Portfolio-based language assessment: perspective of newcomer adult english second language learners

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University of New Brunswick


This research project focused on providing an opportunity for ESL adult newcomers to give their perspectives on the various aspects of Portfolio Based Language Assessment. The five aspects examined were goal setting, learning reflections, self assessments, peer-assessments, and formative feedback from the instructor. The research was carried over during a 16-week semester with the researcher also serving the teaching role. Using an action-research approach, the research sought to answer two main questions: 1) What are the learners’ perceptions of assessment for learning practices using the PBLA framework? 2) How can the effectiveness of formative assessment strategies be improved in Language Instruction for Newcomer to Canada (LINC) classes? The results of the research showed that the participants perceived goal setting, peer assessments and learning reflections to have a positive effect on their language learning, while they showed overall ambivalence towards self-assessment and feedback from the instructor.