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Portfolio Αssessment of Speaking Skills in English as a Foreign Language in Primary Education

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Author(s): Georgia Efthymiou

Journal: Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning
ISSN 1792-1244

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 200;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: alternative assessment | young learners | needs analysis | oral portfolio Dossier | European Language Portfolio | evaluation questionnaire

ABSTRACT
This study focuses on the assessment of speaking skills with reference to young learners. This is achieved by using an alternative method of assessment, namely portfolios. The general aim is to introduce learners’ to portfolio assessment of their speaking skills and to promote further learning and autonomy making, thus, learning and assessment coexist in a non-threatening mode. Three methodological tools are used for this research; a needs analysis questionnaire addressing the pupils’ needs of the fifth grade of a Greek primary school, the European Portfolio of Languages (ELP) - used in tandem with the oral portfolio Dossier - and a final evaluation questionnaire given to the pupils after the completion of the oral portfolio project. Based on the statistical analysis of pupils’ evaluation results and the teacher’s observation throughout the school year, it is evident that the oral portfolio denotes a time-consuming and laborious assessment process. Nevertheless, the pupils see it as an interesting experience and are willing to use it again in the future. In conclusion, students’ portfolios are an innovative method of assessment that can actually promote the development of speaking skills and young learners’ metacognitive strategies in the EFL classroom, and raise their interest in learning.

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