TRACKING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ PROGRESS IN LEARNING ENGLISH: URAL FEDERAL UNIVERSITY’S EXPERIENCE
Faced with the need to enhance its students’ foreign language competence, Ural Federal University embarked on a major language curriculum reform in 2013. This involved not only rethinking the teaching methodology that had prevailed in the university language classrooms, but also changing assessment practices to improve their reliability and to reflect the intended learning outcomes.
However, only in 2016 it became possible, due to some organisational changes, to introduce computer-assisted language assessment, which greatly facilitated tracking students’ learning progress and adjusting teaching to their learning needs.
The article analyses the results of four biannual tests taken by the same (more than 150) students over the last two years since the introduction of computer-based language testing and discusses the possible reasons behind the students’ scores, taking into account their entrance language proficiency level and other factors that may have affected their progress. The paper also outlines potential practical implications that can be of interest to anyone involved in foreign language teaching and assessment.