Dr. Thu Mai Duong

Post-Pandemic Directions For Language Assessment In Vietnam Schools: Introducing Grade-Based English Targets To Connect Summative And Formative Assessment

Due to the Covid pandemic, the educational authority and teachers of foreign languages had to cope with a range of issues to maintain the fluent flow of education while switching their teaching and assessment to online mode. Strategies by teachers were mostly related to the adoption of online assessment platforms and reducing the performance requirements to sympathize with students in the challenging period. During such time, it was more important in Vietnam to maintain education than to reform it. After the Covid, it is high time attention should be paid to pre-Covid issues in language assessment in the new curriculum, one of which is the absence of clear guidance for teachers in formative assessment. While training is still being provided frequently by the Ministry of Education and Training and NFLP, and more textbooks of varied teaching approaches are being accepted, teachers still need more concrete instruction to conduct their everyday assessment tasks.

This presentation is inspired by the initial results of two projects which are outlined by NFLP and believed to bring substantial changes to the assessment practices of Vietnamese language teachers: a collaborative research projects of Vietnamese NFLP and Cambridge Assessment to construct detailed grade-based formative assessment guidance to teachers of foreign languages in Vietnamese schools; and a project by local experts in language assessment to specify the English outcomes for students in twelve grades of mainstream education. Both projects aim at informing teachers of specific contents, standards and methods to conduct formative assessment. In this presentation, the common beliefs of Cambridge Assessment experts and Vietnamese local experts on the needed formative assessment literacy for English teachers in Vietnam will be outlined. Specifically, the contents will focus on three areas: creating detailed English assessment targets for each grade in the twelve grades of schooling, providing specific guidance on the assessment tasks for each target, and giving meaningful and kind feedback to students.

Speaker bio

Doctor Thu Mai Duong completed her PhD in Education at the University of Melbourne, specializing in language assessment. She has been a lecturer and researcher in English Language Teaching at Vietnam National University in Hanoi, also where she is currently based, since 2001. She also proposed many initiatives to improve the quality of educational and language assessment in Vietnam by participating and leading funded research projects. Her areas of interest include ELT methodology, language assessment, applied measurement and teacher education.