How to evaluate students

Erika wrote in to ask:

How do you evaluate your students? Do you use self-evaluation?

Hi Erika,

Thank you for the question and the great case study!

We do several types of evaluation.

For the full on research programmes Β we interview every student at the beginning of the course, again half way through and then at the end:

This is an example of the tests we use:

University Β researchers then analyse the data.

For reading and phonics we also use the Burt Reading test.

Or for less formal classes a lot of teachers use the new Workbooks that have “I can …” boxes that either the kids, parents or the teacher can check.
Personally I like the parents to check them, it keeps them up to date on what your are doing at school.

Or you can simply use the “Secret” warm ups to get a more holistic feel if you like:

Do any of those help?

If you have any techniques you use, please write them up in the comments!

Be genki,


P.S. Β Here’s the case study Erika sent in. Β Do you have any noisy classes?

Well, I got a very noisy class last year.

All my colleagues, including me, had problems of motivation, attention, behavior during the lesson. So I decided to try Genki English.

At first my students looked at me as if I was an alien using strange methods, but they liked this.

I can’t say I didn’t have any problems after trying to use this, but my students liked my lessons.

Even the worst ones got interested into learning English.

So I am really happy about that.

I also recommended Genki English to my colleague at work.

She is also happy with the results.

Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genkiβ€”fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!

11 Responses to “How to evaluate students”

  1. Margit

    Hi a topic even non conservative teachers will be confronted with.
    Because evaluating the kids, means nothing more than evalutaing myself as a teacher. So, I find it very important and include it in my lessons on a regular base.

    Richard, I was surprised to see the GE test for the first time. To be honest: I find this far too easy . Isn’t this something that should be covered in quick warm ups? So kids will be able to answer all of these after a few lessons, even if they are still very young.

    It would be great to get some ideas here; tests that are fun but give insight to the teacher!

    What I am doing right now:

    regular “All through warm ups” different patterns, prompting, gesturing, translating…(If possible every week as much as I can ALL

    then, my newest real fun one:
    open the first window of the software programm, with all the CD icons on it (1-12)
    It’s too small for the kids to really see much, but it is a hint.
    Now, one after the other the kids make Q:

    Student 1 asks any question he can think of from CD 1 (anyone in the class is fine to answer)
    Student 2 asks any Q from CD 2
    S3 from CD3 etc

    You will be able to figure out within seconds who is working how much at home, or which topics need review. And the kids love it (of course use some scoring game with this)

    I also used to do some conversational tests I had created (there should be a thread on the Forum somewhere), which worked really great and was motivating. But recently the kids are working so well with the software as homework, that I feel I don’t really need it anymore (It is time consuming to evaluate each student)

    And then, finally about the time we’ve been through most of the GE and also GE phonics (about 9,10 years age) we take part in the Eiken, which is a Proficiency test for English. The great thing is that it is really big in Japan, and many JH students study and work months to take this, but with the kids who have done GE there is hardly any studying involved.
    Especially the listening part is so easy for them.

    For people who are not in Japan, here is a link to the test site, maybe you can try it:

    (you don’t have to understand the Japanese the woman in the beginning is talking, just wait for the test): (go for grade 5)

    would be great to hear your comments on this.

  2. Richard

    Great post Margit!

    Margit wrote:

    I find this far too easy .

    Yes indeed, we use it when we introduce Genki English to a new school and to compare results with the previous teaching system.
    We expect 100% after the GE course (we can tell if the teacher has been doing it properly or not!) but most kids on non-GE courses can’t get past the first 2 or 3 questions when asked!

  3. Elvira

    Excellent! That’s what I need at the end of my first school year!
    A great hint! I can do my own evaluation sheet according to the curriculum I’ve chosen and my students’ skils now.
    I like your idea with Q from CDs, Margit! It’s simple but a bit challenging( at least for my students). As for stepeiken I found it difficult for my adult students so far, but I’m surely going to use it later!
    Thanks to you both!

  4. Roger

    Hi Richard,

    I looked at the test you use for first time students and it looks good, but what’s the conclusion? For younger students it’s good, but for older students there could be some phonics. And then, if a student has only a few points then he/she needs Genki, but if a students gets lots of points then what do you do? Parents in China like to see a score that will indicate for sure which book/course/level their child should study.


  5. Richard

    Hi Roger,

    Ah yes, they’re not placement tests as such, we use them to evaluate the children’s learning throughout a course. i.e. most would start near zero and move to full marks over the time period and where they get questions wrong we can see where the teachers need extra training.

    It sounds like you might need a placement test if you are offering several different courses. With GE however I would usually recommend starting all classes at the beginning of the curriculum, the students with experience will speed through the things they know and you’ll soon see what things they need more work on (which is usually confidence.)

    For the phonics the Burt Reading test is the best choice out there. But it is usually for internal evaluation of the course rather than showing to over competitive parents – that is a whole other board game, just like how Forever 21 keep increasing their “s” size to make customers feel good! 8)

  6. Jenny

    Your example test was just what I needed. I tried it with my first and second graders last term and it worked great! Instead of testing in the class (of 40 noisy kids), I asked the students during lunch, recess, or while they were waiting for the bus. When they answered all the questions I gave them a sticker. Next thing I knew all the kids were seeking me out to take the test. Some kids asked to test again! (Presumably for another sticker. πŸ™‚ This term I’m keeping the questions they struggled with to see if they’ve improved and adding in the new things we learned. Anyway, thanks again, Richard!

  7. judith

    Hi, Genki English friends.
    Evaluation is a very complex topic, however I try to be the most cooperative as possible, at the begining of the term my students and negotitate some agreenments and they have to evaluate them each class, then when the term finishes I invite them to coevaluate their process among group and lastly I heteroevaluate them according to the agreenments.

  8. Carol21463

    Hmmm I was looking through your 1 – 21 test but there are questions there related to units that are considerably further up!

    Also found that they are pretty much the same as the genki cards I had made, as they cover all the material in each unit. Thing is I use them daily to review material and extend most questions to all pronouns.

    I guess that if the kids can answer all my question cards, they are well on their way! Love it! πŸ˜‰

  9. Richard Graham

    Hi Carol,

    For that particular project we did the lessons in a different order. Usually you’d only cover the lessons that you’ve done of course πŸ™‚

    Sounds like you are doing great with your cards!

  10. Angela Stringer

    I make notes on lessons i teach and revise them in another way a few weeks later in games and this way I can pick up ( without making comments) I can evaluate.
    For noisy classes I came up with a ‘lets be quiet and balance time’. I say balance on your left leg or right leg, They have to be quiet and then its quiet instructions like close eyes, open eyes, and if they are very quiet I let a few of the students give one instruction each going around a circle. This in a way is a test as well as quietening them down. Kids love it but dont over kill as they get bored fast.

  11. Marie therese Forestier

    This is how I evaluate my students and how the parents are so happy to see the result. The Kids have to create a dialogue using the sentenses, mixing and matching them. Then they have a mini theatre I created from a cardboard box and Pupets and they really appreciate this piece of theater that they give in front of their parents………….

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