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Assessment Across Online Language Education



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The primary goal of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) in general, and of online language instruction in particular, is to create and evaluate language learning opportunities. To be effective, online language courses need to be guided by an integrated set of theoretical perspectives to second language acquisition (SLA), as well as by specific curricular goals, learning objectives and outcomes, appropriate tasks and necessary materials, and learners’ characteristics and abilities – to name a few factors that are essential in both online and face-to-face teaching (Xu & Morris, 2007). Doughty and Long (2003) articulate pedagogical principles for computer-enhanced language teaching, which highlight the importance of exercising task-based activities, elaborating the linguistic input, enhancing the learning processes with negative feedback, and individualizing learning. Chapelle (2009) further puts forth a framework of evaluation principles that define the characteristics of tasks and materials drawing on SLA theories. Notably, she remarks that “the groundwork for such evaluation projects is an iterative process of stating ideals for the materials based on the theoretical framework and providing a judgmental analysis of the degree to which the desired features actually appear in the materials” (Chapelle, 2009: 749). In other words, she calls for a judgmental analysis as pre-evaluation. With regards to online language instruction, pre-evaluation is rather challenging when it comes to individualizing learning in view of learners’ characteristics and abilities, which are different in every iteration of the course


This chapter is published as Yang, H., Cotos, E., (2018). Innovative implementation of a web-based rating system for individualizing online English speaking instruction. In S. Link & J. Li (Eds.), Assessment across online language education, CALICO Monograph Series (Vol. 16, pp. 167–183). CALICO: San Marcos, TX. Posted with permission.

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CALICO Journal



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