The assessment of language learners is having a growing impact in English language teaching and applied linguistics. A formal evaluation of students writing . “Writing is a key skill in second language learning and all teachers need to evaluate their students’ writing abilities. The issues surrounding the assessment of. Sara Cushing Weigle – Assessing – Ebook download as PDF File .pdf ), Text File .txt) or read book online.

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Thus, knowledge telling follows the straight- ahead form of ordinary speech production and does not require any greater amount of planning or goal setting than does everyday con- cusuing pp. A test is said to be reliable if individuals receive the same score from one prompt or rater to the next, and if a group of examinees is rank- ordered in the same way on different occasions, different versions of a test, or by different raters.

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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Some research has demonstrated a difference in the quality of writing produced by apprehensive versus non-apprehensive LI writers when time constraints are involved Kean et al,cited in Madigan et al, or when the task involves personal narrative Faigley et al,cited in Madigan et al, Checklist for portfolio contents from Portfolio plus: From this perspective, learning to write involves much more than simply learning the grammar and vocabulary of the language, or even the rhetorical forms common to academic writing.

It is a process that can be used to solve one of the fundamental problems of writing, which is to generate content without the benefit of a conversation partner, as discussed earlier in this chapter. It is thus of central importance to students in academic and second language programs throughout the world.

That is, if we cannot feel confident that our test gives consistent results, we cannot be sure that the inferences and deci- sions we make on the basis of test results will be appropriate and fair. This is a bible for writing assessment. Thienly marked it as to-read Nov 03, As another example, imagine that test takers are allowed to hand-write or type their essays on a writing test. Chapter 9 discusses portfolio assessment, or the assessment of writing ability by collecting and evaluating a number of texts written at different times and for different audiences and purposes.

What kinds of writing are relevant for which groups of second- 8 9 Table 1. First, writers may not be able to detect global problems because of poor reading skills. Preferred formal writing structures appropriate style 3.

In contrast, the same cannot be said of second-language writing because of the wide variety of situations in which people learn and use second languages, both as children and as adults, in schools and in other settings. If a test taker drew a simple map rather than writing verbal instructions, but the assexsing were clear and accurate, the task has been fulfilled successfully, but clearly, abilities other than language knowledge were involved in completing the task.


In addition, poor reading comprehension skills may limit one’s ability to evaluate one’s own writing, as mentioned previously in this chapter. In think-aloud protocols, writers say vushing their thoughts as they write, allowing the researcher to gain insight into the mental activity and decision-making processes of the writer as he or she carries out a writing task see Ericsson and Simon,for a thorough account of this methodological approach.

Writing is one of the central skills a student must master. On the other hand, as Douglas points out, one of the distinctive features of language for specific purposes LSP testing is the role that topical knowledge plays in defining the construct.

Grabowski lists a number of con- The nature of writing ability 1 7 ditions under which writing tends to be chosen over speaking, noting that while the choice is frequently based on social or conventional norms, other factors such as the costs ssara benefits of one mode of communication vis-a-vis the other also play a ckshing.

As assesssing shall see later on in this book, this variety has important implications for the testing of writing, both in terms of designing cushig writing tasks and in terms of evaluating writing.

In a performance test in the strong sense of the term, language ability, and more specifically, language knowledge, in Bachman and Palmer’s terms, may be only partly responsible for eriting task completion, and extra-linguistic factors may compensate for weak- nesses in language knowledge. While an essay examination is more authentic for these writers than, say, a multiple-choice test of grammar and usage, it is clear from this dis- cussion that authenticity will be an issue when designing tasks for testing academic writing.

Similarly, genre knowledge includes knowledge about the socially and culturally appropriate forms that writing takes in a given situation for a given purpose.

Just as chess players develop problem- solving strategies specific to the game of chess that are not necessarily transferable to other cognitive activities, so writers through practice and experience develop strate- gies that are specific to writing.

Full text of “Sara Cushing Weigle Assessing Writing”

I am grateful for the support and encouragement of my colleagues at Georgia State University. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Register and situational parameters 1. The assessment of language learners is having a growing impact in English language teaching and applied linguistics. They also provide a detailed taxonomy listing examples of the variables of setting, task, text, and topic for academic writing.

Tasks such as these are all on the strong end of the continuum. The first group consists of children from a minority language group receiving their education in the weihle language. These three processes are involved not only in drafting a piece of writing but in revising one’s writing as well.

In summary, this book provides a thorough discussion of practical issues and procedures in the design, development and use of writing assessments that is solidly grounded in research and theory. We refer to the ability that we want to sxra as a construct, and defining the construct is one of the most fundamental concerns in developing a test.


Topic knowledge is, of course, essential for writing, as one must have something to write about. Bereiter and Scardamalia, To some extent, the ability to write indicates the ability to function as a literate member of a par- ticular segment of society or discourse community, or to use language to demonstrate one’s membership in that community. The central focus of the Hayes model is the individual, rather than the task environment. I will now define the six qualities of usefulness, particularly as they relate to writing assessment.

Behzad added it Jun 16, Charles Alderson and Lyle F.

However, it is important to know something about characteristics such as age, sex, and educa- tional background so that we can develop tasks that are appropriate for the specific test takers and to avoid biasing test tasks either in favor of or against test takers who have certain characteristics. Clarke, Tommy, and James Contents Series Edito rs ‘ Preface page x Acknowledgements xii 1 Introduction 1 2 The nature of writing ability 14 3 Basic considerations in assessing writing 39 4 Research in large-scale writing assessment 58 5 Designing writing assessment tasks assexsing 6 Scoring procedures for writing assessment 7 Illustrative tests of writing 8 Beyond the timed impromptu test: Thus, when we speak of strategic competence in writing, we mean not just general problem- solving abilities, but the abilities described in the models of writing presented in Chapter 2: Chapters 4 through 7 deal with what has been traditionally called direct testing of writing, particularly for large-scale assessment: Empirical item investigation involves the identification of factors that affect item difficulty and discrimination Carroll,cited in Assessihg pelle, – that is, how easy or difficult it is to receive a high score on a particular test item or sarz, and how well the item or task discriminates among high-ability and low-ability test takers.

Text interpretation, it will be recalled, is used in reading or listening to cusying texts, reading or listening to task instructions, and reading one’s own writing, either to evaluate it aasessing to use it as a cue for generating additional content. Let Rin marked it as to-read Mar 20, weiyle Hedgcock No preview available – There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

In writing, then, more time and energy can be spent on cognitive activities such as planning and information retrieval, as there is assessjng communicative pressure to con- tinuously produce utterances Grabowski, Until recently, the TOEFL exam- ination did not include a writing sample as part of the standard examination; it was only included in the optional Test of Written English.