Assessing EFL Students’ Language Proficiency in Secondary School Classes in Benin


  •   Ulrich Orlando Sèna Hindeme

  •   Katchédé Etienne Iwikotan

  •   Arlette Joséline Arlette Hounhanou


This paper presents a study on assessing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ language proficiency in Benin secondary schools. Assessment and evaluation are indispensable components of English language teaching. Assessing students is crucial to both learners and teachers themselves in the sense that its basic function is to improve learning. However, much awareness has not been raised on the key roles of assessment in Benin secondary schools. This study aims at investigating how effective teachers’ assessment of their learners’ language abilities is in EFL classroom and to explore EFL learners’ attitude towards assessment. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, 56 EFL teachers and 458 lower intermediate and upper EFL learners in the Atlantic region in Benin participated in this study. The field study revealed that many teachers wrongly mistake assessment for test and thus use both terms to mean the same thing. Teachers have not been able to see tests as a way of assessing their teaching methods and upgrading their students’ language skills. Besides, most teachers stated that testing is the only tool they use in assessing their learners’ language proficiency and it is mostly for the purpose of assigning grades at the end of the terms. Students declared that most tests consist of grammar questions. As this study draws attention to the close relationship between assessment and teaching, training workshops have been recommended to guide and train teachers on how to effectively assess their students so that teaching and learning in the EFL classroom meet expected objectives and goals.

Keywords: Assessment, test, evaluation, language proficiency, EFL learners.


Gultom, E. (2016). Assessment and evaluation in EFL teaching and learning. Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on English Language and Teaching, 190-198.

Brindley, G. (2001). Assessment. In Carter, R., & Nunan, D. The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge University Press.

Brown, H.D. (1994). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. Prentice Hall Regents.

Richards, J.C. (2020). Difference between testing and assessment.

Ouahiani, A.B. (2016). Assessment in the EFL university classroom: Between tradition and innovation. Revue Académique des Etudes Humaines et Sociales, B (15), 3-10.

Durairajan, G. (2016). Assessing and testing learners’ language proficiency. Language and Language Teaching, 5(1), 52-56.

Valva, L., & Gokaj, R. (2013). Learner’s perceptions of assessment and testing in EFL classrooms in Albania. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4 (11), 509-515.

Mahmoodi-Shahrebabaki, M. (2018). Assessment, evaluation, and testing: What are the differences? Middle Tennessee State University.

Yalcin, F.T. (2017). Testing and evaluation in ELT methodology. Retrieved from

National Research Council. (2001). Classroom assessment and the national science of education standards. Atkin, J.M., Black, P., & Coffey, J. (Eds). Center for Education, Division of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Education. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

ibid., p. 22

Alorvor, L. K. and el Sadat, A. M. (2011). Effective strategies for teachers: Nation building through effective teaching (revised edition, pp. 164-169). Spirit, Soul Limited P. O. BOX AH 364, Achimota, Accra. Ghana.

Doff, A. (1988). Teach English: A training course for teachers: trainer’s hand book (pp. 258 259). Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Cambridge University Press in association with the British Council.

Harris, D. P. (1969). Testing English as a second language (pp.2-3), Georgetown University, New York: McGraw- HILL Book Company.

Sah, K.P. (2012). Assessment and test in teaching and learning. Academic Voices, 2(1), 28-32.

Carroll, J. B. (1968). The psychology of language testing. In Davies, A. (Ed.), Language testing symposium: A psycholinguistic approach (pp. 46-69). London: Oxford University Press.

Karter (2020, para. 1)

Dendrinos, B. (2015). ELT methods and practices: Testing and assessment. Retrieved from

Fulcher, G., & Davidson, F. (2007). Language testing and assessment: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.

Alvarez, O.C. (2008). Assessment and testing in the EFL classroom. Retrieved from

Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Valette, R.M. (1997). Modern Language Testing (2nd ed.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Heaton, J.B. (1988). Writing English language tests. New York: Longman Inc.

Alsalihi, H.D.A. (2019). Characteristics of a good test. Retrieved from

Middleton, F. (2019). The four types of validity. Retrieved from

Benesova, V. (2006). Testing reading in English language teaching. Univerzita Pardubice.

Rehman (2007)

Benmostefa, N. (2018). Role of classroom testing. Master 1: DAELE. Retrieved from

Wach, A. (2012). Classroom-based language efficiency assessment: A challenge for EFL teachers. GlottoDidactica xxxix (2012), 81-92.


How to Cite
Hindeme, U., Iwikotan, K., & Hounhanou, A. J. A. (2021). Assessing EFL Students’ Language Proficiency in Secondary School Classes in Benin. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 2(1), 12-19.