AWEJ Volume.4 Number.2, 2013                                                                    Pp.220-234

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Developing Students’ Writing Abilities by the Use of Self Assessment through Portfolios

Saliha Chelli
Department of Foreign Languages
English Division at Biskra University, Algeria


Language learning and assessment are closely associated and often intertwined in practice; however, as teaching writing in Algeria has focused more on the finished product, students’ productions are evaluated by their test scores rather than their writing development. The purpose of this paper was to show how effective the use of self-assessment through portfolios was in developing students written productions in terms of accuracy, grammatical complexity and organization. To achieve this goal, a pre-questionnaire was administered to 100 third year participants at Omar Driss High School, and a pre-test given to an intact group of 30 students from the same population to analyse the situation before the treatment. After having been trained during a semester to self-assess their writing through portfolios, the findings revealed not only a significant improvement in students writing abilities, but also in their attitudes expressed in the post semi-structured interview in addition to the development of meta-cognitive skills necessary for effective learning. The results can provide pedagogical implications for integrating self-assessment through portfolios in teaching and assessing writing in that it fits the tenets of the competency-based approach   recently implemented in the Algerian school
Keywords: portfolios, self-assessment, writing abilities


Saliha Chelli is a lecturer at Biskra University. She holds a Ph.D in applied linguistics. Her main
areas of interest are the four skills instruction, mainly writing, learning strategies and teacher