Investigating the Effect of Portfolio Assessment on Vocabulary Learning of Iranian EFL Learners

Authors: SHABAN BERIMANI & MARYAM MOHAMMADI

Vocabulary as a major component of language learning has been the objective of numerous studies, each of which has its own contribution to the field. This study tried to investigate the effect of portfolio assessment as a teaching, learning and assessment tool on vocabulary learning of Iranian intermediate EFL learners. To this end, forty-three EFL female learners aged from 14 to 18 were chosen through convenience sampling from Shokouh language institute in Qhaemshahr, Mazandaran province. They were randomly assigned into two groups: experimental (n=24) and control group (n=19). The experimental group received the treatment i.e. portfolio assessment. They were asked to make portfolios. During the study learners reflected on assessment that they completed and created a portfolio to show what and how they learned and the teacher provided them with feedback whereas the control group received conventional classroom instruction. After the treatment, by pre-test/ post-test comparison the researcher found that participants of the experimental group who were exposed to the techniques of portfolio assessment, gained better scores in the process of learning vocabulary and outperformed the learners in the control group. Both high-stake and low-stake holders can avail from the findings of this study. The results have also some implications for assessment, teaching and learning of L2 vocabulary learning.

Key words: portfolio assessment, vocabulary learning, EFL learners.

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