Self-assessment of ESP oral performance: A tool for learning and fostering learner awareness.


  • Nijolė Burkšaitienė Faculty of Philology, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Vilnius University Lithuania Universiteto str. 3, LT-01513 Vilnius



self-assessment, ESP oral performance, gaps and difficulties in ESP oral performance, learner awareness, higher education


Aim. Research to date acknowledges the learning, instructional and assessment advantages of self-assessment used in different fields of study in higher education contexts, yet little known research has focused on its use for learning and raising learner awareness while studying English for Specific Purposes (ESP). To this end, the present small-scale study examines the use of self-assessment of philology students’ ESP oral performance at a university in Lithuania.

Method. The data for this research was collected from undergraduate students’ written reports on their project presentations on the chosen ESP topics. To analyse the data, qualitative methodology of inductive content analysis was used.

Results. The study resulted in the identification of five major dimensions covering problem areas in the students’ ESP oral performance. The findings indicate that self-assessment enabled the students not only to identify some gaps and difficulties in their ESP oral performance that call for action but also to establish the reasons which caused them, foresee how the gaps can be closed or the difficulties coped with. Furthermore, it allowed the students to make decisions that reached far beyond the self-assessment task. The results also demonstrate that self-assessment raised the students’ awareness of themselves as learners by giving them direction on how to perform better in the future.

Conclusion. Self-assessment, as used in the present research, proves to be a valuable tool both for the students of ESP and their teachers as it reveals areas in the students’ performance that call for improvement, which enables ESP teachers to support their students to achieve better results in the future.


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Author Biography

  • Nijolė Burkšaitienė, Faculty of Philology, Institute for Literary, Cultural and Translation Studies Vilnius University Lithuania Universiteto str. 3, LT-01513 Vilnius

    Ph.D., professor, researcher and translator, expert of the European Commission on Quality teaching in HE and on Validation of adults’ non-formal and informal learning in HE, expert of the Research Council of Lithuania. Her research interests: interdisciplinary research into teaching and learning English for Specific Purposes (ESP), creativity and translation studies, discourse analysis, assessment and evaluation in HE, and technology-enhanced teaching and learning in HE.

    She is author and co-author of over 40 research articles, co-author of five international and national books and book chapters, author and co-author of five ESP workbooks, co-translator of three monographs, and member of editorial boards of four international and national research journals. Commendation: Erasmus National Agency Commendation for Strengthening the International Dimension in HE in Lithuania (2012).


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How to Cite

Burkšaitienė, N. . (2020). Self-assessment of ESP oral performance: A tool for learning and fostering learner awareness. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 11(1), 146-162.