The Effects of Formative Evaluation on Students' Achievement in English for Specific Purposes (A Case Study of the Preparatory Year Students at Umm- Al-Qura University)

Abdul Majeed Al Tayib Umar, Abdurrahman Abdulmlik Ameen


This research attempts to find out the impact of formative evaluation on Saudi male learners’ achievement in medical English. The study also seeks to find out instructors’ and students' views and attitudes towards formative assessment.   The sample of the study involves 98 subjects chosen purposively from among the Preparatory Year students at Umm-Al- Qura University in Saudi Arabia. They were divided into two equal groups; one is intended to act as an experimental and the other is taken as a control group. The experimental group was taught their ESP material following the formative evaluation techniques whereas the control group was taught the same material in accordance with the summative assessment principles. The experimental group instructors were given intensive training courses in Saudi Arabia and abroad on how to use formative evaluation principles in classroom. In the last week of the experimental period which lasted for sixteen weeks, the two groups sat for the final exam which was intended for all pre-medical students in the Preparatory College. The grades of all students in the two groups in the final exam was compared. The experimental group students performance was found to be much higher than that of the control group. Students' and instructors’ attitudes towards formative evaluation were generated through a questionnaire and a series of interviews. Advanced statistical analysis of the responses of the instructors and students has shown their positive attitudes towards this form of evaluation. The study concludes with some recommendations to enhance this type of assessment and to conduct further studies on female students learning different language skills for different purposes. Suggestions to improve formative evaluation practice were also given to make this form of assessment more motivating and more enticing.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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