Reflection on FOAI 12 by Halime Kutlutan Ak
Event Title: FOAI 12
Presentation Title: Item Writing III Assessing Listening
a. Brief information about the event: FOAI refers to forum on assessment issues. English teachers who are engaged with assessment responsibilities in English medium universities come together and share their experience and knowledge about the area that is specified by the forum organizers. This one was in Ankara Ted University and it took one and a half days. At the beginning of the forum, Dr. Elif Kantarcıoğlu from Bilkent University gave a plenary session about practical considerations in assessing listening. Under the guidance of this session and the supervision of the organizers of the forum, about twelve instructors came together and shared their ideas and experiences. There were three groups and each group focused on different levels. A2, B1, and B2.
b. Brief information about my/our presentation:
As a member of B1 group we prepared a presentation on assessing listening in B1 level. First of all, we shared the general assessment structure and tools in our institutions and then compiling every participant’s ideas we came up with a presentation which contains the basic principles of assessing listening. The primary area we discussed was test specifications and what that document should include. Later on, we analysed different task types from various institutions and we decided on the tasks that can be preferred more with its justifications. Finally, we brainstormed about some alternative task types such as listening into speaking and listening into writing. While going over these issues, the basic principles of assessment like validity and reliability of the exams, objectives that are covered were always on the table. At the end, we came up with a power point presentation and one voluntary member in our group presented it to the whole group.
c. “Highlights from the event”
While listening to the plenary session, it was nice to hear that assessment tools in our institution are well thought, justifiable, and they depend on literature. Each institution has their assessment believes and facilities. Scola has very good technological facilities and people who use them effectively while creating the tests and assessed tasks. Of course there is room for improvement and this requires time, experience, and expertise. We are doing a good job in assessing listening and it will get only better in time.