Facing the challenges of Dynamic Assessment

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Karin DeJonge


The main criticism of the traditional form of assessment is that it does not usually take into account the changes that intervention and interaction can make to the examinees' performance during the assessment, and it is not sensitive to their potential development. Sociocultural theory provides the concept of Dynamic Assessment which is not only sensitive but also supportive to the examinees' development. In addition, it takes into account the influence of intervention during assessment. Yet, there are many challenges that still face DA application. DA is always viewed as labor-intensive, time-consuming and difficult to be implemented on large groups. In addition, DA results are usually neither standardized nor generalizable. In this paper I will explore some applications of DA in the second language (L2) classroom and examine their influences on L2 learners as compared to traditional assessment. Then, I will explore different ways to maximize DA benefits and minimize the challenges. I will focus on using DA with beginner learners of Arabic. The study will examine two types of DA: interventionist and interactionist. I will provide different applications of DA in the Arabic language classroom and provide a framework for possible empirical study that examines DA short comings and offers suggestions to avoid them for better application.

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