An Empirical Study of Formative Assessment in College English Teaching

Qingshun He


It is generally accepted that formative assessment can better help students’ autonomous learning and their cultivation of humane quality. This paper intends to examine whether formative assessment is universally applicable for students of different levels of language proficiency. For this purpose, an English teaching experiment and a questionnaire survey on learning strategies and motivations were conducted in a 211 Project university and the independent college of that university in China. Research shows that learning strategies and motivations have a threshold effect on the implementation of formative assessment, and formative assessment is applicable for the students who have better command of English and higher learning strategies and motivations, but it does not work for those poor in English and having lower learning strategies and motivations. Therefore, formative assessment cannot completely replace summative assessment in college English teaching.

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