Improving secondary students' English essay writing skills by implementing portfolio assessment in a private school in Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


Formative assessment or assessment for learning is a type of assessment that informs pedagogical practices and helps teachers to align learning activities with learning needs of the students. Portfolio assessment is popular formative assessment technique which is helpful in improving language learning. Therefore this study aimed at implementing portfolio assessment to enhance the essay writing skills of grade pre-ninth students in a private school in Gilgit-Baltistan, This study employed collaborative action research method. For this study, six research participant students of two slow learners, two average level learners and two high achieving students of grade nine were selected through purposive sampling. In addition, the English Language teacher of the same class was also a participant with a proposed role of equal contributor in the study as the researcher. The findings of the study illustrated that before the intervention the students had problems with essay writing. Moreover, from the document analysis and classroom observations I realised that the students needed practice on the structural composition as well as mechanics of writing such as spelling errors, punctuations and sentence construction. In particular, they often made grammatical mistakes and could not organize their ideas in a proper sequence to write a meaningful paragraph. However, after employing portfolio assessment in the classroom in collaboration with the participant teacher, there was a visible change in the writing skills of the students. Hence, they could write a grammatically correct and well organized descriptive essay. This research study presents the role of portfolio assessment in improving students writing skills. In addition, it would also encourage English Language teachers to implement portfolio assessment to enhance students' reading as well as writing skills. In particular, this study would be helpful in understanding the prospects of portfolio assessment in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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