Canadian learning environments and expectations about teacher-student dynamics may be very different from what English language learners (ELL) are used to. Oftentimes, English language learners struggle with shyness and are reluctant to communicate out of fear of standing out or fear of failure. Dynamic Assessment can help learners, particularly ELL students who are struggling with production, feel more confident.
Prep: None required
Activity: Feedback “interventions” can take anywhere from thirty seconds to thirty minutes depending on the student and depending on the nature of the feedback.
Class of learners
Core Competency Connection
No special materials required.
Have learners create topics and flesh them out, including supporting ideas. Review their ideas with them and give some initial impressions and feedback.
2. First Paragraph
Introduce and review/practice concepts related to paragraph and sentence structure; have learners write their first body paragraph, revise it with them using the assessment rubric, and then have them work on a second draft.
3. Do the Rest
Repeat the process in step two for a second and third paragraph, then have learners write introductory and concluding paragraphs.
4. Group share
When the essay is complete, have learners share it with peers in small groups so they can provide one another with feedback.
5. Dynamic assessment
Have learners hand in their essays and all their rough drafts associated with it. Use assessment rubrics to reflect improvement through the process, rather than basing it on their final product. This dynamic assessment gauges the gap between learners’ performance on their first attempt and their final product.
Break your assignment into stages and take time to check learners‘/groups’ work at each stage. Also try to give learners a chance to reflect on and apply your feedback.
For anyone interested in Dynamic Assessment in the language classroom, we recommend any writing by James P. Lantoff and/or Matthew E. Poehner. The following source was also consulted to create this teaching resource:
Vygotsky, L.S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard College.