Learning to Test – Day 2

“I am looking forward to performing the testing. I think it’s going to be interesting. We have never used toys as testing tools at school,” says Monika Hirková, a psychology student at the Faculty of Arts at Prešov University in Prešov.

Monika and her colleagues, Zuzana Šašalová, Mária Bertová and Lucia Stahovcová, have been through the second day of the training in testing the children involved in the research on the application of the Feuerstein Method of Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) in educating children from marginalized Roma communities. Today´s training, led by PhDr. Miroslava Nováková Schöffelová, PhD of the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague, has focused on the issue of language testing. The zero- and first-grade primary school students are going to be tested on 7 September at Podsadek Primary School in Stará Ľubovňa, on 14 September at the Primary School in Veľká Ida and on 21 September at the Primary School in Herľany, attended by children from Rankovce. The final testing is going to be performed at the end of the 2015–2016 school year.

“Toys can be used in a number of interesting ways. We tell the children a story and their task is to perform it using toys,” Mirka, the instructor specializing in language skills development at Charles University, explains the role played by toys in testing. “From the point of view of learning to read and write, the most important thing is phonemic manipulation – the ability to realize that a word is composed of individual speech sounds, which is something we can work with. For example, changing the first phone in the word dog, we can get the word fog,” she clarifies. She adds that intervention in the area of language skills development, according to an existing methodology, might help in the environment of marginalized communities.