Co-assessment among language teachers

A master–apprentice relationship


  • Susanna Caliolo Stockholm University
  • Christina Hedman Stockholm University


assessment practices, co-assessment, dialogue, language assessment, language teaching, mother tongue instruction


This paper reports on a case study of online co-assessment practices among teachers of minoritized languages in the so-called Mother Tongue (MT) subject in Sweden. These co-assessments, involving both qualified and unqualified teachers, have not previously been investigated, despite the strong emphasis on co-assessment practices in the Swedish school. The data was collected both for a master’s thesis project (see unpublished thesis, Caliolo, 2021) and for the sake of this paper. On the basis of interactional analyses of three co-assessments and four teacher interviews, our aim was to contribute new knowledge on co-assessment within this institutional frame regarding how the two teacher roles in a master-apprentice relationship were produced through interaction. The scripted frame included a collaborative act of matching assessment criteria to student performance, through the authorized teacher’s controlling moves (Linell, 1990, p. 161). The authorized teachers used their roles as experts to ask clarifying questions and to orient the dialogue toward the stated standards (cf. directive moves, Linell, 1990), but also to provide space for teacher reflections through an interactional balancing act. A challenge was identified in terms of better integrating teacher experience and of providing better opportunities to co-assess with teachers who teach the same language, which allows for a closer focus on aspects of teaching. The study points to a need for further critical inquiry into these assessment practices, which undergird increasing equal educational opportunities for multilingual students, and how interpretations of current standards are linked to student performance in similar language learning contexts.



2022-06-05 — Updated on 2022-07-26


How to Cite

Caliolo, S., & Hedman, C. (2022). Co-assessment among language teachers: A master–apprentice relationship. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 16(1), 133–153. (Original work published June 5, 2022)