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Interpretations of formative assessment in the teaching of English at two Chinese universities : a sociocultural perspective

Chen, Qiuxian, Kettle, Margaret A., Klenowski, Val, & May, Lyn (2012) Interpretations of formative assessment in the teaching of English at two Chinese universities : a sociocultural perspective. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.

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Abstract

Formative assessment is increasingly being implemented through policy initiatives in Chinese educational contexts. As an approach to assessment, formative assessment derives many of its key principles from Western contexts, notably through the work of scholars in the UK, the USA and Australia. The question for this paper is the ways that formative assessment has been interpreted in the teaching of College English in Chinese Higher Education. The paper reports on a research study that utilised a sociocultural perspective on learning and assessment to analyse how two Chinese universities – an urban-based Key University and a regional-based Non-Key University – interpreted and enacted a China Ministry of Education policy on formative assessment in College English teaching. Of particular interest for the research were the ways in which the sociocultural conditions of the Chinese context mediated understanding of Western principles and led to their adaptation. The findings from the two universities identified some consistency in localised interpretations of formative assessment which included emphases on process and student participation. The differences related to the specific sociocultural conditions contextualising each university including geographical location, socioeconomic status, and teacher and student roles, expectations and beliefs about English. The findings illustrate the sociocultural tensions in interpreting, adapting and enacting formative assessment in Chinese College English classes and the consequent challenges to and questions about retaining the spirit of formative assessment as it was originally conceptualised.

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ID Code: 54077
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: formative assessment, English Language Teaching ELT, Higher Education in China, sociocultural perspective, assessment in China, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2012.726963
ISSN: 1469-297X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > LOTE ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori) (130207)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education (130302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Routledge
Copyright Statement: This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2012 14:42
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2014 12:55

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