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Self-Assessment of Speaking Skills and Participation in a Foreign Language Class



Abstract: This article investigates the ways in which learners' perception of themselves as second language (L2) speakers evolved over a 12-week period. Thirty-two students of the advanced French stream in a tertiary institution participated in this semester-long study. Students self-assessed their speaking skills and their level of participation in French oral tasks in weeks 4, 6, and 12, and set learning goals accordingly. Self-perception evolved in a positive fashion over time, particularly in relation to fluency, vocabulary, and overall confidence in speaking in the L2. In addition, individual goal-setting encouraged learners to take increased responsibility toward their own learning, although increased awareness did not necessarily lead to concrete actions to modify learning behavior. To conclude, this study highlights the potential pedagogical benefits of self-assessment at both the cognitive and affective levels.