ESL Presentation Rubric (3)

Many general English classes, especially ones that teach students academic English, require students to give an oral presentation at some point, meaning the English teacher would then need to have a rubric to assess said presentation.  One presentation rubric can be found by following the link here.  This rubric has nine categories for assessing a presentation and a four point scale for each category, with 4 being the highest number of points a student can achieve and one being the lowest.  The first category in the rubric is “understanding of audience”, and in order to get four points the student must know who their target audience is and use the appropriate vocabulary, tone, and language, as well as anticipate questions that may come up during the presentation and address them appropriately.  The second category is body language and requires students to utilize appropriate body language, including eye contact and gestures, in order to achieve full points.  Next is a pronunciation category, which asks that students use the correct stress and intonation with very few errors, followed by a content category, which requires students to have clear and purposeful content along with a variety of supporting details in order to get four points.  The visual props category grades students on the effectiveness of their photos and slides, and the fluency category requires the student to be in control of the presentation and be able to speak clearly without too much reading directly from prepared notes.  The grammar and structure category requires good grammar and sentence structure with a few small mistakes allowed, and the linking language category requires “varied and generous” use of linking language throughout the presentation.  The last category is the interaction with audience category, which requires the student to solicit questions from the audience and respond appropriately.

One thing that I like about this rubric is that it does have a lot of individual categories that really break down the different aspects of giving a presentation.  With nine total categories, the student can see exactly how they are doing with regards to specific aspects of giving a presentation, which is better than simply receiving a set number grade as their only response.  As stated in the chapter “Assessment in Second Language Classrooms” by Anne Katz (2014), analytic rubrics such as this one are useful tools because they allow students to see where their strengths lie as well as where they need work, and in this way they can serve as very useful feedback that will help the student to improve.  I also like this rubric because the categories cover a wide variety of the micro- and macro-skills that Brown discusses in the “Assessing Speaking” chapter of the textbook Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices.  Giving an extended presentation is a very complex task, and so it can be useful to help students practice a wide variety of skills, all of which are represented by the rubric.  These include the macro-skill “convey facial features, kinesics, body language, and other nonverbal cues along with verbal language”, which is represented in the body language category of the rubric, and the micro-skill “produce English stress patterns, words in stressed and unstressed positions, rhythmic structure, and intonation contours”, which is represented in the pronunciation category of the rubric.

I would use this rubric in an intermediate or advanced classroom for students who are learning either academic or business English.  The rubric is specific towards assessing presentations, but is also able to be adapted easily for different content, audiences, and grammar structures being taught, and so could easily be used to judge either academic-styled presentation or business-styled presentations.  As with all rubrics, I would need to explain the rubric in detail to the class before implementing it, as that is necessary for it to be the most clear and helpful to the students (De Silva).  The only part of the rubric that I would adapt would be to remove the language “anticipates probable questions and addresses these during the course of the presentation” from the understanding of audience category, as I feel that that is already being tested for in the interaction with audience category.  That way, those two categories are clearer and more distinct.

Works Cited:

Brown, H. Douglas, and Priyanvada Abeywickrama. Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices. Pearson Education, Inc., 2019.

De Silva, Radhika. “Rubrics for Assessment: Their Effects on ESL Students’ Authentic Task Performance”.  Open University of Sri Lanka, 136-14

Katz, Anne. “Assessment in Second Language Classrooms.” Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, by Marianne Celce-Murcia et al., National Geographic Learning, Heinle Cengage Learning, 2014, pp. 320–321.

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