English Instructional Tip – Level Test Transition

The English Level Tests are new valuable components to the revised English program. It assesses the student’s abilities of the skills learned throughout the entire level. This comprehensive test, in conjunction with the review booklets, allow instructors and Center Directors to assess student readiness to move forward to the next level. Within the test, the concepts are presented in the same basic order that they are presented in the booklets. Each page is referenced with the section the concept comes from. These tests are scored and should be completed in class. These tests can also be used to determine weaknesses in student understanding. Then, brief reviews can be provided so the student is properly prepared for the next level.

            Plan to assign the Level Test when you feel the student is ready based on performance. Assigning the test can be tricky if students will not have a booklet available for homework. Rather than moving the student on to the next level before the test or the week of the test, consider providing a review booklet or two from the current level to the student. It is not only beneficial for the student to review previous learned concepts, but the instructor is unable to cover new concepts if the student takes the entire class time to complete the assessment. It is important that the student covers new concepts in class with the instructor especially if it is a new level. This will also help ensure that the student is not discouraged if he or she needs to do some significant review before moving on to the next level.

            Level Tests should be completed in class only. Concepts in Level Tests do not need to be reviewed before giving the student the test. Make sure the student can complete the test in a calm, comfortable environment, free of distractions. Before the student begins the test, be sure to write down the start time as well as the end time when they are finished. Students should also complete the entire test during the class time. It shouldn’t take the student any more than one class session to complete the Level Test. If so, it may indicate difficulties in certain sections or potentially a slow reading and answering rate within the comprehension.

Levels such as H & I are mainly comprehension based which require a lot of reading of the student. Within those levels, be sure to constantly check student fluency in terms of the speed of their reading as well as if they understand what they are reading. Be sure to correct the test on that day or prior to the students next class session so the student is aware of how they did as well as indication if review is needed or whether they are able to move to the next level. This will help with student motivation as well.

Review the test to see if the student had any difficulties or gaps in learning. Begin by reviewing the overall score and tally at the back of the test, but do not use this as the only decision point. Review the test page by page to determine the types of errors made. When considering review, it is important to determine if mistakes were a result of not understanding the concept, if they were careless errors, or a result of misreading directions. After reviewing the test, look through the student record to see if there are areas of concern. After considering the test, the student’s progress, and the student’s motivation and ability to move forward comfortably, set up a progress plan for the student. If assigning repetition, keep repetition as limited as possible. Focus only on the aspects that need immediate attention for the student to progress. When planning the new level, consider any areas you think the student may have difficulty based on his or her performance on the test and previous level. The Level Test should be the final indicator that they student has mastered the previous concepts and is ready and confident for the next level.