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Streaming Students by Ability Level

Bill Pellowe, Dominic Marini, Kevin Ryan, Robert Chartrand

Podcast Notes

Today's panel is

  • Bill Pellowe, Kinki University Kyushu School of Engineering and ELT Calendar.
  • Dominic Marini, Fukuoka International University.
  • Kevin Ryan, Showa Women's University, the University of Tokyo and kevinryan.com.
  • Robert Chartrand, Kurume University.

Streaming, or tracking, involves dividing the students up into different ability levels. The goal is to have a set of classes comprised of students of similar abilities and / or aptitudes, so that teachers can provide more suitable class contents and teacher instruction.

The first question is how students are placed into their levels.

Dominic's school uses the TOEIC Bridge Test. Dominic says it's easy to administer, and the students' mark sheets are sent to the test company for marking.

Kevin's school uses a speaking test produced in England for the first year, and a TOEIC test for the second year. The speaking test has students look at some pictures and tell a story into a tape recorder.

Robert's school uses a test that Kurume University developed in-house. Up to 8 teachers contribute items, and they have meetings to determine the test content.

Ideally, a school will have a trial period, to see if there are students who stand out as being either well above or below the level that they tested into. At some schools, though, this is difficult to do.

Also, sometimes the administration may insist on an equal number of students per class, even if your testing shows that the upper and lower levels should be smaller than the middle-level classes.

mp3 file
size: 17.42 MB
time: 36:10
Nov 23, 2007

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