The effect of formative assessment and instructional feedback on perception of learning, autonomy and motivation of German students of Spanish as a foreign language: a didactic proposal
García Pujals, Alberto
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This study arises from the need detected in classrooms to increase dedication to written expression, in its essay version, and to oral expression, in its presentation version. In the Spanish as a foreign language (ELE) and business Spanish manuals (ENE) of the five formal education centres for adults in Germany involved in the study, the writing and presentation tasks play second fiddle when compared to their key role in the institutional assessment tests. In order to make up for this shortcoming, maximum performance must be reached in terms of time and effort, since we are referring to oral and written production tasks added to those of the manuals and, therefore, to the curricular requirements of the centres.The practice of the target language through productive skills leads the learner to elaborate hypotheses. Here, assessment and feedback encourage autonomous learning from one's own errors, which is a source of motivation. In this empirical study, a didactic proposal with self-assessment, peer assessment, mentoring and summative assessment of writing and presentation tasks was implemented in 11 Spanish courses in Germany with 97 participants.Through the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data obtained from a questionnaire and 22 group discussions, the aim was to find out which type of formative assessment or instructional feedback most influenced the perception of learning, autonomy and motivation.The analysis of the data showed that the forms of assessment and feedback of the didactic proposal were relatively unknown to the students. The summative assessment of essays and presentations combined with self-assessment during one semester confirmed an improvement in motivation, autonomy and learning. In addition, peer assessment and mentoring of oral expression were perceived as more motivating than in previous learning periods. Likewise, the didactic proposal became a directed motivational current or DMC according to Dörnyei et al. (2014). In the DMC, the interaction between learning and motivation and autonomy constructs was identified within the framework of formative assessment and instructional feedback activities.In sum, in order for formative assessment and instructional feedback to have greater relevance and visibility, they should become a constant in the course contents and, consequently, be integrated in the summative assessment and in the curriculum. Through future lines of research, the analysis of the obstacles that prevent this integration form happening could give formative assessment and instructional feedback the key role they deserve.