Instructor and Peer Evaluation of Oral Skills in English Speech Class
Department of Applied Foreign Languages
Teaching English Speech in a university of technology has always been a challenge. As an instructor of English Speech course, I found that many students tended more towards a static lecture style rather than toward dynamic and active participation. Most of the time, students hesitated to take part in a discussion. They entered the English Speech classroom with high levels of anxiety and low expectations. In addition, providing feedback and evaluation for a large-size class is quite effort and time intensive. Therefore, there is a need for change in evaluation to reduce the instructors’ workload, enhance students’ learning motivation, and involve students in evaluating themselves.
According to post-modernistic and constructivist learning theories, the role of the instructor should shift from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.” The viewpoint has emphasized a major responsibility on students for their own learning. Therefore, teaching strategies should move from “lecture and learn” and toward “collaborate and create.”
Peer Evaluation has renewed attention in recent years due to the increasing emphasis on learner self-regulation and autonomy. Instructors in a number of universities have tried out peer evaluation in collaborative team projects to evaluate student contributions to both process and task (Barkley, Cross, & Major, 2005). However, the results of previous have been mixed and inconclusive in terms of students’ competence in evaluating peer’s performance. The purpose of this current study was to investigate how effectively college students can function as raters in English Speech class.