Investigating Relationships among Chinese High School Students’ Self-Assessment of English Skills, English Proficiency, and Their Perceptions towards Self-Assessment
It is widely accepted in education that self-assessment improves students’ learning and achievement, particularly in regard to foreign language acquisition. English curriculum standards for senior high school in China has been addressing the importance of cultivating students’ self-assessment ability since 2001. Although there is a robust research literature about self-assessment in other countries, the role that self-assessment plays in students’ learning has not been sufficiently investigated in the context of English teaching and learning in China. To address this research challenge, this thesis investigated the relationships among Chinese high school students’ self-assessment of English skills, English proficiency and their perceptions towards self-assessment. A self-assessment questionnaire was utilized in this research. As the indicator of students’ English proficiency, their English examination score, including the scores of listening and speaking, reading and writing, was also collected. Participants included 302 students from one high school in Guangzhou, China. Statistical analyses included One-Sample t-test, Pearson correlation analyses, One-way ANOVA, and multiple regression analyses. The results of the research revealed four overarching findings. First, students were able to self-assess their strengths and weaknesses in reading, writing, and listening and speaking skills, and they perceived that self-assessment was a useful tool to help improve their English. Second, there was a significant and positive correlation between students’ self-assessment of English skills and their English proficiency, which only existed in high-level students, not in students of intermediate or low level. Third, there was a significant and positive correlation between students’ self-assessment of English skills and their perceptions towards self-assessment, with the variables of appraisal function and habitual action having the significant and positive power in predicting students’ self-assessment of English skills. Finally, a significant and negative correlation was found between students’ English proficiency and their perceptions towards self-assessment with only the variable of appraisal function having the significant and positive power in predicting students’ English proficiency. This study could add empirical evidence to deepen educators and school teachers’ understanding on Chinese high school students’ self-assessment of English skills and their perceptions towards self-assessment.