Language and Sociocultural Theory, Vol 6, No 1 (2019)

Expanding the role of Dynamic Assessment in language education

Marta ​Antón
Issued Date: 4 Sep 2019


The four research studies included in this issue exemplify different approaches to the implementation of dynamic assessment (DA) in second language learning and teaching contexts. Although the studies are quite different from each other, they are unified by a focus on learner development and by a genuine effort to respond to challenges in concrete teaching situations in a way that is practical, meaningful, and accessible to teaching practitioners. As a whole, the studies contribute toward the development of a pedagogica program that is based on the principles of sociocultural theory. In what follows, I will briefly review the emergence of DA in the spectrum of assessment trends that depart significantly from traditional assessment, highlighting the main characteristics of DA and how it has been implemented in second language contexts. Then I will discuss how the four articles in this issue illustrate different aspects of DA, and how all of them are innovative and contribute to the expansion of DA in L2 educational settings.

Download Media

PDF Subscribers Only

DOI: 10.1558/lst.38913


Ableeva, R. (2008). The effects of dynamic assessment on L2 listening comprehension. In J. Lantolf and M. Poehner (Eds), Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages, 57–86. London and Oakville, CT: Equinox Publishing.

Alderson, J. C. (2005). Diagnosing Foreign Language Proficiency: the Interface Between Learning and Assessment. London: Continuum.

Antón, M. (2009). Dynamic assessment of advanced foreign language learners. Foreign Language Annals 42 (3): 576–598.

Antón, M. (2012). Dynamic assessment. In G. Fulcher and F. Davidson (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing, 106–119. London: Routledge.

Antón, M. (2015). Shifting trends in the assessment of classroom interaction. In N. Markee (Ed.), The Handbook of Classroom Discourse and Interaction, 74–89. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Antón, M. (2018). Dynamic diagnosis of second language abilities. In J. Lantolf, M. Poehner, and M. Swain (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Development, 310–323. London: Routledge.

Black P. J. and William, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education 5: 7–74.

Davin, K. (2013). Integration of dynamic assessment and instructional conversations to promote development and improve assessment in the language classroom. Language Teaching Research 17 (2): 303–322.

Davin, K. (2016). Classroom dynamic assessment: A critical examination of constructs and practices. Modern Language Journal 100 (4): 813–829.

Davin, K. and Donato, R. (2013). Student collaboration and teacher-directed classroom dynamic assessment: A complementary pairing. Foreign Language Annals 46 (1): 5–22.

Davison, C. and Leung, C. (2009). Current issues in English language teacher-based assessment. TESOL Quarterly 43 (3): 393–415.

Fulcher, G. and Davidson, F. (Eds) (2012). The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing. London: Routledge.

García, P. (2011). Dynamic assessment and the Spanish classroom: Implications for teaching. Actas del IX Congreso Internacional de Lingüística General, 949–963. Valladolid, 21–23 June.

Grigorenko, E. (2009). Dynamic assessment and response to intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities 42 (2): 111–132.

Grigorenko, E. and Sternberg, R. (1998). Dynamic testing. Psychological Bulletin 124: 75–111.

Hill, K. and Sabet, M. (2009). Dynamic speaking assessments. TESOL Quarterly 43 (3): 537– 545.

Hill, K. and McNamara, T. (2012). Developing a comprehensive, empirically based research framework for classroom-based assessment. Language Testing 29 (3): 395–420.

Hornberger, N. (Ed.) (2007). The Encyclopedia of Language and Education, vol. 7: Language Testing and Assessment, E. Shohamy (Ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jang, E. (2012). Diagnostic assessment in language classrooms. In G. Fulcher and F. Davidson (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing, 120–133. London: Routledge.

Lantolf, J. P. and Poehner, M. E. (2007). Dynamic assessment. In N. Hornberger (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Language and Education, vol. 7: Language Testing and Assessment, 273–285. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lantolf, J. P. and Poehner, M. E. (2014). Sociocultural Theory and the Pedagogical Imperative in L2 Education. NewYork: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Lantolf, J. P., Poehner, M. E., and Swain, M. (Eds). (2018). Handbook of Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. London: Routledge.

Lantolf, J. P. and Thorne, S. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leung, C. (2007). Dynamic assessment: Assessment for and as teaching? Language Assessment Quarterly 4 (3): 257–278.

Lidz, C. (1991) Practitioner’s Guide to Dynamic Assessment. New York: Guilford Press.

Lund, A. (2008). Assessment made visible. Individual and collective practices. Mind, Culture, and Activity 15: 32–51.

McNamara, T. (1997). Interaction in second language performance assessment: Whose performance? Applied Linguistics 18: 446–466.

McNamara, T. and Rover, C. (2006). Language Testing: The Social Dimension. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Minick, N. (1987). Implications of Vygotsky’s theories for dynamic assessment. In C. Lidz (Ed.), Dynamic Assessment, 116–140. New York: Guilford Press.

Negueruela, E. (2003). A sociocultural approach to the teaching and learning of second languages: Systemic-theoretical instruction and L2 development. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Negueruela, E. and Lantolf, J. P. (2006). Concept-based instruction and the acquisition of L2 Spanish. In R. Salaberry and B. Lafford (Eds), The Art of Teaching Spanish. Second Language Acquisition from Research to Praxis, 79–102. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Oskoz, A. (2005). Students’ dynamic assessment via online chat, CALICO Journal 22 (3): 513–536.

Poehner, M. E. (2007). Beyond the test: L2 dynamic assessment and the transcendence of mediated learning. Modern Language Journal 91 (3): 323–340.

Poehner, M. E. (2008). Both sides of the conversation: The interplay between mediation and learner reciprocity in dynamic assessment. In J. Lantolf and M. Poehner (Eds), Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages, 33–56. London and Oakville, CT: Equinox Publishing.

Poehner, M. E. (2009). Group dynamic assessment: Mediation for the L2 classroom. TESOL Quarterly 43 (3): 471–491.

Poehner, M. E. (2010). Dynamic Assessment: A Vygotskian Approach to Understanding and Promoting L2 Development. Berlin: Springer Science.

Poehner, M. E. and Lantolf, J. P. (2005). Dynamic assessment in the language classroom, Language Teaching Research 9: 1–33.

Poehner, M. E. and Infante, P. (2016). Mediated development: A Vygotskian approach to transforming learner L2 abilities. TESOL Quarterly.

Poehner, M. E. and Lantolf, J. P. (2013). Bringing the ZPD into the equation: Capturing L2 development during computerized dynamic assessment. Language Teaching Research 17 (3): 323–342.

Poehner, M. E. , Zhang, J., and Lu, X. (2015). Computerized dynamic assessment (C-DA): Diagnosing L2 development according to learner responsiveness to mediation. Language Testing 32 (3): 337–357.

Rahimi, M., Kushki, A., and Nassaji, H. (2015). Diagnostic and developmental potentials of dynamic assessment for L2 writing. Language and Sociocultural Theory 2 (2): 185–208.

Rea-Dickins, P. (2004). Understanding teachers as agents of assessment. Language Testing 21: 249–258.

Rea-Dickins, P. and Gardner, S. (2000). Snares and silver bullets: Disentangling the construct of formative assessment, Language Testing 17: 215–243.

Sternberg, R. J. and Grigorenko, E. L. (2002). Dynamic Testing. The Nature and Measurement of Learning Potential. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Turner, C. (2012). Classroom assessment. In G. Fulcher and F. Davidson (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing, 65–78. London: Routledge.

Turner, C. E. and Purpura, J. E. (2015). Learning-oriented assessment in the classroom. Handbook of Second Language Assessment. Berlin/Boston, MA: DeGruyter Mouton.

van Compernolle, R. and Kinginger, C. (2013). Promoting metapragmatic development through assessment in the zone of proximal development. Language Teaching Research 17 (3): 282–302.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy