In this chapter, we analyse the practices and attitudes of German teachers regarding assessment of refugee students learning Spanish or English as foreign languages. The data were collected through interviews with ten Spanish or English teachers dealing with refugee students in their classrooms in secondary schools in Hamburg in 2017 (Thölkes, “Schaffen die das?”. Die Leistungsbeurteilung geflüchteter Kinder und Jugendlicher in der Regelklasse aus der Perspektive von Fremdsprachenlehrkräften. M.A. Thesis, University of Hamburg: 2018). Through content and discourse analysis, evidence was found of the tension teachers perceive between standardization, i.e., the aim of comparing students’ achievements and profiles in a fair, uniform way, and differentiation, i.e., the recognition that students have neither the same social, psychological, and physical starting points, nor the same linguistic profiles. As a consequence, assessment of student performance is left to the teacher’s judgment based on subjective perceptions rather than on objective assessment policies. The results demonstrate that regardless of the teachers’ efforts to properly assess the refugee students within the normative framework provided by the administration, or their positive discourse regarding integration and acceptance of young refugees, they nonetheless appear to be influenced by normative and monolingual representations and practices in terms of plurilingual refugee student assessment. The chapter concludes with a set of strategies intended to challenge monolingual and monoglossic assessment practices in the foreign language classroom.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-79237-4_10
ISSN: 1572-0292