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A study on the application of writing portfolio technique to second year english majors an action research project at hanoi college of commerce and tourism

VIET NAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY-HA NOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGE & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST – GRADUATE STUDIES
*****************

ĐINH THỊ NHUNG

A STUDY ON THE APPLICATION OF WRITING
PORTFOLIO TECHNIQUE TO SECOND YEAR ENGLISH
MAJORS: AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT AT HANOI
COLLEGE OF COMMERCE AND TOURISM
Nghiên cứu về việc sử dụng hồ sơ bài làm trong môn viết đối với
sinh viên chuyên ngành tiếng Anh năm thứ hai: Nghiên cứu
hành động tại trường cao đẳng thương mại và du lịch Hà nội

M.A MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60140111

Hanoi - 2016



VIET NAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY-HA NOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGE & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POST – GRADUATE STUDIES
*****************

ĐINH THỊ NHUNG

A STUDY ON THE APPLICATION OF WRITING
PORTFOLIO TECHNIQUE TO SECOND YEAR ENGLISH
MAJORS: AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT AT HANOI
COLLEGE OF COMMERCE AND TOURISM
Nghiên cứu về việc sử dụng hồ sơ bài làm trong môn viết đối với
sinh viên chuyên ngành tiếng Anh năm thứ hai: Nghiên cứu
hành động tại trường cao đẳng thương mại và du lịch Hà nội

M.A MINOR PROGRAMME THESIS

Field: English Teaching Methodology
Code: 60140111
Supervisor: Dr. Đỗ Tuấn Minh

Hanoi - 2016


DECLARATION

I, the author of this research, certify that this thesis is result of my own work and that I
have provided fully documented references to the work of others. The material in this
research has not been submitted for a degree to any other university or institution

Hanoi,2016

Đinh Thị Nhung

i


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



I would like to express my most sincere gratitude and thankfulness to my supervisor,
Dr. Do Tuan Minh, for his detailed instructions from the beginning of the thesis to the
valuable comments till the end.
I would like to express my gratitude to all of my lecturers at faculty of post-graduate
studies as well, who provided me with precious knowledge and helped me gained
unforgettable experiences in pursuing my studies.
Certainly, this study would not have been completed without the participation of the
students at Hanoi College of Commerce and Tourism. I thank them for their enthusiastic
attitude in learning and participating in the study. Besides, I am deeply indebted to Ms Luu
Thi Duyen, the Dean of English Department at Hanoi College of Commerce and Tourism,
who helped and supported me all the time.
My deepest appreciation is for my husband who always supported and encouraged me
with his love so that I could finish my thesis

Without all their help, this thesis would not be completed as expected

ii


ABSTRACT
This action research explores the effects of writing portfolio technique on second year
students’ writing skill and the possible challenges encountering by both teachers and
students during the application process. Students created portfolios by including all the
final drafts and rough drafts into a folder; and together with students’ submitted portfolios,
two sets of questionnaires: pre and post-portfolio questionnaires, and interviews are also
used to collect the data for the research. The findings showed that the portfolio technique
not only helped to improve students’ writing skill, especially in terms of vocabulary, and
grammar, which meet student’s demands but also changed students’ attitude to the writing
skill positively and contributed to the development of students’ other skills such as
commenting, editing, reading, internet using, and group work skill as well. However,
during the process, there happened some problems. For example, this method requires
students to give written feedbacks to each other, which is quite challenging to them.
Especially, students quite easily got demotivated by negative comments from their peers.
Or, students felt boring and tiring when having to write up to three drafts for the same
topics. Nevertheless, the benefits of this technique outweigh all and prove to be effective in
helping students learning writing.

iii


LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS
Page
1.Chart 1: Students’ attitude to Writing

25

2. Chart 2: Students spending time on practising and developing the

26

writing skill
3. Chart 3: The subject with lowest score

27

4. Chart 4: What students want to improve in writing skill

28

5. Chart 5: Students’ knowledge about the use of portfolio

29

6. Chart 6: Students’ agreement to the improvement of their

30

vocabulary knowledge
7. Chart 7: What students improve in terms of vocabulary

31

8. Chart 8: Students’ agreement to the improvement of their grammar

32

knowledge
9. Chart 9: What students improve in terms of grammar

33

10. Table 1: Students’ attitude to writing

34

11. Table 2: Students’ opinion towards writing portfolio

35

12. Table 3: Summary of submitted portfolios

38

iv


TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

DECLARATION

i

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ii

ABSTRACTS

iii

LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS

iv

PART I: INTRODUCTION

1

1.1 Rationale of the study

1

1.2 Objectives of the study

2

1.3 Research questions

2

1.4 Scope of the study

3

1.5 Method of the study

3

1.6 Design of the study

3

PART II: DEVELOPMENT

5

CHAPTER 1: Literature Review

5

2.1 Writing and Teaching Writing skill

5

2.1.1 Definition of Writing

5

2.1.2 Approaches to Teaching Writing skill

6

2.1.2.1 Product Approach

6

2.1.2.2 Process Aprroach

8

2.2 Portfolios in Writing

10

2.2.1 Definition of Portfolios

10

2.2.2 Characteristics of Portfolios

11

2.2.3 Types and Contents of Portfolios

12

2.2.4 The effects of Portfolios on Writing skill

16

2.2.5 Summary

17

CHAPTER 2: Research Methodology

18

3.1 Context of the study

18

3.1.1 The college

18

3.1.2 Teachers and students

18

3.1.3 The writing course

19

3.2 Participants

20

v


3.3 Data collection instruments

20

3.3.1 Survey questionnaires

20

3.3.1.1 Pre-portfolio questionnaire

20

3.3.1.2 Post-portfolio questionnaire and interviews

21

3.3.2 Submitted portfolios

21

3.3.2.1 The type of submitted portfolios

21

3.3.2.2 Portfolio evaluation

22

3.4 Procedures

23

CHAPTER 3: Data Analysis and Discussion

25

4.1 Data analysis of students’ pre-portfolio questionnaire before the

25

application process
4.1.1 Students’ attitudes to the writing skill

25

4.1.2 Students’ time studying writing skill

26

4.1.3 Students’ score on writing

27

4.1.4 What students hope to improve most in writing

28

4.1.5 Students’ knowledge of portfolios

29

4.2 Data analysis of students’ post-portfolio questionnaire after the

30

application process
4.2.1 Students’ vocabulary knoweledge

30

4.2.2 Students’ grammar knowledge

32

4.2.3 Students’ attitude to writing skill

34

4.2.4 student’s opinions towards portfolio

35

4.3 Data analysis of interview after the application process

36

4.3.1 Problems of portfolio

36

4.3.2 Benefits fo portfolio

36

4.4 Data analysis of students’ submitted portfolios

38

4.4.1 Fluency analysis

39

4.4.2 Accuracy analysis

40

4.4.3 Complexity analysis

41

4.5 Summary

42

CHAPTER 4: Findings and Suggestions for Using Portfolio Technique in

43

vi


Writing
5.1 Major findings and discussions

43

5.1.1 Students’ attitude to writing skill

43

5.1.2 The effects of writing portfolio technique in students’view

44

5.1.3 Teacher and students’ difficulties in implementing writing portfolio

45

technique
5.2 Suggestions for teachers when applying portfolios in writing

45

5.3 Summary

46

PART III: CONCLUSION

47

6.1 Summary of the study

47

6.2 Limitation of the study

48

6.3 Suggestions for further research

48

References

49

Appendix 1: Pre-portfolio questionnaire

I

Appendix 2: Post-portfolio questionnaire

III

Appendix 3: Interview questions

V

Appendix 4: Writing checklist

VI

vii


PART I: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Rationale of the thesis

Nowadays, it cannot be denied that globalization is affecting every corner of the
world and that due to it most countries are experiencing changes in aspects like
economics, politics, education and culture; and in that globalised world, English is
considered a main medium of communication. Therefore, it seems obvious that if a
nation wishes catching up with others in those aspects, its government should raise
public awareness about the significance of English and motivate them to learn and
master the language.
Recognizing

this

social

trend,

Vietnamese

educational

authorities

have

implemented specific policies encouraging their citizens to learn and use English.
Now, English is a compulsory subject which is taught from primary schools to
universities and an obligatory one in Vietnamese national exams. Furthermore, various
professional courses and conferences aimed at enhancing English teachers’ teaching
skills and language competence are provided to ensure a better educational service.
Also, English teachers are required to get appropriate certificates aligned with CEFR
to be qualified for the job.
What’s more? More and more state-owned or private companies, factories or
organisations prefer and employ only labor who demonstrate their ability to use
English at work and these employees are paid much higher and easily get promotion
than others. Apparently, English is one of measures for one’s career success.
The above reasons explain why teaching and learning English is recieving much
concern from society. Scholars, educators or teachers are continuously exploring
suitable and effective teaching approaches and teaching methods to improve the
English teaching and learning quality. Especially, teachers who directly work with
students and understand their needs, their intersts, their learning styles play an
important role in helping students achieve their academic and future professional
success. Therefore, it’s the teacher’s duty to discover and solve problems which the
majority of his students have.

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Working as a teacher at Hanoi College of Commerce and Tourism and teaching four
skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening to English majors, there has always
been a question for me that why students are not very interested in writing class and
their performance in writing tests prove disappointing results. Being aware of the
unsolved problem and of a teacher’s responsibility, I would like to investigate the
situation. That is the reason why I am going to conduct this research with the hope that
a new teaching method will benefit students, making them keen on the subject, and
improving their writing skill.

1.2 Objectives of the thesis

This research intends to investigate the possible issues happening during the application
process of writing portfolio technique and examine its effects on second-year
students’writing skill at Hanoi College of Commerce and Tourism

The specific objectives of the thesis are:
(1) To find out what the effects of portfolio on improving learners’ writing skill are.
(2) To find out what problems emerging in the application process are.

The research hopes to benefit students and teachers at Hanoi College of Commerce and
Tourism and to be useful for reference.

1.3 Research questions

The thesis is carried out in order to find out the answers to two research questions:
(1)To what extent do second year students at Hanoi College of Commerce and Tourism
improve their writing skill through the application of writing portfolio technique?
(2) What challenges may teacher and students encounter in using writing portfolio
technique?

2


1.4 Scope of the study

The study focuses on only second year English majors at Hanoi College of
Commerce and Tourism because these students have already learnt writing skill for one
semester in the first year of college. Therefore, they can probably identify their difficulties
in writing skill. Besides, they do not know portfolio technique. As a result, it is easier to
examine the effects of portfolio technique on students and explore the difficulties emerging
in the application process.

1.5 Method of the study

To improve the validity of the research result, both qualitative and quantitative data will
be collected in order to explore the effects of portfolio technique on students and the
difficulties in the application process
Two main research instruments will be used to collect the data: survey questionnaires
(pre and post-portfolio questionnaires) and submitted portfolio analysis. Besides, teacher’s
notes and informal talks between teacher and students are also manipulated to increase the
reliability of student’s information about the effects and difficulties of using portfolio
technique

1.6 . Design of the study

The study consists of three parts:
Part I: Introduction
This part presents the rationale, the objectives, the scope and the organization of the
study
Part II: Development
This is the main part of the study. It is divided into three chapters
Chapter 1: Literature review
This

part

presents

the

theoretical

Chapter 2: Methodology

3

background

relevant

to

the

topic


In this chapter, detailed procedure of the study is presented: population selection, and
methodology for data collection and data analysis
Chapter 3: Data analysis
In this chapter, all the data collected from pre- and post- portfolio questionnaires,
informal interviews as well as the portfolios will be analyzed in detail.
Chapter 4: Findings and suggestions for using portfolio technique in writing
The findings drawn out from the analysis of data will be dealt with in this chapter.
The findings and discussion base on the information gained through the two
questionnaires, informal conversations between participants and the researcher, as well as
through the students’ submitted portfolios.

Part III: Conclusion
In this part, the researcher will summarize major findings of the study and also she
provides the implication for English teachers as well as recommendations for further
resrearch

4


PART II: DEVELOPMENT

CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1. Writing and Teaching Writing skill
2.1.1 Definition of writing

Writing can be considered a very important means of communication. However, the
context of writing is through words alone and there is no immediate or direct interaction
between the writer and the audience so it is highly required that the author needs to provide
a clear and comprehensive message to avoid misunderstanding for readers.
So, specifically what is writing?
“When we write we use graphic symbols that is letters or combinations of letters which
relate to the sounds we make when we speak” ( Byrne, 1979 ) or “Writing can be said to be
the art of performing graphic symbols” ( Byrne 1990:1). Words, sentences are then formed
by symbols being arranged properly and in an organised way. Besides, when our
communication is done by writing, ideas will be expressed by different ways of combining
and arranging words or sentences which lead writers to drafting, revising or even
redrafting. “Good writing gets your ideas out of your head and into the reader’s head
without losing or distorting those ideas” (Leki 1976:4). Our thoughts and ideas are
translated into language and are represented through writing, which is expected to be able
to communicate with our readers successfully. Those above processes could be the nature
of writing, which clearly include the sub-skills such as drafting, editing, revising or
organising, etc.
Writing is really a complicated process, which, according to Murray (1978:29) and Perl
(1979:43) is “a creative discovery procedure characterized by the dynamic interplay of
concten and language: the use of language to explore beyond the known content.” In a
social perspective, “Writing is therefore an engagement in social process, where the
production of texts reflects methodologies, arguments and rhetorical strategies constructed
to engage colleagues and persuade them of the claims that are made” (Candlin and Hyland
(1999:107).

5


What’s more, Writing is an important skill needed to develop for communicating with
others and one should keep in mind that to become a good writer, for both native speakers
or non native speakers, it requires a very hard work. Besides, as for teachers teaching
writing skill, it is necessary for them to understand that there is not much difference
between the process of learning writing skill in first and second language. According to
Fitzgeral (2006) , second language learners’ developmental process of writing skills in
English does not differ much from native speakers of English, except that “one special
aspect that target language learners bring to their writing is their bicultural and bilingual
experiences” (Hyland, 2003). It is due to the fact that foreign language learners have a
tendency of using their first language knowledge and their different strategies when writing
in the second lanuage, which is perhaps caused by the gap in the learners knowledge
between their first and second language. In other words it is “the use of linguistic or prior
skills to assist in comprehension or production” (O’Malley and Chammot, (1996:120)).
Hence, while students write in second language, there will be some interference of their
first language like phonology, vocabulary or grammar.
In short, writing can be defined differently according to different views and the nature
of writing, and obstacles while studtents write in second language are issues that a teacher
teaching writing should deeply understand.

2.1.2. Approaches to Teaching Writing Skills
There are various ways and approaches applied to teach writing. However, “One of the
most controversial aspects of writing pedagogy has been the tension between process and
product approaches to the teaching of writing” (Nunan, 1999, p.272).

2.1.2.1 Product Approach

This approach focuses on the text, the final output of writing process. Teachers who
follow this approach will mark or grade students’ final product. Readers are teachers who
play such different roles as an examiner, an editor, or a proof reader. This leads to a fact
that students will view “the major function of writing is to produce texts for teachers to
evaluate, not to communicate meaningfully with another person” (Nunan, 1991, p. 88).
6


Besides, teachers’main interest is not the quality of ideas or expressions but the correct use
of formal linguistic features (Kroll, 1997). Then, writing instruction involves mainly in
training grammatical accuracy . “Foreign and second language writing “mainly involves
linguistic knowledge and the vocabulary choices, syntactic patterns, and cohesive devices
that comprise the essential building blocks of texts” (Hyland, 2003). If teachers follow this
approach, “students are taught incrementally, error is prevented, and fluency is expected to
arise out of practice with structures” (Reid, 1993, p.24). In other words, this product
approach is defined as the emphasis on grammatical correctness and adherence to given
models or guidelines (White, 1988). Also, it has the focus on the production of neat and
grammatically correct pieces of writing (Mahon, 1992). As a result, it favors activities like
organizing ideas to ideas, emphasizing on grammar exercises and correctness (Nunan,
1991) or exercises which can be copying , combining, substitution ones to provide students
with “no freedom to make mistakes” (Pincas, 1982, p.91). What’s more? “ The product
approach to writing usually involves the presentation of a model text, which is analyzed
and then forms the basis of a task that leads to the writing of an exactly simliar or a parallel
text” (Evan and St John, 1998: 116). Students’ final product is made according to this
sequence “Model text - Comprehension / analysis/ manipulation - new input - Parallel text”
(Robinson, 1991 cited in Evan and St John, 1998). Also,

the focus on language structure

as a basis for the teaching of writing was indicated by Hyland (2003) through a four-stage
process which includes:
1. Familiarization : learners are taught certain grammar and vocabulary, usually
through a text
2. Controlled writing: learners manipulate fixed patterns, often from substitution
tables.
3. Guided writing: learners imitate model texts
4. Free writing: learners use the patterns they have developed to write an essay, letter
and so forth
To sum up, this product approach put emphasis on students’abilities of memorising and
applying grammar rules. Students are asked to do tasks whose main goal is syntactic
accuracy; and the teachers, when marking students’ final work will simply find out and
correct grammatical and mechanical errors without give students suitable feedback to
students’ writings. Clearly, this approach cannot fulfill enough the teachers’job of
7


developing student’s writing skill.

2.1.2.2 Process Approach

This approach is a shift from product to process which shows:
-How do I write this?
-How do I get started?
In other words, this approach focuses on the writer rather than the text. Writing is then
seen as a process of discovering meaning and developing organisation (Matsuda, 2003).
Students will be trained to generate ideas for writing, to think of purpose, audience, ways
of communication and so on. Those who follow this approach believed “a research-based,
audience-focused, context-based approach to the process of writing” (Reid, 1993). Writing
can be understood in two different views. In the Expressivist view, writing is seen as a
creative activity and “writing is learned, not taught, so writing instruction is nondirective
and personal” (Hyland, 2003). Meanwhile, in the Cognitive view, writing is viewed as a
non-linear, recursive process (Emig, 1983; Zamel, 1983). White and Arndt (1991) view
“writing as a complex, cognitive process that requires sustained intellectual effort over a
considerable period of time”. Therefore, to produce a writing text, students may go through
six steps:
Drafting

Structuring

Reviewing

Focusing

Generating ideas

Evaluation

From Process Writing (P.4), by R. White and V. Arndt, 1991, Harlow United Kingdom:
Longman.

8


There is another model of writing process created by Flower and Hayes which is “the
most widely accepted by L2 writing teachers” (Hyland, 2003):
Selection of topic: by teacher and/ or students
Prewriting : brainstorming, collecting data, note taking, outlining, etc.
Composing: getting ideas down on paper
Response to draft: teachers/ peers respond to ideas, organisation, and style
Revising: reorganising, style, adjusting to readers, refining ideas
Response to revisions: teacher/ peers respond to ideas, organisation and style
Proofreading and editing: checking and correcting form, layout, evidence, etc.
Evaluation: teacher evaluates progress over the process
Publishing: by class circulation or presentation, noticeboards, website, etc.
Follow-up tasks: to address weaknesses

A Process Model of Writing Instruction from Second Language Writing (p.11), by K.
Hyland, 2003, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

From the above models, it can be recognised that in the teaching of writing to help
students “discover and engage

a topic”, firstly, invention techniques or pre writing

techniques are used (Myer, 1997, p.1) . Students formulate and organise their initial
thoughts using such techniques as free writing, listing, wh-questions, clusters and looping
to choose the ideas that interest them or are worth developing (Leki, 2000, p.20). After
that , students will move on the planning and composing process and during this stage,
response to or feedback on students are provided by both teacher and students. Students,
then, revise their work and refine their ideas, adjusting content and organisation so that
their work will be suitable for readers. Finally, students will proofread, edit their work and
pay much of their attention to grammatical and mechanical errors, layout, evidence and so
on.

The process approach aims to help students improve their writing skillsthrough the
changes in the teacher’s or students’ roles and attitudes. Teachers act as supporters and
students as independent writers and the collaboration between them will help develop
students’writing skill over several drafts (Furneaux, 1998). Hence, providing feedback and
9


responses are crucial in this appoach. Furthermore, language accuracy such as grammar
patterns, collocation and word choices can also be enhanced through revision and editing
stages. However, the question of how learners learn to write or how they approach a
writing task has not a satisfying answer yet because “process models are hampered by
small scales, often contradictary studies and the difficulty of getting inside writers’ heads
to report unconcious processing” (Hyland, 2003, p.13). Additionally, psychological factors
are probably not the only factors in developing writing skills. Therefore, there should not
be an over emphasis on this process.
In conclusion, a writing teacher should make use of these two approaches in teaching
writing because writing can be interpreted, according to Arndt (1987) in several ways: it
can be the product of a composition or the act of composing itself; and the process
approach should be considered as “formative feedback” aimed at refining student’s works
and the product approach as “summative feedback” to students which help teachers know
how much their students have achieved and how well the intended learning outcomes have
been fulfilled.
2.2. Portfolios in writing
2.2.1 Definition of portfolios
Initially, portfoilio were used by artists for presenting their work. Nevertheless, it was
later adapted to other jobs such as writers, photographers, architects and so on. In the field
of education, portfolio is not a new term because it has been widely used as a part of
teaching and learning. Educators and language experts have provided different definitions
for portfolio. According to the McGraw-Hill Higher Education webpage, portfolios are:
“collections of student artifacts which can be thought of as both objects and methods of
assessment. As objects, they are a place for holding materials such as papers, photographs,
or drawings that are representative of students’s work and progress. As methods of
assement, portfolios provide ways for teachers to continuosly collect and assess student
work”. Portfolio, according to Collins (1992: 452), is “a container of collected evidence
with a purpose. Evidence is documentations that can be used by one person or group of
persons to infer another person’s knowledge, skill”. Portfolio can also be “ a purposeful
collection of student work that exhibits the students’ efforts, progress and achievements in

10


one or more areas. The collection must include student participation in selecting contents,
the criteria for selection, the criteria for judging merit and evidence of student selfrelection.” (Paulson, Paulson and Meyer, 1991:60). Similarly, According to Arter and
Spandell (1992, p.210) portfolio is seen as “a purposeful collection of student work that
tells the story of the student’s efforts, progress or achievement” or it can be “ a collection
of materials assembled by students to demonstrate achievement” (Freeman and Lewis,
1998, p.271). Portfolios, therefore, can allow teacher to track progress, view individual
growth and foster student reflection (Baack, 1997; Melville, 1996). Grace (1992: 1)
considers portfolio as a record of the child’s process of learning: “what the child has
learned and how she has gone about learning; how she thinks, questions, analyzes,
synthesizes, produces, creates; and how she interacts-intellectually, emotionally and
socially-with others”. Likewise, Winson and Ellefson (1995: 68), share the same opinion
about the definition of portfolios but develop it more. They describe portfolios as “a fusion
of process and product. It is the process of reflection, selection, rationalization, and
evaluation, together with the product of those processes”. In addition, “portfolio is a
cumulative and ongoing collection of entries that are selected and commented on by the
student, the teacher and/on peers, to assess the student’s progress in the development of a
competencey” (Simon and Forgette-Giroux, 2000:36). In the context of writing instruction
and assessment, a portfolio can be defined as “ a colection of texts the writer has porduced
over a defined period of time” (Hamp-Lyons, 1991:262). In this study, portfolios are
understood as that way and also a way to reflect the students’ performance, efforts,
progress, and achievement over a period of time.
2.2.2 Characteristics of portfolio
The characteristics of a portfolio are determined differently by different researchers.
For example, according to Sharon S.Moya and Michael L’Malley (1994) in an article A
portfolio Assessment Model for ESL, the following five characteristics feature a portfolio:

*Comprehensiveness: the potential for determining the depth and the breadth of a
student’s capabilities can be realised through comprehensiveness data collection by the
students

11


*Predetermined and systematic: what should be included in the portfolio was informed by
the teacher before she starts using portfolio and she should provide guidance or possible
standard guidelines in using portfolios as well.

*Informative: the information in the portfolio should be meaningful and useful for students
and teacher which show student’s progress in learning

*Tailored: it should be tailored before implementing to make sure there will no problem in
the applying process

*Authentic: portfolio should provide students with authentic learning materials

Meanwhile, Yancey (1992) stated that there are three common characteristics shared by
all portfolios, regardless of the particular context. They are longitudinal in nature, diverse
in content, and collaborative. In the class, teacher often sets the time necessary and suitable
for the writers to develop. It means that the writing piece initiated on Monday need not be
submitted a week or two later for a final evaluation. It can be revised in days or weeks or
even a month or two later. Furthermore, portfolio is open rather than closed and its
contents are intended to be diverse and inclusive. Especially, portfolios are created
collaboratively by the students as author, working with their partners and the teacher who
help them revise, evaluate their writings.
2.2.3 Types and contents of porfolios
It is quite obvious that the purpose of the portfolio determines what goes in it. Portfolios
can include various items such as, rough drafts, graded assignments, peer responses and so
on. Therefore, portfolios can be classfied into many different types by different specialists.
According to Cooper & Love (2001) there are two basic types of portfolios: formative
portfolio and summative portfolio. While the former is considered to have the focus on the
process of learning of a particular student which consists of samples of a student’s work to
“demonstrate changes over the period of time” , the later places its focus on learning

12


outcomes. Also, Cooper & Love (2001) suggest three distinct forms of summative
portfolio:


The competency-based or outcomes-based portfolio. It may show samples of a
student’s work collected as evidence of his/her skills and knowledge, which is
relative to the curriculum or syllabi



The negotiated learning portfolio in which the outcomes of the negotiated learning
processes are assessed through a portfolio



The biographic portfolio, which is a record of achievement. This type may have a
collection of work experience of a student which is collected over a period of time
and arranged chronologically

Similarly, William P. Banks, in his article “ Preparing Your Writing Portfolio” suggest
only two types of portfolios : complete and showcase portfolios. He states that complete
portfolio is a collection of everything the writer has done during the semester- all the major
essays and their drafts and all the pieces are used for evaluation purpose; the showcase
portfolio may include all the writings the student has done but the student is allowed to
choose which projects will count for evaluation purposes.
Following are samples of these two mentioned types:
a. Complete portfolio sample organisation
(students are required to put all four assignments for evaluation)

Section 1

Analytical Cover letter

Section 2

Final drafts of four projects

Section 3

Essay 1 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

13


Section 4

Essay 2 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 5

Essay 3 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 6

Essay 4 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 7

Free-writing exercises, journal activities,
etc.

Section 8

Other

(anything else you’ve written for

class and want credit for)

b. Showcase portfolio sample organisation
(Students are required to put three out of five assignments for evaluation)

Section 1

Analytical Cover letter

Section 2

Final drafts of three projects

Section 3

Essay 1 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 4

Essay 2 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

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Section 5

Essay 3 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 6

Essay 4 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 7

Essay 5 archive (rough drafts, peer review,
instructor comments, etc)

Section 8

Free-writing exercises, journal activities, etc

Section 9

Other

(anything else you’ve written for

class and want credit for)

Whereas, Portfolios are classified into three types by Columba & Dolgos (Cited in
Ramazan 2012) but in different way.
 Showcase: this type focuses on students’ best and most representative work


Teacher-student portfolio: it is often called “working portfolio” or “working
folder”. This is an interactive teacher-student portfolio that aids in communication
between teacher and student. The teacher and student conference to add or delete
within the content of the show-case portfolio



Teacher alternative assessment portfolio: all items in this type of portfolio are
scored, rated, ranked, or evaluated. Teachers can keep individual student portfolios
that are solely for the teacher’s use as an assessment tool

Portfolios are aslo grouped into three types by Slater (1996): Showcase, open-format
and checklist portfolio.

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A showcase portfolio is a limited one where students are only allowed to present a few
pieces of evidence to demonstrate mastery of learning objectives.
An Open-format portfolio is one in which sudents are allowed to submit anything they
wish to be cinsidered as evidence for mastery of a given list of learning objectives.
A checklist portfolio is composed of a predetermined number of items (for example: a
number of assignments for students to complete.)
Meanwhile, Valencia and Place (1994) classfied portfolios into four types:


The showcase portfolio (including students’best work)



The evaluation portfolio (including specified and marked work)



The documentation portfolio (including student work kept by teachers but not
marked)



The process portfolio (including ongoing work and student’s self-reflection)

Clearly, there exists different types of portfolios which are classified differently by
different researchers so teachers should choose proper ones and adjust them to suit their
teaching context.
2.2.4 The Effects of Portfolio on Writing skills
Nowadays, there are more and more teachers choosing portfolios as their teaching
technique because it has many advantages. “It enables students to have a self assessment
for their studies and learning, and to review their progress” (De fina, 1992). And it also
provides “visual and dynamic proofs about student’s interest, their skills, strong sides,
successes and development in a certain time period “ (Baki & Birgin, 2004). In writing
classes, portfolios prove to help students to have “self-improvement in the subject and
sharpen their writing skills. Portfolios are proved to have positive effects on helping
students overcome their writing anxiety as well (Hande ÖZTÜRK & Sevdeğer ÇEÇEN,
2007). Furthermore, Murrey (1994), Wade and Yarbrough (1996), and Wade, Abrami and
Sclater (2005) point out that using portfolios in teaching writing can help build up
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