Preparing Chinese EFL adults for life abroad: Self-assessment, listening, and speaking

Haley Dolosic, Wei-Chieh Fang, Cindy Brantmeier, Michael Strube, Yanming Gao


This study examines relationships among self-assessment and a high-stakes listening and speaking exam with 82 adult Chinese scholars seeking scholarships from the China Scholarship Council to support their research in the English-speaking academy. Students completed a criterion-referenced self-assessment questionnaire (Brantmeier, Vanderplank, & Strube, 2012) and a high-stakes test of English at the end of a rigorous English training programme aimed to prepare students for life within the English-speaking academy. Correlation analyses indicated correlations between listening and speaking performance (r = .41, p < .01) on the exam. Likewise, correlations between self-assessed listening and speaking were statistically significant (r = .76, p < .01). Yet, there is a statistically significant difference between the performance and self-assessed correlations, meaning students’ self-assessments of listening and speaking are significantly more closely associated than their actual listening and speaking performance. Further, students’ self-assessed listening and speaking abilities did not significantly correlate with performance measures on the high stakes test of listening and speaking ( p > .05). Together, these findings suggest that these learners were not able to accurately depict their own strengths and weaknesses in listening and speaking. These results are examined with reference to the unique learning context, providing insights into how practitioners can encourage Chinese EFL learners to better self-assess.


EFL, China, Self-Assessment, Language Learning, Adults

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