Computerised self-evaluation of performance in professional English

Galina Kavaliauskienė, Lilija Anusienė

Abstract


Purpose – the focus of this article is to explore self-evaluation of performance in professional English that students have to do in university studies. It is clear that students can have various problems in learning English and make mistakes in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Speaking and listening are the skills that are more common on an everyday basis than reading and writing. Speaking and listening skills have been known to be more difficult to master. English vocabulary presents another problem for language learners. At the university level, students study professional English, also called English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Students will need it for their future profession, so it is important for them to be able to evaluate their achievements in learning.

Methodology/approach – the research paper adopts the qualitative research approach. The questionnaire on learner perceptions of computerized self-evaluation of various activities was administered to students of three different specializations. Students‘ perceptions of success or failure in their performance were analyzed.

Findings. The results indicated that attitudes to computerized self-evaluation depended on the difficulty of tasks and chosen future specialization. The findings show that respondents of three investigated specializations encounter similar difficulties, but to a different degree. There are no specific problems in performance due to the complexity of the professional vocabulary that students must learn. The computations of Pearson’s correlations coefficients demonstrate that there are good correlational relationships within each specialization. The ratings of Psychology (PS) students reveal higher mean values and lower scattering of Standard Deviations in Moodle tasks than the ratings of Internet Management and Communication (IMC) students.

Research limitations. The investigated samples contain the limited number of respondents, which might raise a question of the reliability of the findings. The statistical computation of the reliability of the obtained responses will prove whether the data are reliable and may be extended beyond the studied samples.

The hypothesis for the research: students’ performance might depend on their specialization. 

Practical implications. The respondents were asked to indicate the degree of difficulty in performing various online tasks on the Likert’s scale ranging from “very difficult” to “very easy”. The analysis of the responses by a means of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software proves that despite the limited number of the respondents, the results may be extended beyond the studied samples. It means that self-evaluation of computerized activities by students studying professional English is recommended at the university level.

Originality/Value. The value of this study encompasses the statistical processing of the responses, which should prove whether the findings are reliable or not.

Research type: research paper.


Keywords


English for Specific Purposes; computerized self-evaluation; formal testing; online listening; Moodle self-checking

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/ST-14-4-1-02

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"Social Technologies" ISSN online 2029-7564