How to Use ESL Tests for Self-Study

О пользе тестов по английскому языку для самостоятельного обучения (статья на английском языке)

Everyone who studies a foreign language has to take tests at one point or another. Though it is probably one of the students’ least favorite things to do, testing  and self-testing is a very efficient way to study a language. There are hundreds of testing systems for ESL students, they are supposed to test different types of knowledge and require different test taking skills. Today, I will focus on a the most popular types of tests that ESL teachers use in their classrooms.

If you take a test and do it in your personal study time, the test may turn into a very efficient learning tool: it is an exercie, which you can do without having to be nervous about the final results or think about time. If you do a test at home, paying attention to every detail and using the answer keys to self-check your results. it is no longer a test, but a very good exercise and a great way to memorize structures of the Engish language. Among the most popular (and beneficial) test practices, I would pick out the following:

  1. Completion tests. This type of tests require you to complete a sentence: fill in the blank tests, cloze testsfree answer tests.
  2. Matching tests, which ask you to pair items in one column with those in another.
  3. True/false tests, which are, in fact, alternative response tests.
  4. Multiple choice tests, where you are supposed to select and check out one answer among a few options (usually 3 0r 4).
  5. Essay tests, where you write an essay and thus, you can be creative with the language you know, and express your ideas freely. These tests are less common in the ESL classrooms since they require a larger base of general knowledge than simpler test forms.
  6. Oral testing. This kind of testing is particularly important because spoken language is the ultimate goal in any language program. Oral tests focus on your ability to communicate with what you know. Since spoken language is creative and flexible, it gives you a way to build your own, unique style of speaking, and to acquire fluency in communication. Certainly, speaking to yourself during your self-study time does not guarantee you against making mistakes, but still it is the most effective methos of learning, so you’ve got to use it as frequently as you can.

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Jerry Jay Carroll

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