Item Details

Learning Potential and the Dynamic Assessment of L2 Chinese Grammar through Elicited Imitation

Issue: Vol 3 No. 1 (2016)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.v3i1.27549


This article outlines an approach to evaluating second language grammatical learning potential through dynamic assessment of elicited imitation. Focus is on the design of a sandwich format dynamic assessment in which learners engage in a pretest of independent performance, followed by a mediation phase in which instructional support is provided, and then a retest of independent performance. The assessment centers on learners’ responsiveness to support as measured by gains made between the pretest and the retest and the calculation of a learning potential score. We report on a small-scale implementation of the test with four intermediate-level and two elementary-level university learners of Chinese and their emerging comprehension of, and ability to produce, progressive and experiential aspect constructions. Results show significant gains with large effect sizes following mediation, which is one indication that the assessment was successful in evaluating learning potential.

Author: Haomin (Stanley) Zhang, Rémi A. van Compernolle

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