Effects of Electronic Portfolios on EFL Oral Performance

| June 24, 2010
Title
Effects of Electronic Portfolios on EFL Oral Performance

Keywords: electronic portfolios, oral performance, EFL learning

Authors
Heng-Tsung Danny Huang
The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Shao-Ting Alan Hung
National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Bio Data
Heng-Tsung Danny Huang is currently a doctoral candidate in Foreign Language Education at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. His research interests lie in computer-assisted language teaching and learning, language assessment, and foreign language reading instruction.

Shao-Ting Alan Hung is an assistant professor in the Department of English at National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan and an adjunct instructor at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. His research areas include computer-assisted language teaching and learning, language assessment, and second language writing pedagogy.

Abstract
Electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) refer to the online virtual spaces where students upload artifacts to document and showcase their learning processes. In the literature, some studies have examined the practice of this novel learning tool in L1 and L2 writing classrooms. However, few attempts have hitherto been invested to put to empirical test its impact on speaking skills. The current study, for that reason, set out to address the issue as to whether the incorporation of e-portfolios in EFL conversation classes would give rise to better oral performance. Thirty EFL college students were selected into either the control group or the e-portfolio group. During the course of a semester, the e-portfolio group constructed individual speaking e-portfolios where they uploaded recordings of their opinions on assigned topics on a bi-weekly basis, paid regular visits to their peers e-portfolios, and dispatched feedback on their peers work. By contrast, the control group simply recorded their opinions onto compact disks to be turned in to the instructor. Students oral performance garnered through pre- and post-study recordings were calculated in terms of total words, lexical richness, and syntactic complexity, and then submitted to several ANCOVAs for statistical examination. The results revealed that the e-portfolio group outperformed its control counterpart in a statistically significant manner in terms of total words and lexical richness but not in regard to syntactic complexity, suggesting that e-portfolios functioned to benefit learners oral performance lexically but not syntactically. In addition, this digital version of portfolios was found to be met with immense acceptability by the students. Drawing on the findings, two pedagogical implications are then proposed.

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See pages: 192-212

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 12 Issue 2