ASSESSMENT: DISCRETE POINT TEST, INTEGRATIVE TESTING, PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT, AND AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT.
1. DISCRETE POINT TEST, INTEGRATIVE
ASSESSMENT, AND AUTHENTIC
2. DISCRETE POINT TEST
Language is segmented into many small linguistic points and the
four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
A discrete point test are designed to test these skills and linguistic
points. It consists of many questions on a large number of
linguistic points, but each question tests only one linguistic point.
Examples of Discrete point test are:
• Phoneme recognition.
• Yes/No, True/ False answers.
3. • Word completion.
• Grammar items.
• Multiple choice tests.
Such tests have a down side in that they take language out of
context and usually bear no relationship to the concept or use of
4. INTEGRATIVE TESTING
• Oller (1976, p.37), “language competence is a unified set of
interacting abilities which cannot be separated apart and tested
• Whereas, discrete items attempt to test knowledge of language
one bit at a time, integrative tests attempt to assess a learner's
capacity to use many bits all at the same time, and possibly
while exercising several presumed components of a
grammatical system, and perhaps more than one of the
traditional skills or aspects of skills.
• Therefore, communicative competence is so global and
requires such “integration” for its “pragmatic” use in the real
world that it cannot be captured in additive tests of grammar or
reading or vocabulary and other discrete points of language.
5. This emphasizes the simultaneous testing of the test-taker’s
multiple linguistic competence from various perspectives.
Examples of integrative test are:
• Cloze tests
• Essays and other coherent writing tasks
• Oral interviews and conversation
• Reading, or other extended samples of real text
Oller (1979, p.38) has refined the integrative concept further by
proposing what he calls pragmatic test.
A pragmatic test is ... any procedure or a task that causes the
learner to process sequences of elements in a language that
conform to the normal contextual constraints of that language and
which requires learner to relate sequences of linguistics elements
via pragmatic mappings to extra linguistic contexts.
6. PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT
• PBA as described by Stiggins (2001) is a set of strategies that
enable students to use their skills and knowledge to perform a
task that is authentic and realistic based on certain
• PBA measures students' ability to apply the skills and
knowledge learned from a unit or units of study. Typically, the
task challenges students to use their higher-order thinking
skills to create a product or complete a process (Chun, 2010).
• In line with definition, Espinosa (2015) explained, PBA
improves student skills by bringing into play complex
functions of cognitive processing that require a higher level of
thinking for problem-solving, or the development of options
when an individual confronts a new situation.
7. • Journals
Students will write regularly in a journal about anything relevant
to their life, school or thoughts. Their writing will be in the target
language. The teacher will collect the journals periodically and
provide feedback to the students. This can serve as a
communication log between the teacher and students. Journals
can be used to record student feelings, thoughts, perceptions, or
reflections about actual events or results.
The students will create original language compositions through
producing a letter. They will be asked to write about something
relevant to their own life using the target language. The letter
assignment will be accompanied by a rubric for assessment
8. • Oral Reports
The students will need to do research in groups about a given
topic. After they have completed their research, the students will
prepare an oral presentation to present to the class explaining
their research. The main component of this project will be the
oral production of the target language.
• Original Stories
The students will write an original fictional story. The students
will be asked to include several specified grammatical structures
and vocabulary words.
• Oral Interview
An oral interview will take place between two students. One
student will ask the questions and listen to the responses of the
other student. From the given responses, more questions can be
asked. Each student will be responsible for listening and
9. • Skit
The students will work in groups in order to create a skit about a
real-world situation. They will use the target language. The
vocabulary used should be specific to the situation.
• Poetry Recitations
After studying poetry, the students will select a poem in the target
language of their choice to recite to the class. The students will be
assessed based on their pronunciation, rhythm and speed.
Portfolios allow students to compile their work over a period of
time. The students will have a checklist and rubric along with the
assignment description. The students will assemble their best
work, including their drafts so that the teacher can assess the
10. • Puppet Show
The students can work in groups or individually to create a short
puppet show. The puppet show can have several characters that
are involved in a conversation of real world context. These would
most likely be assessed holistically.
• Art Work/ Designs/Drawings
This is a creative way to assess students. They can choose a short
story or piece or writing, read it and interpret it. Their
interpretation can be represented through artistic expression. The
students will present their art work to the class, explaining what
they did and why.
11. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENTS
• Authentic or alternative assessments, meaning an alternative to
standard tests and exams, provide a true evaluation of what the
student has learned, going beyond acquired knowledge to
focus on what the student has actually learned by looking at
their application of this knowledge (Indiana University, n.d.).
• Alternative forms of assessment can allow you to see what
student can and cannot do, versus what they do and do not
know. They tend to evaluate applied proficiency rather than
measuring knowledge (Brigham Young University, n.d.),
allowing for problem solving and reflection, rather than merely
providing facts as answers to specific questions (Indiana
13. A list of alternative assessment strategies that you may want to
16. Alternative or authentic assessments are typically classified as
formative assessments, as these assignments are typically in-
process evaluations of student’s understanding, learning needs,
and academic progress. Tests and exams tend to be classified as
17. References and Recommended Reading
• Brigham Young University.(n.d). Using Alternative
Assessments. Retrieved February 9, 2018, from
• Chun, M. (2010). Taking teaching to (performance) task:
Linking pedagogical and assessment practices. Change: The
Magazine of Higher Education.
• Espinosa, L. F. (2015). Effective use of performance-based
assessments to identify English knowledge and skills of EFL
students in Ecuador. Theory and Practice in Language Studies,
• Indiana University Bloomington.(2018b). Authentic
Assessment. Retrieved February 9, 2018, from
18. • Oller, J.W., Jr. (1979). Language Tests at School: A Pragmatic
Approach. London: Longman.
• Queen’s University. (n.d.). Assessment Strategies - Teaching
and Learn ing in Higher Education. Retrieved from
• Stiggins, R. J. (2001). Student-Involved Classroom Assessment
(3rd ed.). Columbus OH: Merrill Education, an imprint of