Helping students of Arabic understand, self-assess, and improve their oral proficiency

Part 1: Why should I self-assess?

Students at a lectureSelf-assessment means judging the quality of your own performance based on specific criteria. Once you learn about oral proficiency assessment in this guide, you can start to assess your speaking skills, which can help you take charge of your own learning.


Motivational benefits of self-assessment

The process of self-assessment helps you reflect on how much you've learned. Research shows that monitoring your progress can change how you feel about language learning by increasing your

  • involvement in setting learning goals
  • sense of achievement from successes
  • motivation to learn
  • overall confidence in learning

Academic benefits of self-assessment

Self-assessment can change not only your motivation to learn, but also how you learn. Research shows that conducting self-assessment in the classroom can improve your language learning by improving your

  • awareness of goals and expectations
  • attention to strengths and weaknesses
  • independent and self-regulated learning
  • communication with teachers

Research has also shown that students are able to assess their own proficiency pretty accurately,1 so knowing how to accurately estimate how you'll do on an upcoming test may have the added benefit of decreasing your test anxiety.

For more information on the motivational and instructional benefits of self-assessment, check out the References.2

1 Bailey, 1998; Malabonga, Kenyon, & Carpenter, 2005
2 Butler & Lee, 2010; de Saint Léger, 2009

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