How to evaluate English language learners without testing?

Evaluation plays an important role in educating English speaking learners and bilingual children. Teachers typically use assessments to monitor students’ first or second language development and to monitor the quality of their day-to-day learning.

In addition, assessments are used to place students in a special program and to inform them for the purpose of accountability and policy analysis. But, how can we take an English language test without taking the test?

This article lists some techniques for evaluating English language learners without actually taking any exams.

Teacher evaluation

Asking questions to students is an ancient, proven and tested method where teachers check children’s understanding. We can also call this an “oral interview”. For proper testing, we should ask relevant questions at the right time. It can help reveal how children’s understanding develops and what needs to be done to achieve certain standards.

You can also conduct interview sessions to get a clearer understanding of your students’ listening and speaking abilities. This can be done in front of the classroom or in private as needed. Asking questions that use grammar structures and vocabulary studied by your class will help you know exactly what each student has grasped. If your students do something wrong, don’t punish them; Help them understand mistakes.

Class presentation

Classroom presentation evaluates different aspects of spoken English. If a child is interested in a subject and has the opportunity to present something in front of the class, he shows how much he has learned from what he presents and how he presents it. He can also research information on his subject. Class presentation opportunities encourage children to think about their learning and make them more aware of how they have learned. Most importantly, it helps children develop their explanatory and explanatory skills.

Role play

Another great way to assess your students’ ability to speak English is to introduce them to the classroom. You can give them situations and roles. Listen to their content and grammar and evaluate how creatively they use the language.

Close examination

A new buzzword, a close exam, is an unusual test that helps your student understand grammar. You can start the test by writing the original paragraph or from any English language lessons. Then replace any word in the paragraph with a blank and ask your students to fill in the blanks with the appropriate words that they find most logical and grammatical. Therefore, you will witness different answers in your students and will have a clear knowledge of understanding their language.

Writing pattern

As the name suggests, this type of test involves writing practice. Your students should write original paragraphs or essays in class as a sample to assess their proficiency with grammar. This can be given as homework, but it puts them at risk of getting help from their parents or siblings and will not give an accurate picture of the students ’English writing. However, this writing assessment will look accurate if you did it in their grammar and writing skills class.


By portfolio, we mean a collection of work samples that cover many aspects of the assignments your students have completed so far, and a portfolio / digital portfolio is a great option referring to the digital age we are in. We can have students create their profiles, develop CVs, demonstrate their accomplishments, compile a collection of works into grades. You can also ask them to include specific grammar homework assignments, writing patterns, and vocabulary exercises. This will help you assess your students and encourage students to improve themselves and get grades on their strengths.


ESL has an extensive collection of online and offline resources for students; You can spend time offline or online with your students at home or in a language lab with exercises and quizzes. If your children take online quizzes, they can get feedback on their work and knowledge; And if offline, you can grade and guide them.

Instead of asking long subjective questions, multiple choice exams or true / false quizzes can be a short and crunchy way to assess their knowledge. You can ask questions based on English grammar or current lessons. Also, make sure that all the surrounding answer options are the same length.

However, when you take a true / false type of test, make sure you don’t ask difficult questions that focus on minor details. Also, include questions that allow your students to correct questions that are false. It will help you to understand their language better.

Personal development plan

A class is filled with students of various abilities; Some are very bright, but some need guidance to learn better. In this case, you can work with individual students to agree on what they want to achieve or what improvements they need. This is usually related to their hobbies and interests and helps shape their future careers. This is a very personal form of self-assessment, which can be facilitated by the teacher as an informal method of assessment. It shows how much progress students are making in various subjects, but ultimately their preparation for responsible positions in society.

Project based learning

Project-based learning can take many different forms, depending on the interests of the students. Some projects can last a semester or an entire academic year. In doing so, students develop many organizational capabilities such as resource and time management, and if the project is collaborative, it can lead to negotiation, decision-making, and leadership.

What kind of assessment do you use? Let us know in the comments?

About the author

Author: Sania Khan

I am Sania Khan, copy-editor at EdTechReview – India’s leading edtech media. As part of the group, my goal is to spread awareness on the growing Adtech market by guiding all academic stakeholders on the latest and quality news, information and resources. A curious writer dedicated to excellence has been creating interesting but informative pieces playing with words since 2016.

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