Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 29 (3) Sep. 2021 / JSSH-8172-2021


“Assessment for Learning” Practices Amongst the Primary School English Language Teachers: A Mixed Methods Approach

Mazidah Mohamed, Mohd Sallehhudin Abd Aziz and Kemboja Ismail

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.3.21

Keywords: Assessment for learning, assessment in pedagogy, audit instrument, English language teachers, formative assessment, mixed methods, primary school

Published on: 27 September 2021

This study aimed to investigate the practices of the AfL strategies and the stages of assessment in pedagogy by English language teachers in primary schools. In Phase I: the Quantitative Strand, the Assessment for Learning Audit Instrument (AfLAi) was distributed to a total of 89 primary schools in the Hulu Langat district. The AfLAi results determined the cut-off points and the divergent categories to be further investigated in Phase II: Qualitative Strand. The 244 respondents were clustered into two subset participants of four higher and four lower scorers in the AfLAi who were investigated via a semi-structured interview and/or observation. The results from the AfLAi cum the cut-off points were Mean=3.7 on QCD (SD=0.74), sharing LOSC (SD=0.79) and FB (SD=0.77), and mean=3.3 on PSA (SD=0.87). From Phase I, 15 divergent categories were selected. Phase II findings on the 115 recurring categories were divided into three profiles: the higher scorers (29 categories), the lower scorers (26 categories) and the consensus (60 categories). Consequently, the 15 divergent categories were explained in a joint display to observe the similarities and the differences of practised amongst the higher and the lower scorers in the AfLAi. The joint display affirmed that 11 categories were practiced similarly. The four differences were on the “Availability of LOs”, “Questioning strategies”, “Compliment with FB”, and “Pupils’ progress report/self-assess”. It indicated that regardless of their scores, the participants had contributed some practical approaches to the study framework, which were beneficial beyond disciplines and classroom situations.

  • Alderson, J. C., & Wall, D. (1993). Does washback exist? Applied Linguistics, 14(2), 115-129. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/14.2.115

  • Alla Baksh, M. A., Mohd Sallehhudin, A. A., Tayeb, Y. A., & Norhaslinda, H. (2016). Washback effect of school-based English language assessment: A case-study on students’ perceptions. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 24(3), 1069-1086.

  • Azman, H. (2016). Implementation and challenges of English language education reform in Malaysian primary schools. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 22(3), 65-78. http://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2016-2203-05

  • Babbie, E. (2007). The practice of social research (11th ed.). Wadsworth/Thomson.

  • Black, P. (2013). Formative and summative aspects of assessment: Theoretical and research foundations in the context of pedagogy. In J. H. McMillan (Ed.), Sage handbook of research on classroom assessment (pp. 167-178). SAGE Publications. http://doi.org/10.4135/9781452218649.n10

  • Black, P. (2015). Formative assessment - an optimistic but incomplete vision. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 22(1), 161-177. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2014.999643

  • Brown, G. T. L. (2019). Is assessment for learning really assessment ? Frontiers in Education, 4(64), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2019.00064

  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2007-05446-000

  • Creswell, J. W. (2014a). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. SAGE Publications.

  • Creswell, J. W. (2014b). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research Design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

  • Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications.

  • Hallam, S., Kirton, A., Peffers, J., Robertson, P., & Stobart, G. (2004). Evaluation of Project 1 of the Assessment is for Learning Development Programme: Support for Professional Practice in Formative Assessment – Final Report. The Scottish Government. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507418/

  • Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Taylor & Francis.

  • Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Hattie, J., & Clarke, S. (2019). Visible learning: Feedback. Routledge.

  • Hattie, J., & Zierer, K. (2018). 10 Mindframes for visible learning: Teaching for success. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315206387

  • Hattie, J., & Zierer, K. (2019). Visible learning insights. Routledge.

  • Khan, A. B. M. A., Abd Aziz, M. S., & Stapa, S. H. (2019). Examining the factors mediating the intended washback of the English language school-based assessment: Pre-service ESL teachers’ accounts. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 27(1), 51-68.

  • Lysaght, Z. (2009). From Balkanisation to boundary crossing: Using a Teacher Learning Community to explore the impact of assessment on teaching and learning in a disadvantaged school [Master’s thesis, Dublin City University]. http://doras.dcu.ie/22527/

  • Lysaght, Z., & O’Leary, M. (2013). An instrument to audit teachers’ use of assessment for learning. Irish Educational Studies, 32(2), 217-232. https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2013.784636

  • Lysaght, Z., & O’Leary, M. (2017). Scaling up, writ small: Using an assessment for learning audit instrument to stimulate site-based professional development, one school at a time. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 24(2), 271-289. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2017.1296813

  • Lysaght, Z., O’Leary, M., & Ludlow, L. (2013). Measuring teachers ’ Assessment for Learning (AfL) classroom practices in elementary schools. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 3(2), 103-115. https://doi.org/10.12973/ijem.3.2.103

  • Mansor, A. N., Leng, O. H., Rasul, M. S., Raof, R. A., & Yusoff, N. (2013). The benefits of school-based assessment. Asian Social Science, 9(8), 101-106. https://doi.org/10.5539/ass.v9n8p101

  • Marshall, B., & Drummond, M. J. (2006). How teachers engage with Assessment for Learning: lessons from the classroom. Research Papers in Education, 21(2), 133-149. https://doi.org/10.1080/02671520600615638

  • Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2012). Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (Preschool to Post-Secondary Education). http://www.moe.gov.my/cms/upload_files/articlefile/2013/articlefile_file_003108.pdf

  • Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2016). Quick facts 2016 Malaysia Educational Statistics. Education Data Sector, Educational Planning and Research Division. https://www.moe.gov.my/muat-turun/penerbitan-dan-jurnal/terbitan/buku-informasi/1586-quick-facts-2016/file

  • Mohamad Uri, N. F., & Abd Aziz, M. S. (2018). Implementation of CEFR in Malaysia: Teachers ’ awareness and the Challenges. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 24(3), 168-183. http://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2018-2403-13

  • Mohamed, M., & Abd Aziz, M. S. (2018). Juxtaposing the primary school assessment concepts and practices in Singapore and Malaysia. International Journal of Engineering & Technology, 7(3.21), 552-556. http://doi.org/10.14419/ijet.v7i3.21.17232

  • Mohamed, M., Abd Aziz, M. S., & Ismail, K. (2019). The validation of assessment for learning audit instrument: A mixed methods approach. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 25(4), 209-226. http://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2019-2504-13

  • Mohd Don, Z., Abdullah, A. C., Abd Samad, A., Abdullah, M. H., Singh, K. K. K., Lee, B. H., Pillai, J. P. @ L., Abu Bakar, M., Salim, S., & A. Alias, M .K. (2015). English Language Education Reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap 2015-2025. Ministry of Education Malaysia.

  • Nasri, N., Roslan, S. N., Sekuan, M. I., Abu Bakar, K., & Nor Puteh, S. (2010). Teachers’ perception on alternative assessment. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 7, 37-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.10.006

  • Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bustamante, R. M., & Nelson, J. A. (2010). Mixed research as a tool for developing quantitative instruments. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4(1), 56-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689809355805

  • Ratnam-Lim, C. T. L., & Tan, K. H. K. (2015). Large-scale implementation of formative assessment practices in an examination-oriented culture. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 22(1), 61-78. https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2014.1001319

  • Romli, N. H., & Abd Aziz, M. S. (2015). The use of Bahasa Melayu in the English language classroom by ‘non-optionist’ English teachers. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 172(2015), 770-777. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.431

  • Romli, N. H., & Abd Aziz, M. S., & Krish, P. (2021). Investigating the utilisation of the micro-functions of Bahasa Melayu by english teachers. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, 27(1), 34-46. https://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2021-2701-03

  • Ryan, K., Gannon-Slater, N., & Culbertson, M. J. (2012). Improving survey methods with cognitive interviews in small- and medium-scale evaluations. American Journal of Evaluation, 33(3), 414-430. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214012441499

  • Sardareh, S. A., & Mohd Rashid, M. S. (2013). Malaysian primary school ESL teachers’ questions during assessment for learning. English Language Teaching, 6(8), 9. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n8p1

  • Talib, R., Kamsah, M. Z., Abu Naim, H., & Abdul Latif, A. (2014). From principle to practice: Assessment for Learning in Malaysian school-based assessment classroom. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 4(4), 8. http://ijsse.com/sites/default/files/issues/2014/v4-i4-2014-1/Paper-11.pdf

  • Tashakkori, A., & Creswell, J. W. (2007). Editorial: The new era of mixed methods. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 3-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/2345678906293042

  • Tayeb, Y.A., Abd Aziz, M.S., Ismail, K., & Khan, A.B.M.A(2014).The washback effect of the General Secondary English Examination(GSEE) on teaching and learning.GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, 14(3), 83 - 103. https: //doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.17576/GEMA-2014-1403-06

  • Wiliam, D. (2018). Embedded Formative Assessment (2nd ed.). Solution Tree Press.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles