Assessment of young English language learners in the first year of elementary school: preliminaries issues

The article discusses the assessment practices in the teaching of English as a foreign language in the first year of elementary public school, and it reports on the conceptions of learning assessment. The reflections presented here are from a qualitative document study, that aims to see which objectives andfunctions the assessment practices assume in this teaching context. For this, interviews were conducted with 14 teachers and three official documents that guide education in this context were analyzed. The preliminary results show some inconsistencies in both the documents and the practices of teachers: on the one hand, there is a clear orientation towards ongoing assessment and on the other, it is recommended that the objective of the assessment is to check the students learning in order to promote students to the next grade. There is a need for implementing effective formative assessment practices, since this is the first year that children came into contact with a foreign language, and it is necessary that this experience be positive; otherwise, one runs the risk of facing learning barriers in next grades.