Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Spring 10-21-2020

Document Type



Gallardo, C (2020). Seeing Formative Assessments from a Broad Perspective. The Nebraska Educator, Volume 5 (2020), pp.194-215

ISSN 2375-6853

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.ne010


© 2020 University of Nebraska


October 2020 | 194 Seeing Formative Assessments from a Broad Perspective Consuelo M. Gallardo Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education University of Nebraska-Lincoln Abstract Despite the fact that many experts in the assessment field have advocated for the use of formative assessments, little attention has been paid to their thorough elaboration and application in Ecuadorian English as Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. Some teachers have overlooked the validity of formative assessment as tools to inform instruction and language learning growth, so its application has generated a big debate. Therefore, this paper presents a literature review of perceptions and experiences of diverse scholars and practitioners who have analyzed the validity of formative assessments and conducted studies in EFL classrooms. It starts by providing information related to the characteristics and purposes of formative assessments. It also describes their application and impact on teaching and learning. It highlights how formative assessments can invite students to take learning ownership and provide immediate feedback to improve language development. Subsequently, it shows the advantages and challenges of formative assessments, which include peer reviews, peer assessments, self-assessments, and portfolios. Additionally, it points out the effects of formative assessments to check students’ language proficiency growth and teacher awareness. Finally, it discusses a summary of encouraging and challenging literature review findings, future research questions, and a call for action. This literature review invites EFL teachers to see formative assessments from a broad perspective increase their awareness and reflect on their further applicability.