The Pivotal Role of Performance-Based Assessment in EFL/ESL Classrooms: A Critical Appraisal

Raja Ahmed Altukruni


Assessment plays a central and important role in teaching and learning as it measures and estimates whether learners achieved the desired goals and met the expectations; and therefore, instructors can make decisions regarding instruction, curricula, and learners’ proficiency and placement. Nevertheless, there is no single assessment tool which is fully adequate to provide both instructors and students with all the information needed to make judgments about learners’ actual abilities; however, performance-based assessment (PBA) is considered as one of the effective alternative and authentic assessments for evaluating students’ English competence. This paper is an appraisal of the washback effect of PBAs in EFL/ESL classrooms and the potential challenges faced by instructors when implementing PBAs. It provides a comprehensive review of literature relating to L2 assessment; compares between different modes of assessment; discusses the benefits and drawbacks of PBAs; and provides general guidelines for an optimal design and implementation of PBAs in language classrooms.

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