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  1 1. INTRODUCTION  Assessing oral proficiency is a real challenge for English language practitioners. Throughout the process of assessing, many features of oral competence are worth given attention by teachers as the assessors. As such, the Malaysian Ministry of Education has urged for another alternative for oral assessment in 2002 with the intention of revamping and improvising the existing system. This new assessment is none other than School-Based Oral English  Assessment (SBOEA). Therefore, this paper intends to review the studies done on the implementation of School-Based Oral English Assessment (SBOEA). Based on this review, it is now possible to postulate that most studies were conducted to investigate respondents‟ attitude and perception toward this type  of assessment. At this juncture, it is also obvious that mixed methods which involve the use of both quantitative and qualitative study are the most preferred method in the studies of School-Based Oral Assessment. Although the use of questionnaire is fairly dominant in these journals articles, it is noted that other instruments such as semi-structured interview, observation and document analysis were also employed for data analysis. In addition, the insight and the data gained from these studies could be beneficial for future reference in reviewing and modifying the implementation of School-Based English Oral Assessment in Malaysia. As such, the findings drawn from the studies can shed some light for better implementation in Malaysia.  2 2. LITERATURE REVIEW School-based assessment is unlike traditional assessment. The differences between the traditional assessment and the school-based assessment must be addressed first of all while exploring the challenges teachers face in implementing the SBA. According to Palomba and Banta (1999), assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of information about educational programmes undertaken for the purpose of improving learning and development.   Hence, school examinations and tests are the main assessment carrie d out traditionally to evaluate students‟ performance. The students‟ performances are then typically reported as the percentages of scores or letter grades (Brown, 2011). Malaysia was one of the countries which followed this traditional assessment in evalu ating students‟ performance at primary and secondary school level. Meanwhile, the SBA is an assessment which is rooted in the teaching and learning process. It involves the teacher from the beginning to the end: from planning the assessment programme, to identifying and/or developing appropriate assessment tasks right through to making the assessment judgments. It is carried out in ordinary classrooms and conducted by the students' own teacher. It also allows the teacher to give immediate and constructive feedback to students. This assessment has been practised in numerous educational systems internationally. Developed countries such as United Kingdom, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, England and many other countries have implemented the SBA successfully for a long time. In the USA, the SBA has also been developed and implemented although surpassed by national testing programs. Moreover, SBA has been largely adopted  3 as national educational policy in Asia and in some developing countries like Ghana and Zambia (HKDSE, 2012). The positive significance of SBA in many countries has influenced Malaysia too. Thus, the Malaysian Government introduced SBA or its Malay acronym PBS (Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah) as part of the National Transformation Programme to produce world-class human capital. Through this more holistic, integrated and balanced assessment (Malaysian Education Ministry, 2012), the ministry aims to achieve the aspiration of the National Philosophy of Education towards developing learners‟ physical, emoti onal, spiritual and intellectual abilities. It also aims to reduce exam- oriented learning among learners, evaluate learners‟ learning progress and enhance teachers‟ integrity in assessing, recording and reporting of learners‟ learning (KPM, 2012). In an effort to produce excellent human capital of the country, the Ministry of Education brought essential changes in the education system. The changes are to be done by teachers who are the front-liners in the implementation of the SBA (Ahmad 2009). Thus, teac hers‟ positive attitudes and beliefs towards the implementation of the SBA are indispensable in order to sustain the changes. Meanwhile, teachers‟ acceptance and willingness to carry out the changes are vital too in achieving the aspirations of the SBA (Jaba, 2013). However, studies have shown that teachers are unhappy with the implementation of the SBA. For instance, the study carried out by Fook and Sidhu (2011) revealed that teachers worry about the validity and reliability of the assessments constructed because of the „cut and paste‟ method.    4 3. RESEARCH PURPOSE Throughout the years, it is universally acknowledged that assessment has played an integral part in teaching and learning at any learning institution around the world. The word “assessment” itself ma y have been interpreted distinctively by concerned parties. For example, Gurnam, Chan, and Sarjit (2011) state that five different parties which include policy maker, administrator, teacher, parent and student may hold different perceptions and conceptions on assessment. According to Gurnam et al., policy makers define assessment as standards to monitor the quality of education. Administrators view assessment as a means to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of a program whereas teachers use assessment as a tool for monitoring student progress and performance. By contrast, students perceive assessment as an indicator of their ongoing progress and performance. Instead, parents regard assessment as a kind of feedback on their child‟s progress as well as the g auge to indicate the school‟s accountability in offering effective teaching and learning. In this sense, the assessment system not only affects teaching and learning but it does affect the society at large. Hence, Mariam and Sabrin (2008) concur that new approaches to assessment are certainly necessary for educational reform. Traditionally, assessment in Malaysian schools was centralised on national examination. Students were required to sit for three main public examinations as a prerequisite to the next level of education. In Hamzah and Paramasivan (2009), these principal examinations have been generally known to Malaysians as the Primary School Assessment (UPSR), the Lower Secondary Assessment
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