Title page for ETD etd-05012010-164506


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Omidire, Margaret Funke
Email mfomidire@yahoo.co.uk
URN etd-05012010-164506
Document Title Investigating dynamic assessment as a means of addressing the assessment dilemma of additional language learners
Degree PhD
Department Educational Psychology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof A C Bouwer Committee Chair
Keywords
  • language proficiency
  • dynamic assessment
  • curriculum-based dynamic assessment
  • static assessment
  • equity
  • code switching
  • mediation
  • additional language
Date 2010-04-29
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Using static forms of assessment with learners who have an additional language (AL) as the language of learning and assessment (LoLTA), especially those that have been identified and labelled low achievers, could do more harm than good. Many people neglect to take account of the complexity involved in learning a second language and often wonder why learners who have an AL as the LoLTA take so long to acquire it at the level of cognitive academic language proficiency. This study investigated the use of dynamic assessment (DA) as a method of assessing learners who have an AL as the LoLTA in mainstream education, focusing on Lagos, Nigeria, in the empirical research. The study looked at ways in which DA could contribute to a solution for the assessment of AL learners, specifically how DA influenced the assessment and performance of AL learners. The study, in addition, sought to establish how static assessment and DA affect the attitude of AL learners towards assessment and their own performance. Finally, the study explored avenues through which DA could be used without it becoming an undue advantage for AL learners.

The research was a qualitative study within the interpretive paradigm that sought to understand the subjective experiences of AL learners with assessment. Within a multiple case study, it resembled action research. Eight participants from two schools in UBE 8 (Grade 8) took part in the study, which involved observation of the participants during continuous assessment (CA) cycles, with debriefing and language-related mediation of assessment skills thereafter, in the subjects Business Studies (BS) and Integrated Science (IS). The data collection covered four phases: three CA cycles and the examination of the first school term. Subsequent to Phase I, mediational assessment papers, a glossary and spelling list were used.

The findings suggest that DA had a positive influence on the AL participantsí performance and affect during assessment, although to varying degrees. Individual learning potential and context appeared to play a crucial part. Once the participantsí individual challenges were apparent, mediation could be directed at providing appropriate strategies to bridge the gaps. Due to the severity of the AL challenge, some participants seemed to require focused learning support in the AL, as well as mediated assessment sustained over a longer period. DA seemed to effectively provide guidance and feedback to the participants and improved their attitude towards assessment as well as the emotions experienced during assessment.

© 2009 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Omidire, MF 2009, Investigating dynamic assessment as a means of addressing the assessment dilemma of additional language learners, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05012010-164506/ >

D10/277/ag

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