TRÁVNÍKOVÁ, Petra. Students' self-reflection journals: what do they tell us about their learning as a process? In CercleS 2020: Language Centres at a Crossroads. Brno. 2020.
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Basic information
Original name Students' self-reflection journals: what do they tell us about their learning as a process?
Authors TRÁVNÍKOVÁ, Petra.
Edition CercleS 2020: Language Centres at a Crossroads. Brno. 2020.
Other information
Original language English
Type of outcome Presentations at conferences
Field of Study 50300 5.3 Education
Country of publisher Czech Republic
Confidentiality degree is not subject to a state or trade secret
Organization unit Language Centre
Keywords (in Czech) sebereflexe; autonomie; portfoliové hodnocení; prezentační dovednosti
Keywords in English self-reflection journals; portfolio assessment; autonomy; metacognition; learning cycles
Tags International impact
Changed by Changed by: PaedDr. Marta Holasová, Ph.D., učo 38218. Changed: 28/4/2021 15:23.
When students first hear they should keep a diary throughout the entire term, they often think of Marco Polo or Franz Kafka, and see diary keeping as something rather out of date; however, towards the end of the course, they realize it is surprisingly modern when applied in language learning. If we want students to become autonomous and take responsibility for their own learning, it is obvious they must get to know themselves first. By making them reflect on what they do and, above all, how they feel while doing it, we help them become more aware of where they come from and what they would like to achieve. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the content analysis of a corpus of approximately 60 self-reflection journals written by the author’s students in an EAP course focused on presentation skills. It is mainly up to them to choose the form and style, even though they are given some simple guidelines they should follow (e.g. the number of entries and the initial and final tasks). Moreover, they are encouraged to reflect upon their feelings before, during and after the individual presentations. The self-reflection journal is part of their portfolio assessment and they are given points for submitting it at the end of the course. The course in question is skills-based, which means that students learn mainly via doing and so experiential learning comes to play. Under closer scrutiny, students’ journals nicely reflect Kolb’s (1984) learning cycle with all its four stages. After giving a presentation (i.e. what Kolb calls concrete experience), they receive the teacher’s and peer feedback and write about all that in their journals (reflective observation). However, it is not a mere depiction of past experience, they also describe what they have learned from doing that (abstract conceptualisation) and they consequently plan what they would like to do next or what they want to change or improve about their presentations (active experimentation). By means of these entries, students can observe how they have developed (and hopefully progressed) these skills, and what is more, they do that in the target language. To sum it up, the presentation will introduce the topics that are dealt with in the journals under examination and show how they contribute to students’ achieving the goals they set at the very beginning of the course.
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