The principal aim of this study is to examine the perceptions of adult Egyptian EFL learners and Egyptian EFL teachers on the use of self-assessment as an assessment-for-learning tool in adult EFL courses offered at a private language institution in Cairo, Egypt. It is centered around three main areas of investigation pertaining to the perceptions of adult Egyptian EFL learners and Egyptian EFL teachers on the usefulness of self-assessment, the challenges they face when using self-assessment in adult EFL writing classes, and the affordances that should be given to both groups to ensure the successful application of self-assessment in EFL writing classes. The study aims to fill a gap in the literature by examining the topic of self-assessment within the context of adult EFL language courses, a context which has not been sufficiently investigated.

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach in which questionnaire and interview data were collected and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The study explored the perceptions of two main groups: EFL teachers and adult EFL learners at the institution. A total of 40 teachers responded to the teacher questionnaire, and five teachers were interviewed. A total of 40 learners enrolled in English language courses for adult learners in the same institution responded to the student questionnaire, and four students were interviewed.

The results from quantitative and qualitative data analysis reveal that both EFL teachers and learners hold positive views about the usefulness of self-assessment as a tool to improve writing skills in adult EFL classes. Major benefits reported by both groups include the promotion of learners' autonomy and the increased awareness of the learners about their English writing. In addition, several key challenges have been identified, such as the teachers’ and learners’ lack of training on self-assessment, the learners’ resistance to self-assessment and the lack of clear self-assessment criteria. The teachers and learners reported certain affordances to address these issues. The key affordances that have been identified are the standardization of self-assessment in language institutions and the provision of training for both teachers and learners.

This study has implications for the practice of EFL teaching. One implication is that EFL teachers are encouraged to incorporate more self-assessment practices in their writing classes given their role in improving learners’ autonomy and awareness. In addition, private language institutions are advised to initiate policy changes that facilitate the incorporation of self-assessment in their instructional models to promote more learning-oriented assessment practices aimed at improving the learning and teaching processes.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Applied Linguistics Department

Degree Name

MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Graduation Date

Winter 1-31-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Mariah Fairley

Committee Member 1

Nihal Sarhan

Committee Member 2

Sarah Benjamin


275 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item