Browsing University of Alaska Fairbanks by Subject "Foreign language education"
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Dynamic Assessment In A Yugtun Second Language Intermediate Adult ClassroomDynamic Assessment is a new theoretical framework for language assessment, and it is particularly relevant for underrepresented languages and learners. For this study the process is investigated in the context of Yugtun second language learners at a university level. This qualitative teacher action research was a study that involved seven students enrolled in an intermediate Yup'ik language course and that comprised three DA sessions over the course of one semester. The intention in using DA was not to help learners do better on the tests but to understand their development in the language. The hope was that DA interactions would provide me with additional insights into learner knowledge and abilities while also helping them move toward more independent control over relevant features of the language. Assessments were organized as a two-stage process involving non-dynamic administration of chapter tests (targeting learner independent performance) followed by dynamic sessions. The dynamic sessions were conducted as 15-minute one-on-one interactions between each learner and the instructor the week after the tests. In order to gauge the students' ability to self-identify and correct their mistakes, their original static test was returned to them at the outset of the meeting without any corrections or grade. Students then corrected items directly on their test and were free to interact with instructor, asking questions, requesting specific forms of help, discussing problems, and so forth. Following the tenets of interactionist DA, the mediator set out with more implicit feedback and becoming more explicit as needed. However, no specific protocol was established prior to the dynamic sessions, in order to let interactions follow whatever course was needed to meet learner needs. Unassisted performance during the non-dynamic administration therefore reveals the students' actual level of development, while the dynamic session provided more in-depth understanding into the problems behind their performance and how close they were to gaining full control of the grammatical features in question. In addition, the quality of the instructor's interactions with learners served as individualized tutoring to further support their abilities. An additional data source that further highlights the study is the dialogue journal that each participant maintained. Journal-writing was incorporated as part of the assignments in the Yugtun course. I read and responded to journal entries weekly. Students were encouraged to ask questions and share their perspective of their learning and assessment experiences and to express themselves in the language of their choice. I responded to direct and indirect questions, offered praise and support, and gave corrective language feedback only when explicitly requested to by the learners. As will be made clear, dialogue journals also helped me identify learner struggles while tracking progress over time.