The Interplay between Language Skills and Dynamic Assessment

Farzaneh Shakki, Ali Derakhshan, Roya Sedigh Ziabari


Dynamic assessment (DA), as a pro-learning style of assessment, has been investigated in the educational literature for three decades or more. DA has been encouraged by the dearthof conventional static tests to prepare precise information about the individual’slearning abilities, change processes, specific deficient functions, and mediationalstrategies that are in charge for cognitive modifiability. DA, strongly rooted in Socio-cultural Theory (SCT) and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), is essentially defined as an approach which takes into account personal differences and their uses for teaching which accepts intervention in the assessment method.As stated by Lantolf and Poehner (2011), both collaborative functioning and interaction with others in DA differentiates it from traditional assessment. In DA processes, the emphasis is on the process rather than the products of learning. The important point is that dynamic assessment, as opposed to non-dynamic assessment (NDA), does not separate teaching from testing but instead takes them into account as two aspects of the same thing. Many authors have offered that DA could be used in all language skills, while others postulated that it cannot be useful in the ordinary classes. Regarding the significant contributions of DA in EFL/ESL contexts, the present paper, therefore, aims to review some important studies that have implemented DA on different language skills and the process of their research. It brings to the fore different theories underlying DA, including SCT and ZPD. It then elucidates two approaches to DA, namely interactionist and interventionist. It finally suggests some strands of research and emphasizes the implications of other studies conducted on the interplay between language skills and DA. 

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