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Dynamic Assessment: Co-constructing the Future with English Language Learners

  • Matthew E. PoehnerEmail author
  • Tianyu Qin
  • Lu Yu
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

All forms of assessment are concerned with interpreting individuals’ performances not merely for the sake of describing those performances but for employing them as a basis for making claims about the knowledge and abilities believed to underlie them. Dynamic Assessment (DA) is a framework that challenges more conventional views of performance and the evidence of abilities most appropriate to forming generalizations regarding abilities. Specifically, DA requires the integration of teaching into assessment activity for the purpose of understanding learner responsiveness. Based on the theoretical writings of L. S. Vygotsky, DA proponents consider learner independent performance of tasks to reveal abilities that have fully formed whereas learner responsiveness to support that is offered when difficulties arise indicates abilities that may not have fully developed but are emerging. In this way, DA offers a developmental diagnosis that does not predict learner future functioning solely on the basis of past development but that instead begins to construct a future with learners during the assessment itself. This chapter considers the major theoretical underpinnings of DA and the models and principles elaborated in the extensive DA research literature concerned with cognitive abilities and general education. Discussion then turns to implementation of DA with L2 learners. Two studies are presented in detail that emphasize DA’s potential in both formal language testing situations and instructional contexts.

Keywords

Dynamic Assessment Sociocultural Theory formative assessment corrective feedback scaffolding 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Languages Education and Applied Linguistics, Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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