Online ESL Teaching Aid Offers Thoughtfully Designed Placement Test
My name is Kris Jagasia and I’m a co-founder of Off2Class (an ESL tool for teachers). Recently we released a Free ESL Placement Test that could be of interest to many ESL teachers struggling to find the right curriculum to teach their students.
Like many ESL Assessments available on the web, the tool can be sent to your students to assess their current language level. However, unlike most assessment tools, the analysis does not stop at your student’s level. Our Placement Test also produces your student’s Gap Analysis and proposes an Individual Learning Plan. An especially useful tool when you’ve taken on new students and you need a starting point!
Some Background on Off2Class
Off2Class strives to be a tool that provides ESL teachers and tutors with “everything they need to give great lessons” (lesson content, homework and a student management system). As we increased the amount of lessons available on the site, a common question kept emerging from teachers – “Where should I start with my student?”
This is where the idea of our Individual ESL Learning Plan was born. If your students take the time to sit a placement test (100 questions in our case), why not go the next step and tie their results to the lesson content that can address their weaknesses? That’s where our Gap Analysis comes in.
Switching the Focus from ‘Level’ to Specific Areas in Need of Improvement
In the world of ESL, students and teachers can often get bogged down on their proficiency level. Is my student a B1 or a B2? Upper-Intermediate or Advanced? Band 4 or 5?
At Off2Class, we de-emphasize a student’s proficiency level and focus the teacher’s attention on the student’s Gap Analysis and Learning Plan. For each question the student answers incorrectly, we provide you with the lesson (from our library) which addresses the student’s gaps in knowledge. These lessons can form an Individual Learning Plan (i.e. curriculum) for your student.
A close friend of Off2Class, an Italian living in Sydney for the last 20 years, appears to speak with near-native fluency, with a broad range of vocabulary. Yet, after two decades, he still gets frustrated with his own inability to form the 3rd person present simple correctly – and no teacher has ever addressed the issue correctly.
We’ve found that for most students trying to improve their English, it is common to have such fossilized errors. The issue is not whether a person possesses a proficiency of B2 or C1, intermediate or upper-intermediate. Rather, the more interesting point is to determine where ingrained language weaknesses lie, and decide how to fix them. Our diagnostic test is designed to fix those weaknesses, regardless of where they may lie in a common curriculum set.
A recurring question we get from teachers is “How did you develop the test?” The short answer is, through testing! We are in the unique position that we have access to hundreds of teachers and students who use Off2Class to teach (and learn) on a daily basis. We spent months beta testing and refining the placement test based on real teacher feedback and student results.
The testing never stops! We are already in the process of adding a writing, listening and speaking diagnostic to complement our grammar-focused assessment.
Give the ESL Placement Test a Try!
So far, the feedback from teachers using our Free ESL Placement Test has been overwhelmingly positive. We encourage you to give it a try. If you have any feedback on the tool, please leave a comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.