Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Raquel Hidalgo Downing (1). The development of plurilingual competence through authentic assessment and self-assessment: case study. VIAL. Number 9/2012: 63-84.


In this article we present a case-study of authentic assessment carried out with learners taking part in an online plurilingual learning programme. The procedure of authentic assessment chosen here was to propose the learners to elaborate a Portfolio. The learning context consists of a programme in intercomprehension in Romance languages which is offered through a virtual environment ( The Portfolio is used in this programme as a document of reflexive self-assessment, aimed at initiating and promoting the emergence and manifestation of plurilingual competence, as well as promoting awareness and identification of the strategies needed in a context of plurilingual intercomprehension. Following the general structure of the European Language Portfolio, our model is organised in three sections (Language passport/Linguistic and intercultural biography/Dossier) where learners are invited to reflect on such issues as their linguistic-intercultural life experiences, self-assessment of proficiency in the languages they know, and self-assessment of learning achievement. The results of the study show that the Portfolio experience has contributed to modifying the learners' conception of linguistic competence, allowing them to make meaningful connections between formal instruction and experiential learning, as well as to identify meta-linguistic strategies used in the process of intercomprehension.

Keywords: authentic assessment, Portfolio, self-assessment, intercomprehension, plurilingual approach

(1) Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

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