University of Oulu

Liontou, M. (2021). Conceptions of Assessment as an Integral Part of Language Learning: A Case Study of Finnish and Chinese University Students. Languages, 6(4), 202. doi:10.3390/languages6040202

Conceptions of assessment as an integral part of language learning : a case study of Finnish and Chinese university students

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Author: Liontou, Magdalini1,2
Organizations: 1Centre for Applied Language Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Jyväskylä, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
2Languages and Communication, Extension School, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-31


Assessment is viewed as an internal and pivotal part of learning, where cultural factors, previous experiences, and future aspirations affect learners’ perceptions. In recent years, an increasing number of western universities have established their campuses or “dual” programmes in China. In the first Sino–Finnish programme, 293 Finnish and Chinese students participated in the same English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course. This study investigated students’ perceptions of assessment through an adapted version of the “Students’ Conceptions of Assessment” inventory, and it explored if the responses on each conception differ between the groups. The self-report inventory included statements based on four main conceptions of assessment: improvement, external factors, affect/benefit, and irrelevance, while open-ended questions were also included. The analysis of the open-ended questions raised the issues of teacher fairness, learner autonomy, and feedback. Additionally, differences appeared between the role of assessment and its relation to future aspirations, as well as the role of the parents. This study is a starting point for exploring the conceptions for distinct groups of students regarding assessment, providing a better understanding of students’ perceptions and discussing the implications for the language classroom.

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Series: Languages
ISSN: 2226-471X
ISSN-E: 2226-471X
ISSN-L: 2226-471X
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
Article number: 202
DOI: 10.3390/languages6040202
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: Copyright: © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (