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					    Malmö högskola
      Lärarutbildningen
    Kultur – Språk - Medier



                                 Examensarbete
                                        10 poäng




                            National Tests –
       Teachers’ Perceptions of the National Test in English


                            Nationella prov –
        Lärares uppfattningar om det Nationella provet i Engelska

                                 Sara Andersson
                                 Linda Johansson




Lärarexamen 180 poäng                               Examinator: Bo Lundahl
Moderna språk med inriktning mot undervisning och
lärande i engelska.                                 Handledare: Malin Glimäng
Höstterminen 2005
ABSTRACT


The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate how teachers perceive and work with the
national tests in order to help students meet the goals of the course. Furthermore, due to our
future careers as teachers, we want to gain more insight into the role national tests play in
English.


This is a qualitative study based on formal in-depth interviews that can provide a good
understanding of the subject and of the informants’ views. As the teachers at secondary school
work with national tests yearly they were best suited as interviewees in this investigation.
Four interviews were carried out with teachers and they lasted approximately 40 minutes
each.


The interviews touched on a variety of questions ranging from how the teachers work with the
national test and how they look upon the test, to how the purposes stipulated by Skolverket
regarding the national test are fulfilled. The outcome of the interviews is that the national test
in general facilitates more than complicates teachers’ work. The test serves as a good support
when assessing and grading the students since it can confirm the teachers’ assessment of the
students’ capability. However, this study also shows that the preparation methods used before
the national test benefit weaker learners more than stronger ones.


Keywords: English, national tests, teacher perception.
CONTENTS
1     INTRODUCTION


1.1   Opening words                         7
1.2   Purpose and Questions                 8
1.3   Literature                            8
1.4   Background                            10


2     METHOD                                12


2.1   Data tool                             12
2.2   Sampling                              13
2.3   Procedure                             13
2.4   Processing the data                   14


3     RESULT                                15


3.1   Description of the Informants         15
3.2   Preparing for the test                16
3.3   During the test                       18
3.4   Consequences of the test              19
3.5   The Importance of the National Test   20
3.6   Summary of the result                 22


4     DISCUSSION                            23


5     CONCLUSION                            26


5.1   Critical reflections                  27
5.2   Final words                           27


6     REFERENCES
6.1   Written sources    28
6.2   Internet sources   28
6.3   Interviews         29


7     APPENDICES


7.1   Appendix 1         30
7.2   Appendix 2         33
1 INTRODUCTION


1.1 Opening words
National tests are currently heavily debated, especially since the minister of education in
Sweden recently proposed a national test in grade three in compulsory school. National tests
are both criticised and praised, but many of the recently published texts on the subject tend to
be rather critical. One of the published reports criticise the national test because, according to
the study, all students do not have the same opportunity to pass the examination. According to
the article, the main reason for this is that the test’s level of language treats the students with
another mother tongue than Swedish unfairly. Another critical issue concerns teachers’
methods of preparing their students before the national test. The article argues that students
with       more        preparation        before        the       test       perform        better.
(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/203/a/3621). Criticised or praised, it seems that national test
plays an important part in our schools today.


During our own secondary education both teachers and classmates made us aware of the
importance of national tests. We got to practise on example tests and all our thoughts revolved
around the upcoming test. Our experience, from a student’s perspective, is that the national
tests tend to be a foundation for the student’s grade. It did not spring to our minds that,
maybe, there were other purposes with the national test as well.


So far we have not had the opportunity to experience the national tests as teachers, only as
student teachers. Furthermore from a student’s perspective and from the media, such as from
newspapers, television, radio and from published reports. This means that we have only
observed from an outsider’s perspective and have not been involved in the actual process.


Since we are going to be teachers of English, our focus will obviously be on the national tests
in English. On the basis of this focus we want to investigate how teachers look upon national
tests and how they work with them in order to help the students meet the goals of the course.
Because of the negative criticism, it is in our interest to investigate this matter by ourselves to
see if the criticism is well-founded. The matter is interesting to us because it is important that




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we in our careers as teachers know what a national test is and what it is used for, but also what
it can and cannot be used for.



1.2 Purpose and Questions
The purpose of this dissertation is to find out how teachers perceive and look upon the
national test in English, furthermore how they go about the test in order to help students meet
the goals of the course.


To be able to answer to our purpose we need to know the following:
How do teachers perceive and work with the national test?
How do the national tests influence the teachers’ work?



1.3 Literature
The article, Elever ges inte samma möjligheter att klara de nationella proven (2005), plays a
central part in our dissertation. It was on the basis of this the national test became an
interesting matter to us. The article is an abstract from a survey study titled Lärare och elever
om gymnasieskolans nationella prov - en enkätstudie (2005). The study was done by Stefan
Lundh and Eva Wirén who investigate different upper secondary schools on the commission
by Skolverket. The study contains both teachers’ and students’ different views regarding
national tests. The result demonstrates that both teachers and students are generally positive
towards the test but it also unveils problems. According to the article, the main problem has to
do with the fact that different schools and teachers prepare students in different ways. This
study is interesting to us because we investigate what role national tests plays in the education
of English in order for students to meet the course aims and objectives. In contrast to this
study, we investigate teachers at a secondary school only. Furthermore, our investigation
concerns only English as a school subject while the study mentioned above concerns all the
core subjects. Consequently we will use the part about English in Lundh and Wirén’s study as
a comparison to our study, in order to pin-point similarities and differences.


Another useful study, commissioned by Skolverket, is Erickson and Börjesson’s Bedömning
av språkfärdighet i nationella prov och bedömningsmaterial found in Språkboken (2001). The
study is a description of the national test-system regarding the subjects English and Swedish.


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It also states the principles behind the material, how the tests are constructed and what effects
they might have. Moreover we have focused on the discussion of the tests in English at
compulsory and upper secondary school. The study shows that both teachers and students
look positively upon the national test in English. Moreover it shows that teachers deem that
the national test makes course aims and grading criteria concrete, and hence, the exams
support equal and just grading and assessment. Still it is stated that the development of the
tests must go on, and furthermore the test shall be, as said before, a support for teachers’
grading and in turn for the students’ learning development.


Douglas Brown is the author of Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices
(2004). He is a professor in English at San Francisco State University and the director of the
American Language Institute. Brown has lectured both internationally and across the USA.
He has published several articles and books on second language acquisition and pedagogy.
This book is useful since it deals with tests, assessment and the teacher’s role regarding
reading, listening, writing and speaking skills that are all included in national tests. Moreover
Brown deals with different kinds of tests and standardized tests and how to approach them.
He also discusses principles of language assessment, such as practicality, reliability,
authenticity and test design. This is useful to us when putting the national test in a certain
category to help us understand what kind of test we are investigating.


Skolverket is a public educational system for children, adolescents, adults, preschool and
childcare. Their role in the Swedish educational system is to define goals in order to
administrate, to inform in order to influence and to review in order to improve. The focus is
on asserting every individual’s right to knowledge and personal development. Skolverket.se is
a good website to lean on, not only because we are doing this dissertation, but also as future
teachers to be. It is of great importance to us since everything you need to know about the
school system and the national test can be found here. In other words, everything from the
syllabus and the curriculum to larger projects and reports are accessible on this website.


NAFS is an abbreviation for Nationella prov i främmande språk. This organisation is
responsible for constructing the national tests and is commissioned by Skolverket. The website
offers samples of the national tests, and it also states the common principles for all national
tests in all core subjects where the national tests are obligatory. Moreover, the common
principles stipulate what the test can and cannot be used for.


                                                                                               9
By using the curriculum, Lpo 94, we intend to find information about how the national tests
can be linked to educational settings in English and how the national tests help to fulfil what
is stated in Lpo 94. Even though the national test is obligatory, it is not mentioned in the
curriculum. However, national tests are linked to the curriculum for compulsory school
through some of the stipulated aims. One of the “goals to attain”, states that students shall
develop an understanding for other cultures. This is fulfilled in the national tests by texts that
give students an insight, in this case, into English speaking cultures. Another aim is that
students shall communicate in spoken and written English. This is what is tested in the
national test since all answers must be given in the target language both when it comes to
speaking and writing. The “goals to strive towards” also stipulate that students shall learn how
to communicate in foreign languages. This requirement is also achieved in the national test
through all parts, since it deals with speaking, writing, listening and comprehension and
reading and comprehension in a foreign language, namely English. Another interesting
statement is that we should have an equivalent school where the education shall be adjusted to
each pupil’s conditions and needs. The factors before, during and after the national test should
support this aspect. Contrary to this, the criticism stated in the article above shows that this is
not the case since all students do not get the same opportunity to pass the national test, hence
the school is not equal.


As with the curriculum, the syllabus is used here to find out if the national tests meet the
“goals to attain” and “goals to strive towards”. The national test is not included in the syllabus
in English. In any case, due to the four competences that are examined in the national test,
many of the “goals to attain” are accomplished at the end of the ninth school-year. In short,
the goals state that students should be able to understand speech, participate in conversations,
reading and comprehension, but also to be able to tell something in writing.



1.4 Background
Since our investigation concerns national tests, a definition of a test is needed before we
proceed. Brown defines tests as a “method of measuring a person’s ability, knowledge, or
performance in a given domain” (Brown, 2004, p 39). It has to be legible and structured, and
it must also measure. Different tests measure different abilities. Some measure general ability,
others measure specific competences or objectives (Brown, 2004). Brown defines five


                                                                                                10
different types of tests, yet he considers three of them more essential since they are tests
teachers will come across. One of the first test forms he mentions is very influential in our
school system in Sweden today, namely the national test. National tests fit into the category
“proficiency tests”. Proficiency tests examine the overall ability in a language and they are
hence not limited to a single skill (Brown, 2004). A summative type of assessment is applied
where the aim is to summarise what the students have learned, and furthermore the
assessment occurs at the end of the course. In turn, the score is reported back to the student as
a numerical score which makes the test norm-referenced (Brown, 2004).


The national tests are constructed by NAFS (Nationella Prov i Främmande Språk) which is a
project lead by the University of Gothenburg. The project, NAFS, is commissioned by
Skolverket. (http://www.ped.gu.se/sol/nafs/nafs.htm)


National tests exist at Compulsory School in the core subjects of English, maths and Swedish.
It is taken during the spring term in fifth and ninth grade as well as in upper secondary school.
However, the test in grade five is optional. The regulation for Compulsory School (chapter
seven, paragraph ten) emphasize that the test in grade nine should be used when assessing the
development     of    the    students’    knowledge     and      as   support        when   grading.
(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/276)


The national test in English consists of three parts: A) oral interaction and production, B)
listening and comprehension skills, and C) written production. The three parts of the test
consider the same subject. The tests should be varied and should consist of different degrees
of difficulty. The degree of difficulty should increase, both within and between the parts. Two
of the three parts in the test take place on the same day for all students in compulsory school.
The third, the oral part of the test, can be done at any time during the spring term. However,
there are set time limits for all of the sections: 15-25 minutes, per group, are set aside to
perform part A. For part B, 80 minutes are set aside for reading and 55 minutes for listening.
The    time   avaliable     for   the    written   production,    part   C,     is     80   minutes.
(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/286)


Skolverket informs that the purposes of national test are to contribute to increase the students’
strive towards fulfilling the goals, clarify the goals and pinpoint the students’ strengths and
weaknesses, make goals and course objectives concrete, and support equal and just grading


                                                                                                 11
and assessment. The test should also demonstrate to what extent the knowledge goals are met
at school, both at an individual and a national level. Yet Skolverket states that the tests are not
made to test students’ knowledge in every goal stipulated in the curriculum and syllabus.
(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/170;jsessionid=D6431D40985A90462F88F53537D4F115)


The purposes above are also stated as common principles in all three core subjects that the
national test deals with. In addition, the ambition is that both the material and the exercises in
the tests shall be as authentic as possible, but also that there shall be a progression in difficulty
both within and between the exercises in the test. Moreover, the instructions shall be given in
the target language and the students are also expected to use the target language only. When
assessing, the focus is on the students’ will and ability to understand and mediate content.
When analysing errors, the merits are analysed rather than insufficient knowledge. Errors are
distinguished between errors that interrupt and errors that destroy. In other words, errors are
analysed according to the extent that the communication is affected. The tests hence give the
students the opportunity to show what they know, not what they do not know. Points are
therefore not taken away when making errors. Besides, to provide for every student’s needs
the test is constructed with different types of tasks, content, and different approaches to
answer. (http://www.ped.gu.se/sol/nafs/nafs.htm)




2 METHOD

Before we started our dissertation, it was really important for us to get background
information regarding the test. Information concerning what the national test actually is, what
kind of abilities it measures, what it can and cannot be used for, and why it exists was found
at Skolverket’s website. In the following section about method, we have applied the
recommendations for how the study should be designed and carried out according to Hatch
(2002) and Johansson and Svedner (2004).



2.1 Data tool
Since the national test takes place in springtime, we were not able to use observation as a
method. Instead we used semi-structured interviews that enabled us to gain a deeper


                                                                                                  12
understanding of this matter. We designed the interviews so that they took us deeply into the
understandings of the informants. Since the purpose of formal interviews is to generate data
we entered the interviews with questions in mind. The interviews were recorded on tape.
(Hatch, 2002).



2.2 Sampling

As the teachers at secondary school work with national tests yearly they were best suited for
our interviews. Among the teachers we selected the essential ones, in other words language
teachers in English. We also tried to consider the teachers’ work experience; hence we chose
some teachers with a lot of experience and some with less. Moreover we interviewed two men
and two women and if any differences occurred this would lead to further discussions. We
carried out four interviews with teachers and they lasted approximately 40 minutes each
(Hatch 2002).


The secondary school, where we carried out the interviews, is a small-town school with 350
pupils and 50 teachers. The school uses a type of streaming, in other words, each pupil is put
in a certain group that should suit the pupil the best.



2.3 Procedure
To make the persons we interviewed feel comfortable, the interviews took place in a group
room where nobody could interfere and where we could talk in privacy. To create a natural
surrounding, the equipment we used was a small tape recorder (Hatch, 2002). We also
considered sending out the interview questions beforehand for preparation, but due to lack of
time this was not possible. However, maybe this was for the best since our interviews now
turned out to be dialogues that lead to exhaustive answers.


When we constructed the interviews the intention was to create simple and straightforward
questions, not to ask more than one question at the time and to avoid questions with yes and
no answers. Last but not least, we also avoided why-questions and questions with negations
since the interviewee can be influenced by our positive or negative view upon the matter. We
also tried to get the interviewee to tell and give concrete answers by asking result questions. If



                                                                                               13
the aspects above are not taken into account, the source will not be reliable and dependable
(Johansson, Svedner, 2004).


We began the interview by introducing ourselves and our dissertation and we assured the
interviewee about their anonymity. Furthermore, we gave the interviewee the chance to
introduce him/herself as an ice-breaker (Hatch, 2002). Both interviewers were in the room
where the interview took place and both of us asked questions. We were aware of the pros and
cons of being two when interviewing. For example, the person we interviewed may have felt
vulnerable since we were two. On the other hand, it gave us better opportunities to catch
everything that was said and done. Things that otherwise might have been left unnoticed now
attracted our attention. With this in mind the interviews turned out well, they turned out to be
more as a conversation than a formal interview.


During the interview we took lots of things into consideration. For example, we did not
interrupt, we made sure to be patient, we asked if we did not understand and we listened to the
interviewee’s answers. Another very important thing was that we as interviewers did not mind
the tape recorder, since it was in our interest to make the interviewee as comfortable and the
situation as authentic as possible (Hatch, 2002).




2.4 Processing the data
After the interview it was time to go through and transcribe our material. Since the interview
was recorded on tape, we started to listen to it carefully before transcribing. We had been
warned in advance that the transcription would be time-consuming and we noticed this rather
quickly. It took us approximately ten hours to transcribe the four interviews. Yet we only
transcribed the most essential parts while the rest was left out. Both the names of the school
and the interviewed persons were kept anonymous when transcribing the material.


When analysing the material, we used a model which Hatch refers to as a typological analysis
(Hatch, 2002). This model suits our dissertation the best since as Hatch explains, it should be
easy to select and identify categories from the material to analyse.




                                                                                             14
In order to attain our purpose, gain more insight into the national test, and understand how the
national test can serve as a tool for teachers to create a learning-context in English, we asked
the interviewees’ questions concerning how they work with and go about the national test. We
also emphasised the purposes of the national test, as stipulated by Skolverket, to see whether
the teachers thought that these purposes are actually fulfilled.




3 RESULT

Since the purpose of this dissertation is to find out how teachers perceive and look upon the
national test to help students meet the goals of the course, we need to know how the teachers
work with the national test. The result is therefore categorised, where the process about the
national test is presented from the beginning. For that reason we start by describing the
preparation methods the informants use to prepare their students before the national test. This
is followed by how the teachers look upon the different parts in the national test and how the
test is adapted to students of different abilities. Further, the consequences of the test, and the
importance of the test are presented. Last but not least, we have chosen to present a brief
overview of the result where the most essential parts of the result are compiled.



3.1 Description of the Informants
All informants work as English teachers at the same secondary school. However they also
teach other subjects such as Swedish, German and music. Our interviews focus on English
only and therefore we have excluded what we consider irrelevant parts concerning the other
subjects in the transcriptions and in the result section and the discussion as well. Since the
informants are anonymous we have decided to call them Informant 1, 2, 3 and 4. Informants 1
and 2 are women and informants 3 and 4 are men. Furthermore, all quotes are translated into
English by the authors.


The first informant is a woman with 25 years of experience from both secondary and upper
secondary schools. She currently teaches German and English at a secondary school. The
second interviewee is a woman with nearly 35 years of experience. Mostly she has served as a
teacher at secondary schools since this is where she enjoys her work the best. Informant 3 is a


                                                                                               15
man. He has served as a teacher at the school for seven years and this is his first teaching post
since he graduated from the school of education. Moreover he teaches music, English and
English as language choice in grades seven, eight and nine. Last but not least, the fourth
informant is a man with eight years of experience in the school system. However, he has only
taught English and Swedish for three years.



3.2 Preparing for the test
Our four interviewees partly agree with the criticism stated in the report published by
Skolverket, since they certainly believe that different teachers prepare their students
differently (http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/203/a/3621). Nevertheless, they think that it is
basic knowledge that is tested and if the students have attended compulsory school they
should be able to pass the test. Yet our investigation shows that the preparation methods differ
at this school due to the type of streaming where students’ are put in different groups on the
basis of their ability.


The results of interviews show that the teachers have agreed upon similar methods to prepare
before the national test. All teachers hand out the same preparation test published in 1999 and
in 2004. These tests are not classified as secret and therefore they are allowed to be used by
Skolverket. In order for the students to get a situation resembling the actual one, the teachers
carry out the preparation test the same way as the actual national test with the same rules and
time-limits. Furthermore, the preparation test gives the students an insight to what the national
test looks like. In other words, they become familiar with the structure of the test. None of the
teachers look upon the preparation test as a test that helps the students to gain more
knowledge, but as a test that functions more as a mental preparation for the students. The
preparation test is an aid for both students and teachers. In this case the teachers can use the
result from the test to pin-point and show the students what they need to practice more on in
order to pass the national test. One teacher explains that:


               It is a safety for us teachers to carry out the preparation test, to correct it and to pin-point for the
               students that you have to practice this and this to be able to pass the national test. It does not
               give students false expectations to pass the test, but ensures them what they need to practice
               more on (Informant 3).




                                                                                                                   16
However there are both pros and cons with the preparation test. Informant 2 mentions that the
students are exposed to severe strain since it is a nation-wide test, even though they know that
this is a test they cannot study for to get a pass. The other three informants agree. Therefore
all informants try to defuse the test. However students tend to look upon tests more seriously
than teachers do, because tests are important for students. Yet the informants state that the test
benefits the stronger learners more since it will help them understand and get a feeling for
how it is to take the test. Of course this agrees with the weaker students too but on the other
hand, when the students realise how difficult the test is, it might lower weaker students’ self-
esteem. All students have the right to pass the test and our four informants strive towards this.
“Everyone has the right to pass” (Informant 3).


As mentioned in the beginning of this section, Skolverket’s article claims that every student
does not get the same opportunity to pass the test. Yet the interviewed teachers assert that they
try to give every student the same chance to pass the test and also try to agree on a fair way to
address every student. At least the teachers try to give every student at the school the rights
they are entitled to; everyone should get the same opportunity to pass the national test.
Informant 1 positively states that “due to the school’s different ability-groups all teachers
have opportunities to help the students; the weaker learners get more direct preparation in
order to pass the test” (Informant 1). The teachers try to practice longer listening exercises
found in other books since these types of exercises often are very short in the actual
textbooks. Without the preparation before the test, informant 2 believes that the students
might get shocked, especially when it comes to the reading part which is four pages long.
“They might get shocked if they get the reading part on four pages at the test, and have not
seen it before and are not used to such long texts” (Informant 2). Informant 3 agrees with the
former and also states that the reading and comprehension part is often the part that students
think is difficult, and this is usually the part where some students give up the hope of passing
the test. Therefore they need to practice this a lot. As a solution informant 4 reads a lot with
his students. When it comes to writing, the weaker students practice this every week. One
essay is to be handed in once a week with the requirement that it should be longer than the
week before. This is an ongoing project at the school in order for the weaker students to
increase their ability to write. Moreover the students get to correct their own pieces of writing
and are requested to read them over and over again in preparation for the national test. Of
course the other students also write essays but not as systematically. In other words, their
writing has to be on their own initiative.


                                                                                               17
Informant 1 considers that when you start to study English you indirectly start to prepare for
the national test. Similar to this, informant 3 believes that teachers constantly prepare their
students for the national test as preparations for the test continue on a daily basis. Even when
students communicate in groups, he reminds them of the upcoming test and tells them to take
the time at hand to practice. Informant 1 explains this matter further. According to her the test
in itself is not of main importance. She feels that the purpose is to be able to speak,
understand and write, to get a general understanding and to be able to express oneself in
speech and writing. In other words, “you learn for life” (Informant 1). What informant 1
states, agrees with the syllabus for English: “The education in English aims to develop a
comprehensive communicative ability, and such language-knowledge necessary for
international contacts […]” (appendix 1). Informant 1 also mentions the necessity of speaking
English all the time during the lessons. Moreover all informants talk a lot with their students
about the upcoming test to make them feel prepared.



3.3 During the test
Our interviews show that the teachers’ general opinion is that while the preparations enable
the students to achieve a pass, the test in itself does so too. The interviewees claim that the
content of the listening part in the national test is often very good, and the same goes for the
reading part where the texts usually are good. The test gives all students a chance to give
correct answers since there are a variety of alternatives. The students have to answer by either
putting a cross in front of an already made sentence or by constructing sentences by
themselves. “At least the poor learners can guess”, says informant 1. The test is also made
possible to do for learners with disabilities such as hearing impairment, dyslexia and language
difficulties. Instead of listening to the tape or CD, an assistant can read the text slowly and
clearly. The students with diagnosed disability get more time to carry out the test but also
more time to read and write. Moreover they can get words pronounced out loud. The guiding
principles of what you can and cannot do are strict and are all according to Skolverket. Yet
when it comes to reading and writing difficulties, this is up to the teachers at the school to
decide but it should meet the demands of an equal education as stated in Lpo 94, “students’
different conditions and needs must be considered” (Lpo 94).




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The informants disagree on what part in the national test that is the most essential. Informant
1 and 2 state that the writing part is the most essential one because it gives you as a teacher a
chance to inspect the vocabulary and grammar and to see how the students express
themselves. In other words, what the students have achieved. On the other hand informant 4
states that he looks upon the oral, listening and comprehension parts as the most essential. If
you are able to make yourself understood orally and understand the reading and listening part
you manage to make yourself understood in an English-speaking country. This teacher’s view
is in agreement with the students’ reactions in Språkboken. The students are positive towards
the interaction and production parts, and argue that “If you for example visit England you
hardly write notes to all the people you meet” (Erickson, Börjesson, 2001, p 262). Still
informant 3 states that the comprehension part is quite easy with straight-forward questions
with only one given answer. Since the students are only 15 years of age and do not have
English as a mother tongue, he looks positively upon there being no need for any personal
interpretation of the text. Moreover informant 2’s opinion agrees with what is mentioned as a
disadvantage in Bedömning av språkfärdighet i nationella prov och bedömningsmaterial
about the national test. It is stated that the oral part is time-consuming and hard to carry out,
but despite this, teachers value the oral part highly and would not exchange it for something
else (Erickson, Börjesson, 2001). “It takes many English-lessons to carry out the oral part […]
but it is very valuable and I would not switch it for something else” (Informant 2). Regarding
the reading part, she finds it rather difficult but in return the students do not have to achieve a
high score to pass this part. Therefore she tries to motivate her students not to give up.



3.4 Consequences of the test
The result of the interviews is that the national test affects the teachers’ work and conveys a
heavy workload. Nevertheless the workload’s reduced due to experience and routine.
Informant 3 states that the students do not get their tests and essays back and therefore there is
no use in pin-pointing every error in the essays. By not marking and correcting every error,
this teacher has found a way to reduce the workload. Informant 2 has also worked out a
routine for correcting the essays that can make her work more efficient. Informant 4 disagrees
with the former due to the time-consuming correction that first needs to be done individually
but also together with colleagues. The overall opinion is that the other parts are easier to
correct since there are given keys as a support when correcting.




                                                                                                19
Although the national test conveys a heavy workload, all four informants look upon the
national test as a positive influence in the school system. The teachers are thus in agreement
with the claim in Bedömning av språkfärdighet i nationella prov och bedömningsmaterial that
the test has generally been positively received by the investigated teachers (Erickson,
Börjesson, 2001). The general opinion is that it is useful for both students and teachers.
Informant 4 argues that, through the national test, “students gain better self-esteem […] or
they get their feet back on the ground”. The test also serves as a good measurement for the
students since they can compare their own results with other students’ in the whole country to
see where their own ability is at. Regarding the use for teachers, all of them state that the test
results can confirm the teachers’ understanding of students’ abilities. Hence the results can
function as a support when assessing and grading. “The result of the national test confirms my
interpretation of what the student knows,” says informant 2. Informant 1 explains this further
and states that the national test is just one among other tests. Furthermore the test does not
have any other significant importance than as support when grading. Still Skolverket states
more purposes for the national test.



3.5 The Importance of the National Test
For a better understanding of this section, the syllabus for English in grade nine is attached as
an appendix (appendix 1). A short summary of the purposes of the national tests are stated
below, and to make the further reading easier one purpose at the time is discussed.


                 contribute to increase the students’ strive to meet the goals
                 clarify the goals and pinpoint the students’ strengths and weaknesses
                 make course goals and grading criteria concrete
                 support an equal and just grading and assessment
                 be a basis for analysis to see to what extent the knowledge goals are achieved at school,
                  individual and national level


(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/170;jsessionid=4545B6E58539E0BA9F8403CBF27B606B)


The interviewed teachers have mixed opinions regarding the first purpose. Informant 1 and 3
think that since the “goals to attain” and the purposes of the national test are in principle the
same, the national test fulfils its purpose (appendix 1). However, informant 2 and 4 are
doubtful since they do not agree with that the goals are fulfilled through one test only. The



                                                                                                        20
“goals to attain” can only be achieved during a longer period of time. “It sounds good, but I’m
sceptical” (Informant 4).


As with the first purpose, there are mixed opinions regarding the second purpose as well.
Informant 1 and 2 believe that they are aware of the students’ strengths and weaknesses
before the test is taken. Moreover, after the test is taken, the informants have not changed
their minds regarding the aspects above. This means that the teachers almost always pin-point
the same weaknesses and strengths as before the test. Yet informant 3 and 4 think that the
purpose is fulfilled only to a certain degree, especially when it comes to pin-pointing the
students’ strengths. Some students are shy and do not manage to make themselves heard in
class-room situations, therefore the test gives them an opportunity to show their strengths.
Still a general opinion among all informants is that some parts of the test are too difficult and
in return the students do not have to achieve a high score to pass. Thus the degree of difficulty
quickly results in students giving up hope to pass the test and therefore do not carry out the
whole part. Informant 2 says that, “Students often say that they are not able to do it, I try to
tell them not to give up since I know that they do not need a high score to pass”. Furthermore,
if the students give up, the result of the test can be misleading. In other words, a misleading
result can turn into a misleading judgment of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. In
contradiction to what is said in the purposes above, project NAFS states that “The tests give
the students the opportunity to show what they know, not what they do not know (…)”
(http://www.ped.gu.se/sol/nafs/nafs.htm).


The opinions regarding the third purpose also differ. Informant 1 does not think that the test
makes the course objectives and the grading criteria more concrete for the students. On the
other hand informant three does think so. Moreover he states, that if the students take a test,
you as a teacher can make it more visible to them what they ought to know. Furthermore
informant 4 states that the tests are made to accomplish the course goals and grade criteria,
and therefore the national test fulfils its purpose. Informant 3 agrees and says that, “You have
to remember that the test contains speaking, writing, listening and comprehension and reading
and comprehension, that is to say, the same as the grading criteria”.


All informants have the same opinions regarding the fourth purpose. The general opinion is
that the national test supports equal and just grading and assessment by testing all of the four
skills: speech, listening and comprehension, and reading and writing. Informant 2 also states


                                                                                              21
that this purpose is the most essential one. Informant 1 agrees and claims that the test gives
the students the feeling that they are justly assessed, since the test is carried out at all schools.
Moreover it confirms the teachers’ assessing and grading of the students. All informants agree
that the test conveys a just assessment and grading on the condition that every school nation
wide corrects it equally. Still Lundh and Wirén’s study shows that the national tests do not
quite meet the actual purpose, due to the insufficient cooperation between schools. They
assert that the cooperation between schools is in principle non-existent (Lundh, Wirén, 2005).


Another disadvantage, stated by the informants in our investigation, is that there is only one
opportunity for the students to take the test. The situation when taking the test is trying for the
students and if various kinds of problems appear the result of the national test can be suffering
and there is no second chance to make up for it. This is why informant 3 and 4 state that the
result of the test cannot lower the grade, only raise it. “That is why you can more often raise a
student’s grade with a good conscience” (Informant 4). One other important remark is that the
teachers do not assess and grade the students only on the result of the national test, but also on
the basis of everything else that the students do and achieve during their years at secondary
school. “Still I will assess a student’s knowledge. Students that do not carry out their tasks
will not increase their learning in English and in turn will not be able to pass the test”
(Informant 1).


Not much is said about the fifth purpose and therefore it is impossible to come to a certain
conclusion regarding this. Still informant 1 thinks that the national test functions as basis for
analysis to see to what extent the knowledge goals are achieved, yet only for teachers not for
parents. Parents only want to know what their adolescents have to do to increase their learning
(informant 1). She does not think that the parents care much whether if the knowledge goals
are achieved at a school and at a national level.



3.6 Summary of the result
Teachers try to prepare and motivate their students in order to pass the national test. Still they
believe that different teachers prepare their students differently, especially due to the kind of
group you are teaching. Nevertheless, the teachers at the investigated school agree that
preparations for the test continue on a daily basis. They also argue that they try to give every




                                                                                                  22
student the rights they are entitled to. This can for example mean that students with different
disabilities get more support, before and during the test in order to pass it.


Furthermore our investigation shows that the national test affects the teachers’ work and
increases their workload. Yet the teachers look positively upon the national test. Throughout
Secondary School they strive for, on a daily basis, that the students shall pass the test in the
end. The results of the interviews show that the teachers claim that they start preparing the
students before the national test when the students start to study English. In other words, they
consider that they constantly, on a daily basis, prepare the students. As one of the teachers
states, the national test tests what is mentioned in the syllabus for English. In turn, the national
test serves as a concrete conclusion of this period of time. Our investigation also shows that
teachers, for the most part, agree that the purposes of the national tests are fulfilled, however
differences in opinions exist.



4 DISCUSSION

It is possible to conclude, through the interviews with our informants, that students take tests
very seriously. Therefore our informants try to defuse it by talking to the students a lot about
the upcoming test. However our opinion is that this can increase the students’ nervousness
just as much. When the teachers talk to their students about the upcoming test it increases the
students’ opinions of the importance of the test. Moreover it makes the students aware that the
teachers regard this test seriously. Still according to our interviewees the students take the test
more seriously than the teachers since the teachers look upon the test as a support. Our
investigation also shows that according to the teachers it seems to be the students who trigger
the great stir around the upcoming test. Since this is the case, the teachers have to keep in
mind that test occasions can result in a severe strain on some students because of the anxiety.
Our opinion is that as a consequence, the results can be affected due to various kinds of
problems and this, in turn, can lead to a misleading result.


Skolverket states that the national tests shall support equal and just grading and assessment.
However this can be hard to achieve due to the non-reliable result explained above. On the
other hand our four informants state that this purpose is fulfilled because the result serves as a
confirmation of the teacher’s thought of the student’s knowledge. One aspect can be that


                                                                                                 23
students might look upon this matter as we did when we were students. We believe that this is
because of lack of information from teachers. During our own secondary schooling, none of
the teachers explained to us what the purposes of the national test really were. It also seems
that it is the grading and assessment aspect that is the most important because that is the only
purpose that you are aware of as a student.


The article based on Lundh and Wirén’s study, Lärare och elever om gymnasieskolans
nationella prov - en enkätstudie criticises the national test on the basis that students get
different opportunities to pass the test. This criticism is founded on teachers using different
preparation methods in order for the students to pass the test. However our investigation
shows that the preparation methods at the investigated school are similarly carried out. The
teachers have agreed that, at least at their school, every student shall have the same
opportunity to pass the national test. The weaker learners get to prepare in the form of an
essay project in order to increase their ability to write an essay. The stronger students can
write essays and hand them in on their own initiative but it is not an obligatory task since it is
expected of them that they should be able to write an essay.


Our opinion is that, through this, every student gets the same opportunity to pass the test
because the project enables the weaker learners to pass the essay part on the national test. On
the other hand it does not give the same opportunity to every student to develop equally. The
stronger students do not get the same opportunity to develop their writing further and to reach
a higher level of competence in this matter, since the project is not obligatory to them.
Furthermore it is stated in Lpo 94 that “the education shall with the starting point from the
students earlier experiences, language and knowledge facilitate the students’ further learning
and knowledge development” (Lpo 94). Moreover it is stated in the same document that the
education shall be adjusted to each pupil’s conditions and needs (Lpo 94). It goes without
saying that this is not fulfilled, since the stronger students do not get this opportunity. Still
every student get the same opportunity to pass the test, since all teachers carry out the same
preparation test in order for the students to pass the test in order to reach the same
competence.


The preparation test functions as a preparation in that it pin-points the stronger students’
weaknesses and in turn clarifies for the student what aspects of the language he/she needs to
work more on. The actual test does not serve this function. According to NAFS the test should


                                                                                               24
give the students the opportunity to show what they know, not what they do not know
(http://www.ped.gu.se/sol/nafs/nafs.htm). Still an interesting remark is that Skolverket states
that   the   national   test   shall   pin-point   the   students’   strengths   and   weaknesses
(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/170;jsessionid=4545B6E58539E0BA9F8403CBF27B606B).
This seems contradictory. Since the tests are not handed back to the students, there is no use
in pin-pointing errors and weaknesses. If weaknesses are to be pin-pointed, it is important to
follow them up.


The preparation test is a test all teachers have agreed on carrying out. On the question what
purpose the preparation test serves, the teachers inform us that it serves more as a mental
preparation than to gain more knowledge. “It is no actual practice” (Informant 3). Moreover
they inform that some of the parts in the national test appear to be rather difficult, for example
the reading and comprehension of the extent of four pages. Since the students are used to
shorter texts, they tend to give up when taking the test due to lack of concentration. We agree
with the former, furthermore we do not believe that the preparation test benefits students’
language leaning. In our opinion, the extent of knowledge you have to achieve to pass the test
is impossible to gain in such a short period of time since the preparation test is not handed out
until some weeks before the actual test. “Students will not reach a higher competence in
English if they do not complete their tasks” (Informant 1). Furthermore our opinions are in
agreement with what the informants state: that the preparation tests function as a preparation
where the students get a sense of what it is like to take the national test. We find this kind of
preparation essential to the students, otherwise the students will not realise how difficult and
hard the test is to take. As informant 2 explains: “They might get shocked […]”.


As stated in our purpose we needed to know how the national test affects the teachers’ work
to be able to figure out how they can help the students to meet the goals of the English course.
The interviewees inform us that the correcting of the test is very time-consuming but the
teachers state that with more experience it becomes easier. The given keys also make their
work easier and in turn decrease their workload. The informants assert that the national test is
a good influence in our school-system, and that it facilitates more than complicates their
work. This means that it renders it possible to give students concrete information of what they
should be able to know by the end of year nine. The national test makes it feasible for the
students to gain a better understanding of the curriculum and the syllabus since it gives the
students concrete examples to look at. In other words, the national test puts the curriculum


                                                                                               25
and the syllabus into effect. This agrees with Erickson and Börjesson’s result of their study,
which shows that teachers feel that the national test helps to concretize course goals and
grading criteria (Erickson, Börjesson, 2001). Thus the teachers’ lesson plans indirectly
revolve around what is tested in the national exams, and in turn makes it easier for the
teachers to justify their choice of exercises in their daily teaching. In other words, the teachers
prepare their students for the national test in every class. “The preparation continues on a
daily basis” (Informant 3). Furthermore, what is strived for in the end is that the students
should be able to pass the national test and in consequence reach the course goals and grade
criteria for a pass. In contrast to this, Brown (2004) states that there is a danger of test-driven
learning and teaching since the performance of the test can act as a determination of the
students’ lives. In turn, this will lead to that students are less likely to have a positive attitude
towards learning.




5 CONCLUSION

It is feasible to come to the conclusion that the teachers, through the national test can help
students meet the goals of the English course, yet maybe not for all students. We assert that
the preparation methods can benefit the weaker students’ own development more than the
stronger students’. On the other hand, the national test makes the curriculum and syllabus
more understandable to all students and teachers. According to our informants much of their
work revolves around the up-coming national test, especially before the test is taken.
Furthermore the preparation test in principle tests what is mentioned in the course goals since
it is an old national test and contains the same parts as the actual national test. In turn the
teachers can easily pin-point what the students need to practice in order to later pass the actual
test. The national test serves as concrete document, both for teachers and students, to lean on
when it comes to what the students need to achieve through their learning. Informant 1 states,
“Still I will assess a student’s knowledge. Students that do not carry out their tasks will not
increase their learning in English and in turn will not be able to pass the test” (Informant 1). In
conclusion, this statement confirms that the teachers through their planning throughout the
terms at Secondary School, can help the students meet the goals of the course, since it takes
persistent and prolonged hard work for the students to achieve the knowledge demanded for
passing the test.


                                                                                                  26
Moreover, this investigation has given us valuable insights in how teachers work and look
upon the national test at Secondary School. We have learned that the test is time-consuming
but still our informants assert that the test is a positive influence in the school system and that
it confirms the thoughts they had about the students’ knowledge before the test is taken.



5.1 Critical reflections
When we first started this dissertation we were over-ambitious and thought that we could
carry out ten interviews. We soon realised our limitations however. To carry out ten
interviews in approximately ten weeks suddenly seemed impossible due to the time
restrictions. Therefore we only carried out four interviews. Now after the dissertation we think
that this was a wise decision. However a drawback of this dissertation is that we can see
similarities between the interviewees’ answers, although we tried to take different aspects in
consideration when choosing our interviewees. We realise that it would have made sense to
interview teachers at different schools to get a wider perspective about the matter at hand.


Meanwhile when working with this dissertation many new questions arose. It sprung to our
minds that an interesting investigation to carry out would concern what the national test
actually means to students with this investigation as comparison. Another interesting
investigation would be to observe the process about the national test to find out what make
students feel stressed out concerning the test.



5.2 Final words
Our investigation has given us an insight into and a better understanding of the national test.
Before this dissertation we had a negative view of tests in general and since the national test is
a great influence in our school system, we were even more negative concerning the national
tests. Nevertheless our negative view of the test has now resulted in a more nuanced
perspective. Still we have not experienced the national test as teachers but we have gained
more insight regarding the national test as wanted. Therefore we consider our mission
complete. We are satisfied with our choice of subject and we are proud that we have been able
to carry out this dissertation in spite of the limited amount of time.




                                                                                                27
6 REFERENCES


6.1 Written sources
Brown, Douglas H (2004) Language Assessment. Principles and Classroom Practices. White
   Plains, NY: Longman.
Erickson, Gudrun & Börjesson, Lena (2001) Språkboken: Bedömning av språkfärdighet i
   nationella prov och bedömningsmaterial. Sverige: Statens skolverk.
Hatch, Amos J (2002) Doing qualitative research in education setting. New York: State
   University of New York Press.
Lundh, Staffan & Wirén, Eva (2005) Lärare och elever om gymnasieskolans nationella prov-
   en enkätstudie. Sverige: Statens skolverk.
Johansson, Bo & Svedner, Per Olov (2004) Examensarbetet i lärarutbildningen.
   Undersökningsmetoder och språklig utformning. Uppsala: Kunskapsförlaget.




6.2 Internet sources
Projektet NAFS (2005, 30 Augusti) Nationella prov i främmande språk. [www document]
   URL http://www.ped.gu.se/sol/nafs/nafs.htm (2005-12-05)
Pressmeddelande (2005, 12 September) Elever ges inte samma möjlighet att klara de
   nationella proven. [www document] URL http://www.skoverket.se/sb/d/203/a/3621
   (2005-12-05)
Skolverket (2005, 18 Februari) Nationella ämnesprov i grundskolan. [www document]
   URL http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d276 (2005-12-05)
Skolverket (2005, 18 Februari) Ämnesprovet årskurs 9 i Engelska. [www document]
   URL http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/286 (2005-12-05)
Skolverket (2005) Det nationella provsystemet. [www document]
   URL(http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/170;jsessionid=D6431D40985A90462F88F53537D4
   F115) (2005-12-05)
Skolverket (2005, 5 December) Kursplan och betygskriterier. [www document]
   URL(http://www3.skolverket.se/ki03/front.aspx?sprak=SV&ar=0506&infotyp=23&skolf
   orm=11&id=3870&extraId=2087 (2005-12-05)



                                                                                        28
6.3 Interviews
Interviews with teachers 2005-11-14 and 2005-11-15.




                                                      29
7.1 APPENDIX 1
Betygskriterier Grundskolan
Ämnets syfte och roll i utbildningen
Engelska är modersmål eller officiellt språk i ett stort antal länder, förmedlar många vitt
skilda kulturer och är dominerande kommunikationsspråk i världen. Förmåga att använda
engelska är nödvändig vid studier, vid resor i andra länder och för sociala eller yrkesmässiga
internationella kontakter av olika slag. Utbildningen i engelska syftar till att utveckla en
allsidig kommunikativ förmåga och sådana språkkunskaper som är nödvändiga för
internationella kontakter, för en alltmer internationaliserad arbetsmarknad och för att kunna ta
del av den snabba utveckling som sker genom informations- och kommunikationsteknik samt
för framtida studier. Utbildningen i engelska har dessutom som syfte att vidga perspektiven på
en växande engelsktalande omvärld med dess mångskiftande kulturer.
Alla elever behöver beredskap att på egen hand bygga vidare på sina kunskaper efter avslutad
skolgång. Ämnet syftar därför också till att eleven skall vidmakthålla och utveckla sin lust och
förmåga att lära sig engelska.

Mål att sträva mot
Skolan skall i sin undervisning i engelska sträva efter att eleven
– utvecklar sin förmåga att använda engelska för att kommunicera i tal och skrift,
– fördjupar sin förståelse av talad engelska i olika situationer och sammanhang,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att delta aktivt i samtal och skriftlig kommunikation, uttrycka sina
egna tankar på engelska samt uppfatta andras åsikter och erfarenheter,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att använda engelska muntligt i olika sammanhang för att berätta,
beskriva och förklara samt motivera sina åsikter,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att läsa olika slags texter för upplevelser, information och kunskaper,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att uttrycka sig varierat och säkert i skrift för att berätta, beskriva och
förklara samt motivera sina åsikter,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att analysera, bearbeta och förbättra språket mot allt större variation
och säkerhet,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att använda hjälpmedel och att kritiskt granska informationskällor,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att reflektera över levnadssätt och kulturer i engelsktalande länder och
göra jämförelser med egna erfarenheter,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att reflektera över och ta ansvar för sin egen språkinlärning och att
medvetet använda arbetssätt som främjar den egna inlärningen,
– utvecklar sin förmåga att planera, genomföra och utvärdera uppgifter, på egen hand och i
samarbete med andra.

Ämnets karaktär och uppbyggnad
Det engelska språket och olika kulturyttringar från engelskspråkiga länder finns lätt
tillgängliga i det svenska samhället. Eleverna stöter i dag på många varianter av engelska
utanför skolan. De möter engelska i skiftande sammanhang: i teve, i filmer, i musikens värld,
via internet och datorspel, i texter och vid kontakter med engelsktalande. Ämnet engelska ger
en bakgrund till och ett vidare perspektiv på de samhälls- och kulturyttringar som eleverna
omges av i dagens internationella samhälle. I ämnet ingår både att granska det innehåll som
språket förmedlar och att språkligt dra nytta av det rika och varierade utbud av engelska som
barn och ungdomar möter utanför skolan.


                                                                                                30
Engelska bör lika lite som andra språk delas upp i separata moment som lärs in i en given
turordning. Både yngre och äldre elever berättar och beskriver, diskuterar och argumenterar,
även om det sker på olika sätt, på olika språkliga nivåer och inom olika ämnesområden.
De olika kompetenser som ingår i en allsidig och kommunikativ förmåga har sin motsvarighet
i ämnets struktur. Till dessa hör förmåga att behärska språkets form dvs. vokabulär,
fraseologi, uttal, stavning och grammatik. I ämnet utvecklas även kompetensen att bilda
språkligt sammanhängande helheter vilka efter hand i fråga om innehåll och form allt bättre
anpassas till situation och mottagare. När de egna språkkunskaperna inte räcker till behöver
eleven kompensera detta genom att använda strategier som omformuleringar, synonymer,
frågor och kroppsspråk. Förmågan att reflektera över likheter och skillnader mellan egna
kulturella erfarenheter och kulturer i engelsktalande länder utvecklas hela tiden och leder på
sikt till förståelse för olika kulturer och interkulturell kompetens. En ytterligare kompetens är
medvetenhet om hur språkinlärning går till.

Mål som eleverna skall ha uppnått i slutet av det nionde skolåret
Eleven skall
– förstå tydligt, även något regionalt färgat, tal i instruktioner, berättelser och beskrivningar
som rör kända förhållanden och egna intresseområden,
– kunna delta aktivt i samtal kring kända ämnen och med hjälp av olika strategier bidra till att
kommunikationen fungerar,
– kunna muntligt berätta och beskriva något som hon eller han sett, hört, upplevt eller läst
samt uttrycka och argumentera för en uppfattning i något för honom eller henne angeläget
ämne,
– kunna läsa och tillgodogöra sig innehållet i enklare skönlitterära och andra berättande,
beskrivande och argumenterande texter som behandlar kända ämnesområden,
– kunna begära och ge information i skrift samt berätta och beskriva något,
– ha kunskaper om vardagsliv, samhälle och kulturtraditioner i några länder där engelska har
en central ställning samt kunna göra några jämförelser med egna kulturella erfarenheter,
– kunna reflektera över och dra slutsatser om sitt sätt att lära sig engelska,
– kunna välja och använda hjälpmedel vid textläsning, skrivning och andra språkliga
aktiviteter,
– kunna, på egen hand och i samarbete med andra, planera och genomföra arbetsuppgifter
samt därvid dra slutsatser av sitt arbete.


Bedömning i ämnet engelska

Bedömningens inriktning
I en allsidig kommunikativ förmåga ingår att behärska receptiva, interaktiva och produktiva
färdigheter, på vilka olika bedömningsaspekter kan läggas.
Vad beträffar elevens receptiva färdigheter skall bedömningen inriktas på elevens förmåga att
förstå talad och skriven engelska. Hänsyn skall tas till elevens förmåga att förstå helhet och
sammanhang samt att dra slutsatser om en framställnings syfte. I vilken utsträckning eleven
vid avlyssning kan följa med i naturligt taltempo och förstå de viktigaste regionala varianterna
av engelska är andra delar i bedömningen. I denna förståelse ingår också elevens förmåga att
uppfatta skillnader och nyanser i fråga om språkljud, betoning och intonation. När det gäller
läsning läggs vikt vid elevens förmåga att förstå och tillgodogöra sig texter av varierande slag
och svårighetsgrad. I bedömningen av läsförmågan ingår också i vilken utsträckning eleven
med hjälp av olika strategier kan anpassa läsningen efter textens art och syfte.



                                                                                               31
Ett centralt inslag vid all språklig kommunikation är att växelvis kunna fungera som lyssnare
och talare, alternativt läsare och skrivare. Bedömningen av sådana interaktiva färdigheter skall
inriktas på förmågan att inleda, bidra till att utveckla och avsluta ett samtal eller en
skriftväxling. Härvid bedöms elevens förmåga att tolka olika situationer och att anpassa sitt
språk till situation och mottagare, liksom förmågan att använda strategier för att lösa språkliga
problem.
Bedömningen av de produktiva färdigheterna tala och skriva skall inriktas på hur klart och
sammanhängande samt med vilken ledighet, variation och språklig säkerhet eleven kan
uttrycka och förmedla ett budskap. Bedömningen av talad engelska inriktas vidare bl.a. på om
eleven artikulerar så tydligt att det som sägs är lätt att förstå och att betoning och intonation
utvecklas mot ett för språkområdet inhemskt mönster. När det gäller elevens förmåga att
skriva engelska inriktas bedömningen också på framställningens klarhet och tydlighet samt på
elevens förmåga att binda samman satser och meningar.
Bedömningen skall även inriktas på hur väl eleven utvecklat sin interkulturella förståelse.
Elevens kunskaper om levnadssätt och samhällsförhållanden i engelskspråkiga länder och
medvetenhet om likheter och skillnader i förhållande till egna kulturella erfarenheter vägs här
in, liksom elevens medvetenhet om oskrivna regler som i olika kulturer påverkar
kommunikationen.
Bedömningen inriktas även på elevens förståelse av hur den egna språkinlärningen går till
liksom på förmågan att använda olika tillvägagångssätt och lämpliga hjälpmedel för att lösa
uppgifter som har skiftande karaktär och syfte.

Kriterier för betyget Väl godkänd
Eleven tillgodogör sig, sammanfattar och kommenterar innehållet i tydligt talat språk från
olika språkområden.
Eleven använder strategier som t. ex. omformuleringar och förklaringar för att överbrygga
språkliga problem.
Eleven talar tydligt och med sammanhang samt anpassar sitt språk till några olika situationer.
Eleven läser, tillägnar sig och kommenterar lättlästa texter, både sådana på sakprosa och
skönlitteratur.
Eleven skriver varierat och med sammanhang samt kommunicerar skriftligt vid
informationsutbyte och sociala kontakter, ställer och besvarar frågor och anpassar sitt språk
till några olika mottagare.

Kriterier för betyget Mycket väl godkänd
Eleven tillgodogör sig, sammanfattar och kommenterar både helhet och detaljer i tydligt talat
språk.
Eleven medverkar i olika samtalssituationer och löser språkliga problem på ett effektivt sätt.
Eleven talar tydligt med språkligt flyt, variation och sammanhang.
Eleven tillgodogör sig innehållet i texter av varierande längd, kommenterar dem och drar
slutsatser.
Eleven uttrycker sig varierat i skrift och anpassar framställningen till några olika syften och
mottagare.




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7.2 APPENDIX 2

Interview questions

Berätta lite om dig själv, hur länge du jobbat som lärare, vilka ämnen etc.

Beskriv vad ett nationellt prov är./hur skulle du definiera ett nationellt prov?
Vad tror du att syftena är med nationella provet enligt skolverket?
Vilken betydelse har det nationella provet i engelska för dig som lärare?
Vad är din tanke bakom det nationella provet?
Hur fungerar det i praktiken?
Hur arbetar ni kring det nationella provet? (innan, under och efter)
Hur påverkar det nationella provet ditt arbete?
Vad har du för användning av nationella provet?
Vilka är fördelarna respektive nackdelarna med det nationella provet?
Tror du att dina och elevernas uppfattningar om det nationella provet skiljer sig? - På vilket
sätt?


Hur speglar elevernas resultat deras faktiska kunskaper?
Hur påverkar det nationella provet elevens betyg?
Hur ger det nationella provet en rättvis bedömning?
Hur står nationella provet i relation till andra bedömningsformer?
Hur är det nationella provet en bra grund för betygssättning?
Hur tungt väger resultatet från det nationella provet i den slutliga bedömningen?




Uppföljningsfrågor kommer att användas vid behov.




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