Assessment Practices of Preparatory Year English Program (PYEP): Investigating Student Advancement through Third and Fourth Levels

  •  Rana Obaid    


This small-scale mixed method research focuses on investigating the way Preparatory Year English Program (PYEP) female students in a Saudi tertiary level institution context are assessed and how they are advanced from level three (Pre-intermediate) and level four (Intermediate). A four-point agreement scale survey was conducted with fifteen English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in the PYEP to critically investigate the issue from their own perspective. Furthermore, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight EFL students studying in PYEP in the third and fourth levels. The analysis of the data indicated that teachers were lenient in grading students. They tend to adjust grading practices to the benefit of the students, so students were allowed to pass and progress to the next level up. Additionally, the interviewed students argued that teachers could help them by granting them up to five grace marks to pass their exams. The study also showed that teachers possessed sufficient power in assigning grades following assessment. They used this power to the advantage of their students to make them advance to the following level. The study concludes with suggestions and recommendations for further research.

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