ForumVol. 11, No. 1 (2011)

Classroom-based Language Assessment for Young Language Learners

Saerhim Oh

Teachers College, Columbia University

Abstract

In many countries, the age at which children officially begin to learn a foreign language in a classroom has been lowered (e.g., from middle school to elementary school) due to the belief that the earlier they start to learn a language, the more successful they will be in language learning (McKay, 2006; Pinter, 2006). Marinova-Todd et al. (2000) argue that this belief is supported by studies that show that age influences learning because “it is associated with social, psychological, educational, and other factors that can affect L2 proficiency” (p.28). In addition, in an ESL situation, many immigrant children not only have to learn the content of the classes which is taught in their non-native language but also need to acquire that language as their second language.