When we had to take the TOEFL test for the first time in the 5th grade both me as teacher and the students were excited to see how it worked and what the tasks were about. The students at our school are used to take tests at the end of the school year, but have only tried an English test once in the 4th grade. They were not scared to take it, and was ready to perform. When we were done with the test, they were already asking about the results, and how I thought it went.
To give the students the results and the feedback of the test, I took them out one by one and talked with them about it. We went through how the test score is build up, and what it means. After that they got their score in both reading and listening, at we talked about what they can do to improve in the time that comes. The focus points were based on the suggestions from the score report, but also how the student works in the lessons and what I think will be best for them to focus on.
The second time we took the TOEFL test it was obvious that the students have seen the test before and knew what to expect. They were calmer and did not have any questions. That is also the students experience when we talked about it afterwards.
When the students were going to have their result and feedback, we did it almost the same way as last time. This time we started by talking about the score from last time and how the students think they have improved. Then we looked at the results from this time, and how they have developed. At the end, we talked about focus points for next school year.
This time I also wrote the parents and informed them about the result and how the student has been developing throughout the year. I also wrote the things that the student has to focus on the next school year, so that the parents can help the students at home, and know what we have agreed.
It was a good experience, and most of the parents wrote me back and was happy to know about the students development, but also to know how they can support their child at home working with English.
When I talk with the students about the test and how they experience it, they say that it is a little bit hard to take the test, and they really need to focus. It would be nice if you could take the listening and reading test separately, and maybe be more focused then. Most of the students like the testing because it is more clear to them what they have advanced in and where they have to practice more, because of the score. It is more clearly than if they just get feedback from the teacher on what he or she experience in class. The students say that the feedback is the most important thing for them, but it is also nice to get the diploma and the score. They also like that I wrote home to their parents, because then they could have a talk about it at home, and it is easier to bring it up, when I have written to the parents already.