Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of English Language, Bushehr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bushehr, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Yasouj University/ Department of English Language, Islamic Azad University, Bushehr Branch, Bushehr, Iran

3 Department of English Language, Yasouj University

Abstract

The design, implementation and outcomes of curriculums must be ongoingly evaluated. Using quantitative gap analysis, this study evaluated Iranian EFL teachers’ satisfaction with their pre-service education in developing their assessment literacy in reference to the perceived importance of knowledge and skills areas of classroom language assessment.  To this end, the study included 100 EFL teachers who graduated from state universities in Iran with at least a Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of teaching experience at public schools. Data were collected using a 44-item researcher-made semantic differential Likert scale. It involved two parts tapping into their perceptions of importance and the level of their pre-service preparation. Descriptive analysis and inferential statistics revealed that the teachers rated all the areas almost highly (M ≥ 4.67 out of 6). The participants attached the highest importance to the areas of "assessing different language skills and sub-skills". In contrast, the areas relating to "interpreting students’ test performance” and “making the appropriate decision about the students’ test results and test washback" were perceived to be the least significant in classroom assessment. The gap analysis also indicated that there was a significant difference between the teachers’ perception of the importance of assessment knowledge and skills areas and their level of pre-service education, construed as their under-preparedness for classroom assessment. Further, the gaps were perceived to be sharper in assessment skills areas.  The study discusses the implications of the findings in the context of teacher education and classroom assessment in Iran.

Keywords

Main Subjects

Allamnakhrah, A. (2013). Learning critical thinking in Saudi Arabia: Student perceptions of secondary pre-service teacher education programs. Journal of Education and Learning, 2 (1), 197-210.
Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language testing in practice. Oxford University Press.
Ballidag, S., & İnan-karagul, B. (2021). Exploring the language assessment literacy of
Turkish in-service EFL teachers. The Journal of Social Sciences Institute, 24 (45), 73-92.
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom
assessment. Phi Delta Kappa, 80 (2), 139–144.
Brown, J. D. (2008). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. McGraw-Hill.
Bustamante, A. (2022). Language assessment literacy of middle school English teachers in
Mexico. Languages, 7 (32), 1-20.
Coombe, Ch., Vafadar, H., & Mohebbi, H. (2020). Language assessment literacy: What do we need to learn, unlearn, and relearn? Language Testing in Asia, 10(3), 1-16.
Davis, R., Shekhar, M., & Stuart, V. (2002). A gap analysis approach to marketing curriculum assessment: A study of skills and knowledge. Journal of Marketing Education, 24 (3), 218-224.
Dehqan, D., & Asadian, S.R. (2020). Pre-service and in-service teachers’ knowledge and practice of assessment literacy: A dweller in an ivory tower. Issues in Language Teaching, 9(2), 347-375.
DeLuca, C., & Klinger, D. (2010). Assessment literacy development: Identifying gaps in teacher candidates' learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 17(4), 419-438.
DeLuca, C., Willi, J., Gibson, A., &Trask, S. (2019). Policies, programs, and practices: Exploring the complex dynamics of assessment education in teacher education across four countries. Frontiers in Education,4, (13),1-19.
Douglas, D. (2014). Understanding language testing. Routledge.
Farhady, H., & Hedayati, H. (2009). Language assessment policy in Iran. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 29(7), 132-141.
Farhady, H., Jafarpur, A., & Birjandi, P. (1994). Testing language skills: From theory to practice. SAMT Publications.
Firoozi, T., Razavipour,K., & Ahmadi, A. (2019). The language assessment literacy needs of Iranian EFL teachers with a focus on reformed assessment policies. Language Testing in Asia, 9(2), 1-14.
Fulcher, G. (2012). Assessment literacy for the language classroom. Language Assessment Quarterly, 9(2), 113–132.
Fulcher, G., & Davidson, F. (2007). Language testing and assessment: An advanced resource book. Routledge.
Gok, A., Ozge, E., & Tolga, E. (2012). Investigation of pre-perceptions about concept of measurement and assessment through metaphor analysis Bilge. Social and Behavioral Sciences,46 (15), 1997-2003.
Hasselgreen, A., Carlsen, C., & Helness, H. (2004). European survey of language testing and assessment needs. EALTA Journals, 4(2), 123-137.
Headley, E., & Choi, B. (1992). Achieving service quality through gap analysis and a basic statistical approach. Journal of Services Marketing, 6 (1), 5-10.
Henning, G. (2001). A guide to language testing: Development, evaluation, research. House.
Herrera, L., & Macías, D. (2015). A call for language assessment literacy in the education and development of teachers of English as a foreign language. Colombia Applied Linguistic, 17(2), 302-312.
Homayounzadeh,Z.,& Razmjoo.S.A. (2021). Examining 'assessment literacy in practice' in an Iranian context: Does it differ for instructors and learners? Journal of Teaching Language  Skills, 40(2), 1-45. https://doi.org/ 10.22099/jtls.2021.40269.2978  
Jafari, A. (2012). The fatal educational disease of the country: Grade inflation. Retrieved from  https://www.fararu.com/fa/ news/138386
Janatifar. M., & Marandi, S. (2018). Iranian EFL teachers’ language assessment literacy under an assessing lens. Applied Research on English Language, 7(3), 361-382.
Jannati, S. (2015). EL teachers’ language assessment literacy: Perceptions and practices. International Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 6(2), 26-37.
Jawhar, S., & Subahi, A. (2020). The impact of specialty, sex, qualification, and experience on teachers’ assessment literacy at Saudi higher education. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 19(5), 200-216.
Khanjani, A., Vahdany, F., & Jafarigohar, M. (2016). The EFL pre-service teacher training in  Iran: Is it adequate or not? Iranian Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 5(1), 1- 22.
Lewis, C., & Klein, D. (1986). The measurement of gaps in service quality. American Marketing Association.
Mertler, C. A. (2003). Pre-service versus in-service teachers’ assessment literacy: Does classroom experience makes a difference? Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association. Columbus.
Mashhadi,A.,& Dehghani, H.(2022). The impact of collaborative in-service training on EFL teachers’ language assessment literacy, perceptions and practices. Teaching English as a Second Language Quarterly. 41(3), 89-115. https://doi.org/10.22099/tesl.2022.43053.3096
Ogan-Bekiroglu, F., & Suzuka, E. (2014). Pre-service teacher's assessment literacy and its  implementation into practice. The Curriculum Journal, 25(3), 344- 341.
Pastore, S., & Andrade, H. (2019). Teacher assessment literacy: A three-dimensional model. Teaching and Teacher Education,84(6), 128-138.
Peacock, M. (2009). The evaluation of foreign-language-teacher training programs. Language Teaching Research, 13 (3), 259–278.
Ranjbari, M.N., Heidari Tabrizi, H., & Afghari, A. (2020). Evaluation of the latest pre-service  teacher education curriculum in EFL context: A testimony of teachers, teachers' educators and student teachers' perspectives. Applied Research on English Language, 9(1), 1-24.
Razavipour, K., & Rezagah, K. (2018). Language assessment in the new English curriculum in Iran: Managerial, institutional, and professional barriers. Language Testing in  Asia, 8(1), 11–18.
Rouda, R., & Kusy, M. (1996). Need assessment the first step. Alumni. htpps://www.alumin.caltech.edu
Sayyadi, A. (2022). In-service university-level EFL instructors’ language assessment literacy and  training needs. Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 24(1), 77–95.  https://doi.org/10.15446/profile.v24n1.93676
Shepard, L. A., Penuel, W. R., & Pellegrino, J. W. (2018). Using learning and motivation  theories to coherently link formative assessment, grading practices, and large‐scale assessment. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 37(1), 21-34.
Shah Ahmadi, M.R., & Ketabi, S. (2019). Features of language assessment literacy in Iranian  English language teachers' perceptions and practices. TESL Quarterly (Formerly Journal of Teaching Language Skills),  38(1),191-223. https://doi 10.22099/jtls.2020.34843.2739
Shim, K. N. (2009). An investigation into teachers perceptions of classroom-based assessment of English as a foreign language in Korean primary education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Exeter.
Sofia, A., & zirinigulo, D. (2020). Quality assessment in Greek tertiary education using gap  analysis. Research Institute for Entrepreneurship Development,2 (1),112-119.
Soodmand Afshar, H., & Ranjbar, N. (2021).  EAP teachers’ assessment literacy: From theory to  practice. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 7(10), 1-14.
Stiggins, R. J. (2002). Assessment crisis: The absence of assessment for learning.  The Professional Journal for Educators: Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 758-765.
Sultan, N. (2019). Language assessment literacy: An uncharted area for the English language  teachers in Bangladesh. Language Testing in Asia, 9(1), 1-14.
Tayyebi, M., Moradi.M.A.,& Abbassian.G.R.(2020). Examining classroom writing assessment literacy: a focus on in‑service EFL teachers in Iran. Language Testing in Asia,12(12),1-20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40468-022-00161-w
Vogt, K., & Tsagari, D. (2014). Assessment literacy of foreign language teachers: Findings of a European study. Language Assessment Quarterly, 11(4), 374–402.
Webb, N. L. (2002, April). Assessment literacy in a standards-based urban education setting. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Weir, C. J. (2005). Language testing and validation: An evidence-based approach. Palgrave.