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Portfolios in the Language

La guage Classroom
1. - What’
What’s a portfolio?
According to McGraw-Hill
McGraw Higher Education webpage (2009), ), a portfolio
portfoli is a collection of
artifacts (documents
documents) that articulate experiences,
ces, achievements and learning. Furthermore, to
Kolomeitseva et al. (2006),
( it is a purposeful collection of students’ work that demonstrates
to students and others their efforts, progress andand achievements in given areas. Thus, we can
assume that a portfolio iis a learning and teaching strategy that involves a reflection process
ver the collection of artifacts.

2. - Types of Portfolios.
We can classify portfolios according to certain criteria.
☺ Depending on the owner, portfolios in education could be a teacher’s
teacher’s portfolio or a student’s
student portfolio. A teacher’s
portfolio allows the owner to reflect about the teaching process, helps them to identify problems in the classroom,
determine possible causes and come up with probable solutions. (Latorre, 2003) 2003). While a student’s portfolios allows
its holder to reflect about their learning process through auto evaluation and self regulation, promoting long life
learning and constructivism theory. (Rastrero, 2008)
☺ Depending on the purpose,, it could be either a process portfolio, which works as an evidence of the students or
teachers’ progress toward certain goals or competences. (Barrett, 2001).
2001) Or, it could uld be a showcase portfolio which
works as a repository of knowledge or domain of the students or teachers over certain goals or competences.
comp (Barrett,
☺ Depending on the format you’re ’re using, it could be a paper-base
paper traditional portfolio or a digital portfolio (also
called web portfolio or eportfolio). A traditional portfolio is usually a file folder that contains the works and reflection
of its owner. (Rastrero, 2008);; while a digital portfolio is an aggregation of digitals artifacts carefully selected after
a process of reflection as an evidences
ences of the person learning or abilities. (Sutherland at al., 2007)

3. - Why should we use a portfolio in a foreign language classroom?

A portfolio can be a source of authentic assessment of the student’s achievements. It also
provides a continuous record of the students’ language development that can be shared
with others. It gives
ives information about students’ views of their own language learning
and the strategies they apply while it ddevelops
evelops students’ skills of reflective thinking.

4. - The European Experience.

The European Language
anguage Portfolio was launched on a European scale during the European Year of
Languages 2001, in order to articulate general criteria about teaching and learning languages
langu within
the European states, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
(CEFR). Since then it has been the settled strategy for foreign and second languages within the
European Community countries.

5. - European Language Portfolio, What is it?

The ELP is a pedagogical strategy that is build up upon the owner personal information of the language he/she is
learning that promotes pluriculturism
ism and plurilinguism and that verifies linguistic competence
mpetence through long life
It has 3 official components: the language passport, which
w is based on the CERF,, offering the language’s
language knowledge
the owner has, usually containing formal and informal qualifications. The biography, which helps the owner to be
aware of the real knowledge over the language, including linguistic
tic and cultural experiences info through speaker’ self
value of the language. And the dossier,
dossier that works as the part that gathers evidence of achievements and experiences

Presenter: Osle Vera Sarmiento.
Portfolios in the Language
La guage Classroom
6. - Can the ELP be used in all languages’
languages’ classrooms around the world?
Despite the fact that the ELP is the ruled strategy for languages
languages’ teaching and learning all over Europe, each
portfolio can be adapted to the specific needs within a classroom. As the teacher (or student) you just have to set some
gogical goals to fulfill the educational function. Every portfolio in the educational field should include the
Always include:
☺ A list of goals or objectives clearly specified.
☺ Must be based on the owner’s personal experiences about the language.
☺ May contain formal (classroom)
classroom) experiences and artifacts as well as artifacts about informal experiences outside
the classroom.
☺ The only criterion for artifacts’ selection is a reflection process.
☺ Owner must tell a story about each chosen artifact.

7. - Traditional or digital? Which one is better?

No format is better than the other. It only depends on the kind of technology available in your
classroom. In one hand, the traditional format is usually based on the Positivist paradigm,, focused
f on
the learning outcomes. The outcomes are defined externally, let say by the institution or school board,
and they are normally used as container
ontainers for examples of student work to determine what and how
ho much
learning has occurred.
In the other hand, digital po
portfolios are based on the Constructivism paradigm,
igm, focused on the learning
process. The outcomes
tcomes are defined by the group and are used as a llearning
earning environment in which the
learner constructs meaning. (Pearl and Paulson, 1994)

8. - Portfolios, What for?

After you decide to use a portfolio as a strategy, you must set the purpose of it. The purpose can be decided
decide under 2
criteria: assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning.
The assessment OF learning: The assessment FOR learning:
☺ Checks what has been learned to date ☺ Checks learning to decide what to do next
☺ Is designed for those not directly involved in daily ☺ Is designed to assist teachers and students.
learning and teaching ☺ Is used in conversation about learning
☺ Is presented in a formal report ☺ Usually detailed, specific and descriptive feedback
☺ Usually gathers information into easily digestible in words (instead of numbers, scores and
an grades)
numbers, scores and grades ☺ Usually focused on improvement, compared with
☺ Usually compares thee student's learning with the student's 'previous best' and
a progress toward a
either other students or the 'standard’ for a grade standard
level ☺ Needs to involve
olve the student - the person most able
☺ Does not need to involve the student to improve learning

9. - What kind of artifacts can be included?

IF you’re
re using a traditional format, you can include pieces of writing such as ppoems, oems, essays, research and term papers,
images, pictures, photographs, CDs and DVDs containing class recordings of dialogues or role plays.
If you’re
re using a digital format, you can include text files, pdf files, audio files, video files, images, scanned documents;
spreadsheets (excel) files, multimedia presentations, link to blogs and social networks’
networks personal spaces, among other artifacts.
No matter what format you’re using or which purpose you’ve selected, the re ally important fact when using a portfolio is that
each artifact must be accompanied of a thought or a story telling why that specific artifact has been chosen by the owner, what
makes it so important in the owner learning pr process
ocess of the language, why the owner has decided to include it in the portfolio.

Presenter: Osle Vera Sarmiento.
Portfolios in the Language
La guage Classroom
The real value of the portfolio in the language classroom (or any classroom) is determined by the level of reflection the owner
has invested in its creation.

10. - What tools can I use to create a portfolio?

If you’rere creating a traditional portfolio, you can use authoring tools, such as
Microsoft Office and Open Office. Those T tools cann be used to author portfolios
offline,, but require web server space to publish online. Portfolios created with
these tools can also be published
pu on CD-R or DVD-R and have no
If you’re
re creating a digital portfolio, you can use webw 2.0 tools, such as Google Docs,
Google Sites, Blogs, Podcasting, Storage audio and Video Sites, Social Networks.
These are dynamic web services that an individual or institution may use to create and publish a presentation portfolio and
allows interactivity.

11. - How can I start?
☺ Just follow up some handy tips:
☺ Define the purpose of the portfolio (Learning?
Learning? Showcase?
howcase? Assessment?) What is this portfolio supposed to demonstrate?
☺ Collect (digital) artifacts (or convert documents into digital format )
☺ Select specific documents to meet the goals identified in step 1 above. (Sometimes in selecting the documents and artifacts,
the goals emerge!)
☺ Create a first page as an introduction and table of contents.
☺ Set up a structure around the goals/themes
goals/theme identified in purpose statement.
☺ One page for each goal/theme (with links to first page, if digital)
☺ Upload artifacts to page or create hyperl
hyperlinks to documents online, if digital.
☺ Write reflections about how the artifacts demonstrate achievement of goals.
☺ Write future learning goals.
☺ If traditional,
tional, plan a portfolio presentation / If digital, publish portfolio online (or on CD/DVD)


• Barret, H. C. E-Portfolios for Learning. http:/

• Barret, H. C. Helen Barrett’s Blog. http://electroni
• Barret, H. C. Using Technology to Support Alternativ
Alternative Assessment and Electronic Portfolios.
• Barret, H. C. (2004). Electronic Portfolios as Digital Stories of Deep Learning. Digital Stories of Deep Learning.
• Becta. (2007). Impact of e-portfolios
portfolios on learning.
• Consejo de Europa. (2001b). A common european framework of reference: learning, teaching, assessment – a general guide for users. users Strasbourg. Council
of Europe.
• E.M. Kolomeitseva, M.N. Makeyeva. The Use of Portfolios
Po in Language Assessment. Department of Foreign Languages, TSTUTSTU. ISSN 0136-5835. Вестник
ТГТУ. 2006. Том 12. № 3Б.. Transactions TSTU.
• Latorre, A. (2003): La investigación-acción,
acción, Barcelona: Graó
• McGraw-Hill Higher Education webpage (2009 2009)
• Paulson, F.L. & Paulson, P. (1994) “Assessing Portfolios Using the Constructivist Paradigm” in Fogarty, R. (ed.) (1996) Student Portfolios. Palatine: IRI
Skylight Training & Publishing
• Rastrero, M. (2007). El portafolio reflexivo del profesor como herramienta para la práctica reflexiva: un estudio de casos. Universitat de Barcelona. España.
• Sutherland, S. and Powell, A. (2007), Cetiss SIG mailing list discussions

Presenter: Osle Vera Sarmiento.
Portfolios in the Language
La guage Classroom

Presenter: Osle Vera Sarmiento.