ONLINE TESTING OF EXTENSIVE READING AT LINGUISTICS FACULTIES
The paper deals with extensive reading at the linguistics faculties. The objective of the research is to prove the positive influence of online tests on learning outcomes at extensive reading classes. It has become commonplace to assess and influence extensive reading outcomes by the means of oral speech practice and communication while online support application is traditionally withheld and used mainly for placement testing that measures reading fluency. On the contrary, the authors of the present study applied online testing for improving reading comprehension and new vocabulary acquisition. The material of the research is the set of online and offline activities for the second-year students of the linguistics faculty (South Ural State University) reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen in the course of extensive reading. The research conducted by the authors proved to be successful as it not only enlarged students’ vocabulary and assisted them in understanding the plot details, but also it reduced teacher preparation time, optimized classroom practice, and stimulated students’ diligence.
To create the set of online activities the authors used the multimedia learning platform Educaplay (https://www.educaplay.com/) which allows the user to generate various kinds of educational resources with the element of gamification. Among them the authors selected the following:
• Fill in the blanks;
• Matching game;
• Matching columns;
• Wordsearch puzzle;
All the activities (44 in total) are combined in 7 collections (one per class) and focus on the plot and vocabulary of the certain part of the book. The students (34 students in 3 academic groups) get their free membership in the Educaplay group ER Pride and Prejudice (https://en.educaplay.com/en/grupos/id/17560/er_pride_and_prejudice_susu.htm). They have unlimited number of attempts to complete the activities, automated self-check and limited time per activity. Moreover, all the progress including the scores, time spent, date, and the number of attempts is reflected in the personal, activity, and group statistics, thus allowing the teachers to monitor and assess the students’ progress. Therefore, working with such a platform while teaching extensive reading represents an innovative approach for efficient learning management.
The evaluation of the results obtained against the results of the traditional offline approach proves that applying online testing for extensive reading studies is productive. Thus, it gives the students who major in linguistics an opportunity not only to improve their fluency but also to master their reading comprehension and acquire new vocabulary important for further professional development.