Testing Outcomes & Reviews

Testing Outcomes and Reviews

Testing is an extremely important part in the journey to launch an effective platform for supporting teachers who have beginner to intermediate EAL learners in their class.  The aim of the testing is to ensure the Learning Village is functioning effectively for teachers and learners.  This might be with the user experience or in optimizing the learning through the programme.

Here are the highlights!

St Johns Church of England, UK

St Johns worked with Teaching English as an Additional Language: A Whole School Resource (the Communication Across Cultures EAL intervention) and the Learning Village. The two were used together, and the Learning Village was used in the last 4 months, starting and at school and then mainly being used at home. It was used with 2 learners. A Teaching Assistant delivered 30 minutes intervention 4 times a week.

Results for the last two terms:

Student Casey, aged 10
National Curriculum Level

Reading: 1c
Writing: 1b

National Curriculum Level after 2 terms Reading: 2a
Writing: 2c
Progress 10 points progress in reading
4 points progress in writing
Student Alicia, aged 9
National Curriculum Level Reading: S2
Writing: 1c
National Curriculum Level after 2 terms
 
Reading: 2a
Writing: 2a
Progress 12 points progress in reading
10 points progress in writing

The school reported that "Both children have made outstanding progress over the last 2 terms" Angela Vaysey, SEN Coordinator, St John's C of E

Up to last year, points were a UK, national curriculum measurement of progress. Many schools still use them. Learners were expected to make 4 points progress if they are between aged 7-11 years old. Both learners made, what the UK terms as, 'outstanding progress' over the last two terms.

Please note that student’s names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.

Yew Chung International School, Hong Kong 

Yew Chung International School Hong Kong used  "Oral Language Assessment K-5" Mondo Publishing's (2008) to measure the progress of learners over a 42 day period.  The EAL team felt it helpful to have a "benchmark" for oral fluency and accuracy with listening skills.

Teacher comments on learners progress and usage:

Student Selena, aged 10
OLA 5/15
OLA 42 days later 10/15
Progress +5
Teacher comments
"Selena is a very conscientious student who likes to get things right.  She enjoyed the success she experienced.  In the post test, Selena more consistently included word endings (plurals, present and past tense verbs), used contractions correctly.  It was great to hear Selena more consciously correct her errors." Diane Cook, year 6 EAL teacher,  YCIS HK Primary.
Student Bobby, aged 5
OLA 5/15
OLA 42 days later 12/15
Progress +7
Teacher comments
"Bobby was motivated by making new friends, looking at scores of other children and helped shape the grammar he was missing. I can see how his sentence structure has been improving. His phonics ability has strengthened and his vocabulary has built up a bit. Every time he saw me, he'd ask if we are playing the computer game. I heard him numerous times in and outside the lesson time comment on how many friends he'd made!" Marc Yerrington, year 1 EAL teacher, YCIS HK Primary.
Student Maren, aged 5
OLA 3/15
OLA 42 days later 8/15
Progress +5
Teacher comments
"Maren enjoyed speaking to the new friends he made, and picked up on some of the structures of English sentences he was using. It has helped his reading and listening as well as general vocab." Marc Yerrington, year 1 EAL teacher, YCIS HK Primary.

Time spent using the Learning Village:

Year 1: 4 lessons of 40 minutes per week. High level of teacher assistance (especially with reading)
Year 2: 2 lessons of 40 minutes per week. Medium level of teacher assistance (reading only)
Year 6: 1 lesson of 40 minutes per week. Low level of teacher assistance (initial set up)

In all, of the 10 learners who spent the allocated amount of time over a 42 day period on the Learning Village, all made progress.  Some progress was quite significant (see learner's results above).   Please note that 6 learners results have not been included at this stage due to limited comparable time spent on the Learning Village to their peers or absence.  

The teachers comments are as follows:

"I really liked the sentence activities, it really stretched my students and I saw a marked improvements. Overall I love the concept of the Learning Village- making friends highly motivated my  students and they loved exploring the village. the graphics are wonderful." Vicki Wilson, year 2 EAL teacher and EAL Team Leader, YCIS HK Primary.
"I really found the results section useful as an overview of what each child was working on and how they were getting along. Generation of printable results was also useful to compare with other assessments of learning that we do." Vicki Wilson, year 2 EAL teacher and EAL Team Leader, YCIS HK Primary.
"The basic content is good. Most topics we would want are already covered. Good variety."  Diane Cook, year 6 EAL teacher,  YCIS HK Primary.

Academie Ste Cecile International School, Canada

Academie Ste Cecile International School has been testing the Learning Village on two 16-18 year olds.

"I like the availability to the students outside the classroom. I feel it's much better than a workbook because it gives immediate feedback. As I was using the Learning Village to fill the gaps outside of class, this gave me an easy way to keep track of their progress and skills learned." Amy Tilson, OCT,  Academie Ste Cecile International School (16-18 year olds)

Amy has decided to continue using the Learning Village with her students.

International School of Milan

The international School of Milan (ISM) took part in BETA testing for a 2 month period.  They piloted the Learning Village with three students and used the Bonnie Campbell Hill EAL Listening and Speaking Continuum. Teacher comments on learners progress and usage:

Student Mariela, aged 10
EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum Result Early Acquisition Phase

EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum result 2 months later

Moved quickly into the next phase “Becoming Familiar” and is demonstrating some indicators in the phase ‘Becoming Confident”, particularly in oral expression.
Progress 1-2 steps on the continuum
Teacher comments
"She loves the fact she can work independently on the Learning Village and she likes the possibility to make choices of which area to go to. She doesn’t always like to be withdrawn from the class for EAL lessons but is more than happy if she can go on Learning Village! She is very vocal and, while working on the activities, will often make connections with her mother tongue and things that she has been studying with her tutor. I see her a lot more focused and concentrated on her English when she is using the Learning Village. I think that the Learning Village is helping to reinforce a lot of language structures that she has acquired relatively quickly. Mariela has already asked if she can use the Learning Village at home." Laura Hanies, EAL Coordinator.
Student Clarence, aged 12
EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum Result Early Acquisition Phase

EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum result 2 months later

Becoming Familiar
Progress 1 steps on the continuum
Teacher comments
"Clarence has a slight learning difficulty which means that she has challenges with her written language, both in her mother tongue and in English. The Learning Village has proved to be an excellent resource for her. Visually it is clear for her to use and she can take the time she needs. Clarence is worried about making mistakes in English in a group situation and I have really seen that using the Learning Village is helping her with her confidence in English. Clarence really enjoys using the Learning Village but seeks reassurance that she is doing things right. She still needs guidance in using the resource and I don’t feel that she is really ready yet to use it completely independently." Laura Hanies, EAL Coordinator.
Student Zak, aged 9
EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum Result Early Acquisition Phase

EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum result 2 months later

Becoming Familiar
Progress 1 steps on the continuum

 

Teacher comments

"Zak is also an extremely motivated student who is keen to learn English. He takes working on the Learning Village very seriously and is quite hard on himself when he gets things wrong. I often see him referring back to the “Learn” section when he is unsure about something, which my other students tend not to do without being prompted. He enjoys read everything out loud as he is working on the activities which is a really good way for me to help him with his pronunciation. He is a child who tends to rush everything he does, so the revision sections of the Learning Village are beneficial for him. Zak has been able to spend a bit more time on Learning Village compared to the other students and I feelhe is at a good point to be able to work more independently. He doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to reinforce his English outside of school so he would really benefit from being able to access the Learning Village from home." Laura Hanies, EAL Coordinator.

Please note that student’s names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.

Three students took part in the BETA testing and all made at least 1 step progress on the continuum. One new-to English child found working with others on the Learning Village very supportive but has not really used the Learning Village enough for it to greatly impact on his progress. All Learning Village use was sompleted under controlled conditions during lesson times up to 3 times a week.

The teachers comments are as follows:

"I have found the ‘New-to English Learning Journey’ document really useful and use it with the class teachers"
"I can really see the benefit of using the resources together and they provide a really well structured and comprehensive EAL programme for beginners.”
"I think there is an excellent balance of different activities which are not too long and which keep the children’s interest and motivation. I particularly like the sections where they have to complete sentences. This gives a clear idea if the student has really understood a language structure or not. I think the graphics of the village are very good and appeal to a wide age range. The children get really excited when they make new friends who appear in the village."
"My students have responded really well to the Learning Village and enjoy using it. It has been relatively easy to implement and complements the programme which I am currently using. I think it is an excellent, well-structured resource which can also be followed and used by other teachers, as well as tutors/parents at home, to support the children in their acquisition of English. The students can go at their own pace and have some control over their learning. I see the children relaxed and happy when they are on the Learning Village. I can see that they are proud of their progress and feel a sense of achievement which they can share with others."
"I think that there are a lot of good EAL ‘games’ available but this is a comprehensive programme that can be integrated into any curriculum."

“I am really enjoying using Learning Village and, as interactive learning is becoming an important part of a child’s education, I think it is a very effective and valuable educational tool.”

Heidelberg International School

Heidelberg International School, Germany took part in BETA testing for a 2 month period. They piloted the Learning Village with two students. They used the NALDIC EAL Formative Assessment Descriptors to assess their students. Teacher comments on learners progress and usage:

New-to-English with some of beginning to comprehend and use of routine language.

Student

Kim, aged 7

NALDIC EAL Formative Assessment Descriptors Result

New-to-English with some of beginning to comprehend and use of routine language.

NALDIC EAL Formative Assessment Descriptors result 2 months later

Beginning to comprehend and use routine language with some developing range of social and classroom language.
Progress 1 level
Teacher comments
“Kim enjoyed using the site. He was keen to explore its features. I could see improvements in the areas tackled.”
Student Ton, aged 8
EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum Result New-to-English

EAL Speaking & Listening Continuum result 2 months later

Beginning to comprehend and use routine language with some developing range of social and classroom language.
Progress 1 level
Teacher comments
“Ton enjoyed the site and the way the materials are presented.”

Please note that student’s names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.

The teachers comments are as follows:

“We focussed on survival language and phonics and therefore found those features very useful. The treehouse orders learning well and the friends and dictation were enjoyed by the students.”

“The assessment tools are very sophisticated. I enjoyed drilling down into the results to see just where the problems might be.”

Nick Parkes, EAL Support Teacher

Wood End Academy, UK

In Woodend Academy, one child has been using the Learning Village more intensively alongside our EAL intervention (Teaching English as an Additional language 5-11) has just achieved the highest result in her year 5 class on a grammar test even though she was new to English 10 months previously (her peers are all native English speakers!). At Woodend Academy we have also been looking closely at the assessment results that the Learning Village provides on each learner. All 10 learners we studied during BETA testing were new-to-English. Here are the progress results of the time spent learning over a 30 day period (each bar represents a different learner). This is calculated as the difference between the result of assessment the first time and the result of their future best assessment.

 

You can also view one learner's acheivement which provides guidance on duration against progress as well as a guide on the starting points in their learning. This allows you to see if the time spent learning is resulting in enough progress (to ensure that they are learning at the right level of challenge).

Additionally, you can see the duration of learning over this 30 day period below (each bar represents a different learner). Not only is the Learning Village being used at school but learners are using Learning Village at home sometimes with their parents who have also reported learning themselves! We saw significant impact of this when it was incorporated in Family Learning.

We are stunned by the amount of ownership learners are taking for their learning. Although they get a daily lesson of EAL intervention, they are studying so much on their own to support their learning, they are making accelerated progress and showing enormous maturity in their approach to language learning by using the Learning Village effectively.

On starting, guidance was provided by the teacher on how to learn a language through the use of Learning Village (with particular emphasis on speaking and listening but also on reading and writing elements). Learners have then needed intervention on a regular basis (at least weekly) to support them with any areas they found challenging. These learners also had 1 lesson of  English as an Additional Langauge (EAL) a day to back up their learning using (Teaching English as an Additional language 5-11).

The live newsfeed of learners usage shows who, from the school, were doing the activities and when this was happening. It highlighted any issues and helps the teacher target any problem areas. This has been incredibly helpful.

The curriculum content has provided an opportunity for learners to pre-learn vocabulary coming up in the curriculum and therefore access their lessons from a better starting point.

If this wasn’t enough, the progress of the learners shows clearly what they can and can’t do, allowing the teacher to target the needs of the learner. See this snapshot of one learner’s results of each lesson and the progress seen:


 

It’s incredible to see the potential of learning online and how limiting daily lessons can be if they do not provide the opportunity for ongoing application beyond the lesson. This is not just about learners’ traditional homework. It is teaching skills in independent learning with structure teacher support in place and no limit to the opportunities to learn. This is about developing skilled language learners and providing further capacity to excel beyond the classroom.

Testing is designed to support improvement for the learners and teachers and help us fulfill our Communication Across Cultures goal: To provide teachers and parents with the skills and resources needed to successfully support their young language learners within the demands of the curriculum.

Testing has been and continues to be invaluable as we work with schools to continue to pilot the Learning Village.