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Self-Assessment Of And For Young Learners’ Foreign Language Learning

Y. Butler
Published 2016 · Psychology

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Despite the recent focus on self-assessment (SA) as a tool for enhancing learning, some researchers and practitioners have expressed concerns about its subjectivity and lack of accuracy. Such concerns, however, originated from the traditional, measurement-based notion of assessment (assessment of learning) rather than the learning-based notion of assessment (assessment for learning). In addition, existing research on SA in second/foreign language education has been concentrated on adult learners, leaving us with limited information on SA among young learners. In this chapter, I address both sets of issues: the confusion between the two orientations for assessment and age-related concerns regarding SA. First, I clarify the two orientations of assessment—assessment of learning and assessment for learning—and demonstrate that most of the concerns about subjectivity and accuracy apply primarily to the former orientation. Second, I detail the current findings on SA among young learners and identify the most urgent topics for future research in this area. Finally, to help teachers and researchers examine and develop SA items that are most appropriate for their purposes, I propose five dimensions that characterize existing major SAs for young learners: (a) domain setting; (b) scale setting; (c) goal setting; (d) focus of assessment; and (e) method of assessment.
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