The placement test has two parts: grammar and vocabulary and writing. The first one was adapted by me from a MM placement test designed by H.Q. Mitchell and J. Scott (2004). The aim was to evaluate students English proficiency level, and the second one was a free practice to identify what previous knowledge students have about short story writing.
The participants were in the classroom and they were briefly introduced to the research project. Then they received and developed the placement test knowing that the available time was 45 minutes. The whole group attended to the class.
The students began solving the test and no questions were answered by the teacher. Although the test was designed for 45 minutes the first student delivered the test after 25 minutes. Seven students took the 45 minutes and the rest of the students spent from 30 to 40 minutes.
After finishing the test student did peer-correction with the teacher’s guidance. Every question was analyzed in group and they had to check each other answers. The written part was checked by me using the rubrics that are going to be used to correct the stories during the project.
Students understood the questions and they answered them without any problem. The stories were written following the instructions and most of the students were allowed to write words in Spanish when they did not know or remember the correspondent word in English.. The objective was not centered on English knowledge but in short story writing competence. Obviously, this production is going to be very useful to identify students’ language strengths and weaknesses.
April 15, 2009