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Self-assessment: an alternative method of assessing speaking skills

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Author(s): Ekaterini Chalkia

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

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 225;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: self-assessment | critical thinking | intrinsic motivation | active involvement | self-regulation | feedback

ABSTRACT
The present study focuses on self-assessment as an alternative method of assessing the speaking skills of a group of sixth graders of a Greek State Primary School. The paper consists of two parts. In the first part, traditional and alternative assessment approaches are compared and a literature review on self-assessment is presented. In the second part the methodology and the findings of the study are presented. The study was carried out by means of a questionnaire and observation notes. This was done in order to draw conclusions on the benefits of self-assessment, the difficulties students faced while carrying out self-assessment as well as to reveal the extent to which students improved their speaking skills after being involved in self-assessment. The findings revealed that the students were positive towards self-assessment. Although self-assessment was of limited duration, it turned out to be a worthwhile activity as it fostered motivation and sensitized the students to take a more active role in the learning process. It also enabled them to notice their strengths and weaknesses and improve their speaking skills. The study also revealed the practical difficulties the students faced in carrying out their self-assessment. Finally, the study concludes with recommendations for further research into this specific assessment method.

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