Using Single-Point Rubrics in the Secondary ESL Class to Support Learning

Offering more constructive feedback on your ESL learners' performance than assigning a number to their work might help them achieve learning goals faster than you think.


What is a single-point rubric?


Single-point rubrics contain the success criteria of a certain task, and they allow teachers to highlight which elements of a student’s performance have surpassed expectations and which ones still need improvement. Instead of focusing on the grade, educators encourage learners to reflect on their performance based on the feedback received. In a nutshell, single-point rubrics promote the use of constructive comments instead of assigning scores or grades that learners may consider final.


Why use single-point rubrics in the ESL class?

  • Single-point rubrics are perfect as formal assessment tools to help students achieve learning goals (mastery of speaking, reading, and writing skills).

  • By using single-point rubrics, both teachers and learners focus on the degree of development of competencies/skills instead of giving importance to scores or grades.

  • The teacher’s feedback help learners become aware of which skills they already master and which they still need to improve.

  • They assist students in understanding their performance instead of leaving them puzzled trying to figure out why they received a certain grade they do not fully comprehend.

  • They encourage students to reflect on their performance, so they engage in their learning more meaningfully.

  • They support learning and the development of skills/competencies.

  • They leave room for improvement.



Overall, single-point rubrics are assessment tools that are perfect for providing comments on students’ performance to help them improve and take more risks. If you are willing to try out single-point rubrics in your secondary ESL class, I have a ready-made set in my TpT store that you might like: Single-Point ESL Rubrics.


Happy teaching!


Kynga C.




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