English learning portfolios in the secondary curriculum concepts and design
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English Learning Portfolios in the Secondary Curriculum: Concepts and Design. 27 May 2006 Juliana Chau Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Outline: Portfolio-based learning / assessment. Definition Concept Trend Examples References. Definition .

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English learning portfolios in the secondary curriculum concepts and design

English Learning Portfolios in the Secondary Curriculum:Concepts and Design

27 May 2006

Juliana Chau

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Outline portfolio based learning assessment
Outline: Portfolio-based learning / assessment

  • Definition

  • Concept

  • Trend

  • Examples

  • References


  • A portfolio is a purposefulcollection of student work that exhibits the student's efforts, progress, and achievementsin one or more areas of the curriculum.

    (Paulson, Paulson & Meyer, 1991, pp.60-61)

  • Portfolios are

    • purposefully organised documentation

    • represent connections between actions and beliefs, thinking and doing, and evidence and criteria

    • are a medium for reflection through which the builder (student) constructs meaning.

      (Jones and Shelton, 2006, p.18)

  • Characteristics:

    • product (end result)

    • process (developmental, personal change)

    • reflection (insight, future direction)

       Collect….Select….Reflect

Definition of evidence
Definition of Evidence

  • All of the components supporting the student’s claim of competence regarding knowledge, skills, dispositions and accomplishments.

  • Two types of evidence

    • Personal documents (i.e. whothe student is)

    • Artifacts (i.e. what the student knows and can do)

  • Examples of evidence

  • Personal documentsArtifacts____

    reflections study plans

    awardsprogress reports

    certificatesaudio or video tapes

    aims/ objectiveswork samples

    (Jones & Shelton, 2006, pp.65-66)

Portfolio type
Portfolio type

  • Documentation Portfolio

    • shows growth and improvement over time

    • e.g. drafts, finished products

  • Process portfolio

    • documents all phases of the learning process

    • emphasises students’ reflection upon their learning process

    • shows how students integrate specific knowledge or skills and progress towards both basic and advanced mastery

    • e.g. reflective journals, think logs

  • Showcase portfolio

    • is best for summative evaluation

    • includes student’s very best completed work

    • e.g. audio-visual artifacts: photos, electronic records of students’ work; written analysis and reflections


  • Activity theory

    • routinised operations conscious goal-directed actions if the conditions change

  • Language learning strategies cannot be directly taught and implemented by learners with uniform success…Rather….to encourage the learner to adopt a new, more strategic conception of the task at hand…

  • Three levels of activity

    • object-oriented learning activity ( why the learner is using a particular strategy)

    • goal-directed action (how the learner is going about this task)

    • the operational composition of these actions under particular conditions (how the situation shapes strategic action)

      (Donato & McCormick, 1994)

Portfolio vs diary journal
Portfolio vs diary/journal

  • Diary / journal

    • Rather disconnected, dependent on isolated introspection

  • Portfolio

    • Reflective, concrete self-selected evidence of student’s growing language abilities required

    • Directly connected to material products of student’s learning

    • Benchmark for thinking about performance, planning future courses of action, monitoring accomplishments

      (Donato & McCormick, 1994)

Trend 1
Trend (1)

  • Use of portfolios

    • Primary education (e.g. Australia, U.S, HK)

    • Primary/Secondary education (e.g. Israel, HK)

    • Tertiary education (e.g. U.K.,U.S., Australia, Taiwan, HK)

  • Purpose of portfolio use

    • Language learning, assessment, personal or professional development

    • ‘a learning and assessment portfolio’

      a) formative (ipsative, self-referenced)

      b) summative (achievements, criterion-referenced)

      (Dysthe & Engelsen, 2004)

Trend 2
Trend (2)

E-portfolio in Hong Kong universities

  • December 2004 – to create an e-portfolio to document university students’ achievements and language development

    • 2005/06 (HKU and UST)

    • 2006/07 ( trials at other universities)

    • 2008/09 ( all eight universities)

  • Learning and exitportfolios

  • Aims:

    • Presentation of a professional image; artifacts showcasing students’ personal qualities and skills

    • responsibility for learning; ability to self-assess, reflect and set goals


Reading writing sample contents 1
Reading/Writing Sample Contents (1)

Arlington County Public Schools, Virginia

  • Reading

    • Teacher observation log

    • Examples of what students can read

    • Books/materials

    • Audiotape of student reading

    • Test results, formal and informal

    • Conferencing forms

    • Examples of skills mastered

  • Writing

    • First piece of writing each year

    • Learning log, dialogue log

    • Drafts and final products from different genres( personal narratives, letters, poems, essay reports)

    • Graphics (illustrations, diagrams)

Reading writing sample contents 2
Reading/Writing Sample Contents (2)

Orange County Public Schools, Florida

  • Core elements

    • Reading development checklist

    • Three writing samples

    • List of books read independently

  • Optional elements

    • Student self-assessment

    • Reading journals

    • Audiotapes of student reading

    • ‘Things I can do ‘ List

    • Test results, formal and informal

    • Reading comprehension tests

    • Running records and anecdotal records

Reading writing sample contents 3
Reading/Writing Sample Contents (3)

  • Arlington

    • Reading and writing entries

  • Orange County

    • Core (required) and optional items

  • Benefits of the latter

    Required items- to communicate students’ progress to other teachers; can include students’ ‘best’ work;

    Optional items- drafts of work in progress, ongoing ratings of performance, occasional pieces

  • Use of required items introduces an element of consistency in the evaluation of student portfolios

  • Optional and obligatory items

    • a) give teachers information for making instructional decisions

    • b) encourage students to participate actively in portfolio design and use

      (Pierce & O’Malley, 1992)

Vermont example 1
Vermont: Example (1)

  • Writing portfolio- ‘best piece’ + others of specified types

  • Five assessment dimensions:

    • Purpose

    • Organisation

    • Details

    • Voice/tone

    • Usage/mechanics/grammar

  • Four-level scale for each dimension

    (Klenowski, 2002, p.74)

Kentucky example 2
Kentucky: Example (2)

  • Writing portfolio: a personal narrative; a poem/play/piece of fiction; one informative/persuasive piece; one piece from any subject area other than English; a best piece; a letter to the reviewer about the piece

  • Six dimensions:

    • Purpose/approach

    • Idea development

    • Organisation

    • Sentences

    • Wording

    • Surface features

  • Four levels of performance:

    • Novice

    • Apprentice

    • Proficient

    • Distinguished

  • One single grade for the entire portfolio

    (Klenowski, 2002, p.74)

French class example 3
French Class: Example (3)

  • University of Pittsburgh, French class

  • Performance-based, portfolio assessment

  • Students to provide evidence, every three weeks, of their abilityto recognise and use the language functions

  • Evidence submitted: cassette recordings, reports on French films, reports on the use of French out of class, an in-class project

  • End of semester:

    • A written activity – review of previous submissions/reflections deemed as significant in language learning

  • Themes emerge: self-assessment (can, can’t); goal-setting ( want, desire); strategy use (action taken); reference to evidence( link between past achievements and future attainments, catalyst for reflection)

    (Donato & McCormick, 1994, p.458)

University in taiwan example 4 using portfolio as a learning tool in freshman english courses

University in Taiwan: Example 4Using Portfolio as a Learning Tool inFreshman English Courses

Application 1

Learning strategy based lsb instruction
Learning Strategy-Based (LSB) Instruction

  • A learner-focused approach to teaching that emphasizes both explicit and implicit integration of language learning strategies in the language classroom.

  • LSB instruction helps students

    • become more aware of available strategies

    • understand how to organize and use strategies systematically and effectively

    • learn when and how to transfer the strategies to new contexts

    • (Yang, 2005)


Like all beneficial innovations, its greatest benefits come when it is not entered into lightly or unquestioningly, but when critical eyes are brought to bear upon it, demanding enlightenment and thereby helping to ensure excellence.

(Hamp-Lyons & Condon,1993, p.177)

References 1
References (1)

  • Donato, R. & McCormick, D. (1994). A socio-cultural perspective on language learning strategies: the role of mediation. The Modern Language Journal, 78(4), 453-464.

  • Dysthe, O. & Engelsen, K.S. (2004). Portfolios and assessment in teacher education in Norway: a theory-based discussion of different models in two sites. Assessment and Education in Higher Education, 29(2), 239 -258.

  • Hamp-Lyons, L. & Condon, W. (1993). Questioning assumptions about portfolio-based assessment. College Composition and Communication, 44(2), 176-190.

  • Hamp-Lyons, L. & Condon, W. (2000).Assessing the portfolio: principles for practice, theory, and research. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

  • Jones, M. & Shelton, M. (2006). Developing your portfolio: enhancing your learning and showing your stuff. New York: Routledge.

References 2
References (2)

  • Klenowski, V. (2002). Developing portfolios for learning and assessment. London: Routledge Falmer.

  • Paulson F.L., Paulson, P.R. & Meyer, C. (1991). What makes a portfolio a portfolio? Educational Leadership, 48(5), 60-63.

  • Pierce, L.V. & O’Malley, J.M. (1992). Performance and portfolio assessment for language minority students. NCBE Program Information Guide Series, 9, 1-38.URL:www.ncbe.gwu.edu (Accessed 10 April 2006).

  • Prince George’s County Public Schools. URL: www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~elc/portfolio.html. (Accessed 15 April 2006)

  • Yang, N.D. (2005).Using portfolios for teaching English.