research, three teachers of the Centre for Teaching Persian to Speakers of Other Languages of Allameh Tabataba’i University, participated in this study teaching in three elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. Two of the teachers were female and one male, who were introduced by the Education Department Director, with respect to their educational level and the multi-cultural context of the classroom. The two elementary and intermediate teachers were female, while the advanced level teacher was male. All the three teachers were young (aged 26 on average) and were novice regarding their background of teaching Persian to speakers of other languages. However, all the three teachers enjoyed enough knowledge and skill to teach in the specified levels. Three sources were used to collect data for this study: The Questionnaire of Use and Value of Formative Assessment Strategies of Jett (2009) (for the quantitative part); interview with instructors (for the qualitative part) and class observations by using the checklist of Stevens (2012) and checklist of Jett (2009) (for the qualitative part). The SPSS software version 25 was used for analysis of the quantitative data and for Pearson correlation test, while descriptive indexes and content analysis were used for investigation of the interview data.


4. Results
This research was conducted to investigate the use and value of the formative assessment strategies, that are applied by teachers of the Persian language to speakers of other languages in three elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels in the multi-cultural contexts. Three sources were used to collect data for this study: Questionnaire, interview, and class observations. Research findings showed that the three instructors of the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels believed that the self/peer assessment strategy was the most prevalent and the most valuable strategy, that is used for formative assessment in multicultural contexts. Analysis of the data also confirmed the correlation between the use and value of the strategy of setting work of language learners as a model (for other peers), offering feedback, and the self/peer assessment. Furthermore, the results of this study showed a significant correlation between the educational levels of the instructors and the use and value of the formative assessment strategies, and the use and value of the formative assessment strategies grow alongside promotion in the educational level. Content analysis of the interview data showed that in the instructors’ point of view, the self/peer assessment, contribution of the language learners into their own learning, and presentation of feedback were hierarchically the most effective class strategies. Based on the class observation checklist data (1), the highest degree of support was provided to the elementary level and the least one to the advanced level. In terms of enforcement of the formative assessment strategies in the multi-cultural classes and with respect to the checklist, feedback reserved the highest number of frequencies, while the specification of the learning goals gained the least frequency in the list. Results of this research also showed that the instructors were aware of the use and value of the formative assessment strategies, but they were not fully in agreement on operationalizing the strategy. However, their ability to create and establish a supportive and fair environment, which is requisite for such assessments, should not be underestimated.
Full-Text [PDF 641 kb]   (134 Downloads)    
Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: assessment
Published: 2022/10/2

Add your comments about this article : Your username or Email:
CAPTCHA

Send email to the article author


Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.