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Volume 6 Number 1, Spring 2009, Pages 1-214   

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On the Relationship Between Risk-taking and Self-assessment of Speaking Ability: a Case of Freshman EFL Learners

    Mansoor Tavakoli and Behrooz Ghoorchaei

This study investigates the relationship between self-assessment and teacher's rating of speaking ability. Risk-taking (a personality factor) is also singled out to examine its relationship with self-assessment. 79 Iranian EFL Freshmen at the University of Isfahan were given a picture description task to elicit their speech samples. After the speech samples were recorded, they were asked to rewind the tapes and assess their own speaking ability based on a modified version of Farhady et al.'s (1994) oral proficiency scale. Later, the speech samples were rated by their teacher based on the same scale. Moreover, the influence of risk-taking on students' self-assessment was investigated. To analyze the obtained data, Pearson Correlation, Independent samples t-test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used as statistical procedures. The results revealed that the relationship between self-assessment and teacher's rating of students' speaking ability in the picture description task was not statistically significant. Moreover, there was not any statistically significant relationship between risk-taking and students' self-assessment, however, high risk-takers tended to assess their speaking ability higher than medium and low risk-takers. The findings have some implications for language pedagogy and language testing.

Keywords: assessment, risk-taking, self-assessment, teacher