Theories Of Skills Assessment In ESL

The Role of Assessment

The lack of an actionable and motivating assessment of language progress can lead to even more student stress. Therefore, at the moment, the education system is in active tracking of practical and functional methods for assessing academic performance. Some experts advocate full control and certain stigmas, such as grading on a particular rating scale. Others see this practice as ineffective and limiting the student’s proficiency and passion for progressing the skills. Statements on this vary; however, I lean towards the portfolio tool after reading “Language Assessment” by H. Douglas Brown and Priyanwada Abeyvikrama.

Disadvantages of Assessments

The system of monitoring and grading students is currently imperfect and has several disadvantages, such as insufficient consideration of the age and individual characteristics of each student individually the dominance of quantitative forms of evaluation. Moreover, the distinction between irregular and episodic assessment, high subjectivity in grading, and psychological discomfort of students during control. Furthermore, the disadvantages include a limited range of ratings, the division of reviews into positive and negative, and the lack of a mechanism for objective summation of ratings (Brown and Abeywickrama, 2019). Optimization of monitoring and evaluation of the results of students’ learning activities directly depends on the teacher’s understanding of the ratio of mechanical memorization and meaningful assimilation in the learning process.

Portfolio Tool Advantage Comparing to Other Practices

Portfolios provide great advantages to language learners by letting them observe and manage their improvement according to their educational objectives. It is an examination tool developed to resolve writing concerns, permitting students to take primary responsibility and initiative. In this case, they accept accountability for their knowledge through constant objective setting, contemplation, and other metacognitive strategies. It originates in self-regulatory mastery that empowers students with proper motivation and the capacity to operate (Brown & Abeywickrama, 2010). A sense of responsibility in knowledge assessment, self-analysis of performance, and data collection allow students to move to a new level of self-awareness in the education system.

Portfolio Tool Practical Usage

A portfolio can break down the writing and language learning process by content and vocabulary components to make the English learner’s educational process easier. It makes it much less rough and permits learners to become more conscious of their personal growth as professional writers. The portfolio practice includes three vital stages: objective setting, monitoring, and review. These stages can sometimes be tricky, as any self-criticism of personal actions and knowledge degree can be subject to bias and prejudice (Brown, & Abeywickrama, 2010). In this case, students need to strike a balance between wholesome self-criticism and selective acceptance of evaluative assistance from outside, which can also be tricky.

Ethics in Assessments

Ethics of evaluation is a set of norms and rules of a teacher’s behavior, ensuring the moral character of pedagogical activity and relationships caused by pedagogical activity. The development of this type of ethics has a positive impact on the nature of the teacher’s interaction with students, contributing to improving the moral and psychological climate in the school, and strengthening the positive role of the family (Isucelt, 2013). The practical activity of a teacher does not always comply with the norms of professional ethics, which is caused by the complexity and contradictions of pedagogical practice; therefore, one of the essential tasks of the ethics of assessment is to study the state of the moral consciousness of the teacher. The universal and most common methods of public opinion research in the field of evaluation ethics aim to clarify value orientations, the motivational sphere of the individual, and the evaluative judgments of the interviewees.


My opinion has not changed much regarding the main motivational components of the assessment process. Objectivity, prudence, and efficiency are the main driving forces for improving progress. The old grading system now seems ineffective and, in some ways, undermines all student efforts. Many teachers take on a monopoly on the assessment of knowledge and leave no room for the personal participation of learners. That is why the portfolio methodology compares favorably with other language assessment practices. The student takes a leading position in the education process and comprehends to critically analyze their skills.


Archer, E. (2017). The assessment purpose triangle: Balancing the purposes of educational assessment. Frontiers Education, 2(41), 1-7.

Brown, D. & Abeywickrama, P. (2019). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. Pearson.

Isucelt. (2013). Writing a teaching philosophy statement [Video]. Web.