The Use of Digital Portfolios to Enhance English as a Foreign Language Speaking Skills in Higher Education

Paola Cabrera-Solano

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of digital portfolios to enhance EFL (English as a Foreign Language) speaking skills in English-major under-graduate students at Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja, in southern Ecuador. The participants were 42 students at the A2 level, according to the CEFR (Com-mon European Framework of Reference for Languages). All of them were en-rolled in an English Language Integrated Skills course. A mixed-method ap-proach was used to collect and analyze data in this study. Pre and post-questionnaires, observation sheets, and speaking rubrics were applied as instru-ments. Students used their smartphones to create digital portfolios in Google Drive, which included videos and audios about certain topics considered in the course syllabus. The speaking activities consisted of recording information in dif-ferent locations of the university campus (cafeteria, laboratories, library, chapel, sports ground), and other places of the city. The students worked individually, in pairs or groups to carry out different speaking activities during an academic term of 5 months. Personalized feedback was provided by analyzing the students’ oral performance through the speech artifacts uploaded in each portfolio. The findings show that digital portfolios were effective to enhance students’ pronunciation and fluency. It was also confirmed that the implementation of digital portfolios through Google Drive can increase students’ motivation to practice oral skills in the target language.

Keywords


Digital portfolios, EFL speaking, Google Drive, higher education, smartphones.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Paola Cabrera-Solano


International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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