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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 1, 2013

Self-assessment and placement tests – a worthwhile combination?

Maike Engelhardt and Joanna Pfingsthorn


Modern socio-cognitive and meaning-oriented approaches to foreign language teaching emphasize the role of learner autonomy, which involves being aware of and responsible for one's own ways of learning as well as the utilization of one's own strengths and work on weaknesses (van Lier 1996). Allowing learners to perform self-assessment can provide a means to promote autonomy as it fosters the understanding of the learning process and its goals (Jacobs and Farell 2003). Although some studies reveal a pattern of correlations between self-assessment and a range of external assessment criteria (e.g. Oscarson 1984, 1997, 1998), and indicate that self-assessment can be applied in situations traditionally reserved for standardized assessment (e.g. LeBlanc and Painchaud 1985), the exact role of self-assessment, its validity and instrumentality for placement purposes remains relatively unexplored. This study aims to evaluate the predictive power of self-assessment based on global CEFR “can do” descriptors in the context of a university language center placement test.

Published Online: 2013-02-01
Published in Print: 2013-02-22

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston