Basic statistics for ESL teachers
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The trainee or novice ESL teacher will probably be more than a little surprised to discover that a basic knowledge of statistics is a desirable asset for TEFL; indeed, nowadays, this does not apply just to TEFL but to almost any discipline which the trainee or novice ESL teacher may choose to consider.
This short article aims to briefly discuss three important ideas that are often employed in analyzing student’s examination and test scores: range, mean (average), median: the mean and the median are two of the measures of location.
For the purpose of simplicity and illustration, the following ESL test scores shall be used: Class A: 25%, 37%, 76%, 89%, and 50%; Class B: 27%, 42%, 67%, 89%, and 78% The range is defined as the difference between the highest and the lowest scores. In this case, the range of class A = 89 �€ 25 = 64% and class B = 89 �€ 27 = 62%.
As can be seen, both classes have almost the same range. The range gives the novice ESL teacher an idea of the spread between the most extreme scores; however, it does not give any information concerning the other scores. A more useful value is the average.
To calculate the average, add the scores and divide the sum by the number of scores: the average for class A = (25+37+76+89+50)÷5 = 55.4% and for class B = (27+42+67+89+78)÷5 = 60.6%. Overall, class B has performed better than class A; however, just looking at the average doesn’t always give you the whole picture. Suppose that class C also had an average of 60.6%: although on average both class B and class C have performed equally well, it does not mean that the students had identical scores, e.g. if class C’s scores were 38, 40, 93, 37, and 95, the average would be 60.6% too. Notice also how a few relatively high scores can lift the average score: in contrast, a few relatively low scores can lower the average score; because of this, the novice ESL teacher should consider using the median.
The median is the middle score in a set of scores arranged in ascending order. The median for class A = 50%, and for class B = 67%. Unlike the mean, the median is not influenced by extreme scores. Where there is an equal number of scores, simply calculate the average of the two middle terms, e.g. the median of 25%, 36%, 46%, 58%, 76%, 80% is (46+58)÷2 = 52%. Finally, don’t forget: always look at the individual ESL test/examination scores carefully when the averages from two or more identical ESL test/examination classes are very close in value – before coming to any conclusions.
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- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.