Graduate Explores Assessment Strategies for English Second Language Speakers at University
My decision to enrol for an Honours in Education degree was to challenge and empower myself. Having done that, I feel I can now take on a bigger project, says School of Education staff member, Ms Tyzer Khumalo, who graduated from UKZN.
Khumalo’s research explored assessment strategies used in assessing English second language speakers at university.
‘When people read my research, they will get to understand the three different strategies of the assessment and their benefits. They will also understand that assessment is meant to educate not judge - it is designed to accommodate different learning styles and the University is aware of the issues which may affect students where assessment is concerned,’ she said.
The findings of her study indicated that participants used a combination of formative assessment for learning, summative assessment of learning and peer assessment as learning strategies in their teaching.
‘They believe that assessment is a major part of learning that motivates learners to work hard in order to develop knowledge and skills to do well in their studies. As a result, this study recommends that the three types of assessment strategies should be treated equally in any lesson because each one of them is important in learning,’ said Khumalo.
A highlight of her study was going into the field during the data generation period. ‘The feeling of being a researcher and engaging with people about their lived experiences, perspectives and understandings of their own practice, was humbling.’
Striking a balance between her personal life, work and family was not easy, but it was possible for Khumalo as she received immense emotional support from her family, friends and her fiancé.
‘My family’s love and support towards my career is humbling. I thank God for my friends, my supervisor Dr S.B Khoza, my daughter Sibusisiwe Khumalo, and my nephew, Fanele Khumalo, for never failing to see potential in me. There is a God in Heaven. He was my pillar of strength through the journey.’
Khumalo’s plans include pursuing her Master’s degree in Education.