The Portfolio Concept in the English Class
A practical approach on individualisation and selfassessment in the first form NMS Köflach
In which ways does the usage of a portfolio in the English class foster individualisation and
Crucial elements in teaching are motivation and progress. Yet, which means are applied in order to achieve these goals? Yearly the PISA studies state that the general aims in education have not been achieved in some or even many aspects all over Europe. Reasons might be given from the teacher educational programme, via the teaching methods right down to a changing society. Yet, there is one factor which plays a crucial role in learning: motivation!
The best teaching methods will not lead to satisfying results if the learners are not willing and ready to learn. So the question is whether there are methods which will more likely lead to motivation than others and how to implement them in an English class.
The aim of this study therefore is to analyise the effects on the learners if one introduces a portfolio in an English class as a means of individualisation and self-assessment. The first hypothesis is that the motivation will increase if a portfolio is used because it is a very personal document to which a single individuum has got an emotional bond. Another assumption is that if the learners are continuously taught to develop strategies of selfassessment, progress in learning will subconsciously be regarded as a personal aim which will lead to better test results as a consequence.
In order to manifest these assumptions, the implementation of the usage of a portfolio has been documented and reflected upon in this study. The pupils have been questioned amongst others on the term “Portfolio”, on ways to assess progress and on their motivation in the process of designing a portfolio. Colleagues have been interviewed on the basis of a questionnaire to find out whether they use portfolios in their subjects and what their motivation to do so is.
Apart from a critical reflection on the pros and cons of the usage of a portfolio in an English class, the paper will give a lively insight and even the ground for individual adaptation for other teachers in any language class. The first stages of a guideline with teaching materials to introduce the portfolio concept in a successful way will be added in the appendix. Examples of texts taken from pupils of the 1st form NMS Köflach will give insight into the individual progress of pupils.
Autor/in: Sonja Pustak
Durchführende Institution/en: NMS Hauptschule Köflach - Schulstraße (616032)