Volume 11, Issue 3 (2020)                   LRR 2020, 11(3): 347-377 | Back to browse issues page

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Vafaeimehr R, Baleghizadeh S. EFL Learners’ Perceptions and Practices of Reflective Assessment and Its’ Impact on Their General English Achievements. LRR. 2020; 11 (3) :347-377
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-42536-en.html
1- Ph.D. Candidate in English Language Teaching, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. , s_baleghizadeh@sbu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1764 Views)
The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of practicing reflective assessment (RA) strategies in language classroom and to examine EFL learners’ perceptions regarding RA. In order to do so, the following research questions and hypotheses were answered:
Research questions:
  1. Does applying RA strategies impact EFL learners’ achievements in General English (GE) classes?
  2. Is there any statistically significant difference in post-test scores of EFL learners who practiced RA strategies and who did not?
  3. Is there any statistically significant difference in retention-test scores of EFL learners who practiced RA strategies and who did not?
  4. What are EFL learners’ perceptions regarding the application of RA strategies in language classroom?
 
Research hypotheses:
  1. Applying RA strategies does not impact EFL learners’ achievements in General English classes.
  2. There is not any statistically significant difference in post-test scores of EFL learners who practiced RA strategies and who did not.
  3. There is not any statistically significant difference in retention-test scores of EFL learners who practiced RA strategies and who did not.
This study followed a mixed-methods design and both quantitative and qualitative data were used. The participants of the quantitative phase were 90 Computer Engineering students at Shahid Beheshti University who took part in General English (GE) classes. Two classes were selected and randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Intermediate-level learners were selected based on their Oxford Placement Test’s scores. After pretest, in the experimental group, the students practiced Ellis's (2001) RA strategies, but in the control group, the normal course of class was followed. Five RA strategies (Ellis, 2001) were practiced in the experimental group. They were I Learned Statement, Talk about it (Think Aloud), Clear and unclear windows, The week in review, and Record keeping: After ten sessions, the posttest was administered and four weeks later, delayed posttest was administered. Considering the qualitative phase of the study, the participants were 45 computer engineering students (experimental group) and their perceptions regarding RA were extracted using questions and a questionnaire (Kourilenko, 2013). To do so, the participants were asked to complete a questionnaire and answer two interview questions regarding the application of RA and its impact on their English language achievements. After both quantitative and qualitative data collection, the data were analyzed. For quantitative data analysis, paired-samples t-test and independent-samples t-tests were used, and for qualitative data analysis, content analysis was run. The results revealed that the practice of RA strategies had a positive impact on EFL learners’ GE achievements (t (44) = -8.7, p<0.05). Furthermore, it was found that there were statistically significant differences between experimental and control groups’ scores in posttest (t (88) = 3.25, p< 0.05) and retention test (t (88) = 4.58, p< 0.05). According to the data, EFL learners, who practiced RA strategies, had higher scores in their post-test and retention-test compared to their control group counterparts. Besides, the analysis of the qualitative data showed that EFL learners had a positive approach to RA, and themes like increased collective morale, enhanced awareness of errors, and increased motivation to learn were the most frequent ones regarding positive impacts of RA and lack of time and knowledge, tediousness of over-practicing, and lack of students’ cooperation were found to be obstacles in practicing RA in the language classroom. The results of this study may have beneficial implications for EFL learners, teachers and material developers. EFL learners can apply different RA strategies in their learning process to increase their awareness of what they have learned and how they have learned them. EFL teachers should encourage their learners to practice RA strategies and provide them with appropriate feedback to help them improve their learning. Finally, EFL material developers can insert activities in the books and educational materials which trigger students’ reflection. Moreover, they can design activities which motivate learners to write reflective journals and record their scores in order to follow the way of their progress. Overall, this study revealed that practicing RA strategies are beneficial in language classroom and EFL learners have positive attitudes toward it. It is noteworthy to state that this is the first study conducted in Iran considering the implementation of RA and its effectiveness in the language classroom. It is hoped that it paves the way for further research in the realm of RA in Iran.
 
 
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: English language
Published: 2020/07/31

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