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Self-Assessment to Improve Learners’ English Discussion Skills

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Katsuya Yokomoto, Rikkyo University


In this study, an investigation into how self-assessment might help Japanese university students in a freshman English Discussion Class learn discussion skills was conducted. In each lesson, the students used a self-check sheet after each of two discussions to self-assess how well they used the discussion skills they had studied. After reflecting on their own performance in the first self-check, the students chose the criteria they wished to focus on in the second discussion. For the quantitative analysis of the effects of the self-assessment, the students’ performance scores given by the instructor on the two discussions were compared. The results showed that the scores of the chosen criteria improved significantly more than those of the criteria they had not chosen. In addition, 10 students were randomly selected for interviews, and in the interview, they reported that the self-check had helped them understand the lesson objectives better and remember the skills for discussion. On this basis, the conclusion arrived at in this study is that self-assessment can help students to learn discussion skills.
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