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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

Christine Coombe

Having a certain degree of assessment literacy is crucial for today's language teachers. The main aim of this paper is to provide that knowledge as it pertains to the…

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Abstract

Purpose

Having a certain degree of assessment literacy is crucial for today's language teachers. The main aim of this paper is to provide that knowledge as it pertains to the writing skill. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the main practical issues that teachers often face when evaluating the written work of their students. It will consider issues and solutions in five major areas: test design; test administration; ways to assess writing; feedback to students; and the effects on pedagogy.

Design/methodology/approach

The author took a very practical and principled approach to the complete process of assessing the written work of our students in a foreign or second language.

Findings

The cyclical relationship between teaching and assessment can be made entirely positive provided that the assessment is based on sound principles and procedures. Both teaching and assessment should relate to the learners' goals and very frequently to institutional goals.

Practical implications

Good teachers spend a lot of time ensuring that their writing assessment practices are valid and reliable. The author deals with the fundamental issues that underlie good test design in a very practical and understandable way and later suggests practical steps to ensure smooth and reliable test administration before dealing with ways to assess a range of different writing tasks. Then, the crucial issue of how best to provide useful developmental feedback to students is considered. She concludes by discussing how best testing practice should seek to accommodate the requirements of test takers.

Originality/value

This topic is significant as assessing foreign/second language writing skills is one of the most problematic areas in language testing. It is made even more important because good writing ability is very much sought after by higher education institutions and employers.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Book part
Publication date: 1 April 2011

Kristen L. McMaster, Kristen D. Ritchey and Erica Lembke

Many students with learning disabilities (LD) experience significant difficulties in developing writing proficiency. Early identification and intervention can prevent…

Abstract

Many students with learning disabilities (LD) experience significant difficulties in developing writing proficiency. Early identification and intervention can prevent long-term writing problems. Early identification and intervention require reliable and valid writing assessments that can be used to identify students at risk and monitor their progress in response to intervention. One promising approach to assessing students' performance and progress in writing is Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM). In this chapter, we provide an overview of CBM. Next, we describe a theoretical framework for writing development, and discuss implications of this framework for developing writing assessments. We then describe current efforts to develop a seamless and flexible approach to monitoring student progress in writing in the early elementary grades, and highlight important directions for future research. We end with a discussion of how teachers might eventually use CBM to make data-based decisions to provide effective individualized interventions for students who experience writing difficulties.

Details

Assessment and Intervention
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-829-9

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Sarah W. Beck, Karis Jones, Scott Storm, J. Roman Torres, Holly Smith and Meghan Bennett

This study aims to explore and provide empirical evidence for ways that teachers can simultaneously support students’ literary reading and analytic writing through…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore and provide empirical evidence for ways that teachers can simultaneously support students’ literary reading and analytic writing through dialogic assessment, an approach to conferencing with writers that foregrounds process and integrates assessment and instruction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses qualitative research methods of three high school teachers’ dialogic assessment sessions with individual students to investigate how these teachers both assessed and taught literary reading moves as they observed and supported the students’ writing. An expanded version of Rainey’s (2017) scheme for coding literary reading practices was used.

Findings

The three teachers varied in the range and extent of literary reading practices they taught and supported. The practices that they most commonly modeled or otherwise supported were making claims, seeking patterns and articulating puzzles. The variation we observed in their literary reading practices may be attributed to institutional characteristics of the teachers’ contexts.

Research limitations/implications

This study illustrates how the concept of prolepsis can be productively used as a lens through which to understand teachers’ instructional choices.

Practical implications

The descriptive findings show how individualized coaching of students’ writing about literature can also support literary reading. Teachers of English need not worry that they have to choose between teaching writing and teaching reading.

Originality/value

This study presents dialogic assessment as a useful way to guide students through the writing process and literary interpretation simultaneously.

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Emily Frawley and Larissa McLean Davies

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interface between high-stakes testing, disciplinary knowledge and teachers’ pedagogy in English. The most prevalent…

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2316

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interface between high-stakes testing, disciplinary knowledge and teachers’ pedagogy in English. The most prevalent standardized assessment form in the current Australian context is the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) undertaken each year by students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in all Australian States and Territories. Understood in the context of the Global Educational Reform Movement (GERM) (Sahlberg, 2011, pp. 100-101) – the NAPLAN tests serve as a bi-partisan governmental response to a perceived need to improve the quality of teachers and schools in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on the key sociological constructs of Pierre Bourdieu (1995) to analyze the ways in which the writing component of the suite of NAPLAN tests serves to legitimize and idealize particular kinds of writing, writers and teachers of writing.

Findings

The authors suggest that in the absence of current literacy policy and curriculum instability, this national test shapes the literacy field, influencing the direction of writing practices and pedagogy, and, therefore, subject English itself, in Australian classrooms.

Originality/value

This assessment intervention is considered in the context of the history of writing, and addresses accordingly fundamental questions concerning the changing nature of the writing/writerly field, the impact of assessment on teachers’ conceptions of disciplinarity and pedagogical content knowledge and students’ experiences of writing and thinking in subject English.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2016

Jessica Semeraro and Noreen S. Moore

To investigate sixth-grade students with learning disabilities and their use of Google Docs to facilitate peer revision for informational writing.

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate sixth-grade students with learning disabilities and their use of Google Docs to facilitate peer revision for informational writing.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study is used to examine how students used Google Docs to support peer revision. Constant comparative analysis with a separate deductive revision and overall writing quality analysis was used.

Findings

The findings indicate that students used key features in Google Docs to foster collaboration during revision, they made improvements in overall writing quality, their revisions focused on adding informational elements to support organization of their writing and revisions were mostly made at the sentence level, and students were engaged while using the technology.

Practical implications

We postulate that the use of peer revision coupled with Google Docs technology can be a powerful tool for improving student writing quality and for changing the role of the writing teacher during revision. The use of peer revision should be accompanied with strong explicit instruction using the gradual release of responsibility model so that peer tutors are well-trained. Writing teachers can use Google Docs to monitor and assess writing and peer collaboration and then use this knowledge to guide whole and small-group instruction or individual conferences.

Details

Writing Instruction to Support Literacy Success
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-525-6

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2019

Sheila F. Baker and Renée E. Lastrapes

This paper aims to investigate elementary students’ writing experiences using a digital writing application and compares the results to the findings and recommendations of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate elementary students’ writing experiences using a digital writing application and compares the results to the findings and recommendations of a national survey on instructional practices in writing.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods were used to assess the quantity and quality of P-5 public school students’ writing over time. Teacher, librarian and student perceptions and experiences were examined and compared to the results and recommendations from a national survey on writing.

Findings

This paper provides empirical insights into the use of a digital writing application in writing instruction. Findings showed the use of a digital writing application: significantly increased the quantity and improved the quality of student writing; excited and motivated students to write; extended the learning day so more time was spent on writing; and supported students of special populations. Comparison to the recommendations of the national survey showed five of seven recommendations were not met in this study.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to conduct further investigations.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for writing instruction using digital applications for teachers, librarians and educators in pre-service teacher and school librarian preparation programs.

Originality/value

Considering limited growth in national writing scores and the transition to online writing assessments by 2019, this paper addresses the need to integrate technology into writing instruction and offers practical strategies for doing so.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

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Book part
Publication date: 27 June 2008

Susan A. Lynn and Thomas E. Vermeer

Over the last twenty years, many studies have examined the impact of structured writing programs on improving accounting students’ writing skills. In this chapter, we…

Abstract

Over the last twenty years, many studies have examined the impact of structured writing programs on improving accounting students’ writing skills. In this chapter, we extend this research by using writing assignments that are representative of the workplace writing experiences that students encounter in their professional careers, by developing an evaluation instrument to assess the effectiveness of structured writing programs, and by using business advisory board members to evaluate improvement in students’ writing. Our results suggest that our new approach to designing writing assignments representative of workplace writing helps students improve their writing skills. Our business advisory board members’ ratings indicate that the overall quality of the students’ writing improved over two semesters of completing a series of workplace writing assignments. Specifically, our structured writing program improved students’ business writing skills in the areas of organization (paragraph unity, layout, and conclusion) and style and tone (conciseness and word choice). Students also improved in their ability to explain technical aspects of accounting work and in certain aspects of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The results and tools provided in this study should assist other programs in either implementing or improving a structured writing program.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-519-2

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2019

Mehrdad Vasheghani Farahani and Vahid Pahlevansadegh

In spite of the growing interest in using corpora in language teaching and learning, applying computers and software (especially corpora software) is still new in second…

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of the growing interest in using corpora in language teaching and learning, applying computers and software (especially corpora software) is still new in second language teaching and learning. In addition, employing a learner corpus-based perspective in teaching metadiscourse features in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) writing tasks is not reported to the best knowledge of the researchers. Understanding and spotting this gap, the purpose of this paper is to utilize a learner corpus-based approach in teaching metadiscourse features and investigate its possible impacts on IELTS writing performance of the Iranian second language learners. Therefore, this study addressed the following research questions and hypotheses.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research utilized a quasi-experimental research design. In addition, this research used a learner corpus-based methodology. The corpus-based methodology was exploited to enable the researchers to have access to a large body of authentic language materials. In other words, a corpus-based methodology was used due to the fact that it made it possible for the researchers to elicit the metadiscourse features from a large number of authentic writing materials and to employ them during the treatment process with authentic examples.

Findings

The findings showed that there was a positive correlation between teaching metadiscourse features and writing performance of IELTS learners; in that, teaching metadiscourse features could soar the writing performance of the subjects. In addition, interactional metadiscourse features had more impact than interactive metadiscourse features on writing performance.

Practical implications

The results of this research can have useful implications for second language teachers and learners as well as researchers in learner corpus as they can learn the creation and application of learner corpora in second language teaching and learning.

Originality/value

This paper is value in that it uses corpus software and methodology in teaching metadiscourse features in writing section of IELTS test.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 June 2016

Amy Gillespie Rouse and Alyson A. Collins

Struggling writers and students with disabilities tend to have difficulties with multiple aspects of the writing process. Therefore, in this chapter, we describe…

Abstract

Struggling writers and students with disabilities tend to have difficulties with multiple aspects of the writing process. Therefore, in this chapter, we describe Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD; Harris, Graham, Mason, & Friedlander, 2008). SRSD is a writing intervention with extensive research demonstrating its effectiveness for improving the writing quality of struggling writers and students with disabilities when implemented by both teachers and researchers in a variety of educational settings. We also describe an ineffective writing practice, stand-alone grammar instruction. Although this type of grammar instruction is explicit, it is removed from an authentic writing context, and decades of research have demonstrated its negative effects on students’ writing quality. We close the chapter with recommendations for future research on SRSD as well as general suggestions for teachers who provide writing instruction to struggling writers and students with disabilities.

Details

Instructional Practices with and without Empirical Validity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-125-8

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Roos Van Gasse, Marije Lesterhuis, San Verhavert, Renske Bouwer, Jan Vanhoof, Peter Van Petegem and Sven De Maeyer

The Flemish Examination Centre designed an intervention to establish a professional learning community on the topic of writing assessment. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The Flemish Examination Centre designed an intervention to establish a professional learning community on the topic of writing assessment. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of this intervention and explain how this intervention succeeded in establishing a professional learning community.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method design was used to answer the research questions. Quantitative analysis of comparative judgement data provided insight into the effects of the intervention. More specifically was analysed whether examiners judged more in line after the intervention. Qualitative analysis of the conversations within the intervention served to examine how interdependent examiners behaved in the professionalisation exercises and to gain insight into how a professional learning community was established.

Findings

The analysis showed that the intervention of the Flemish Examination Centre facilitated the formation of a professional learning community. This was visible in the quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis showed that highly interdependent activities were helpful in establishing the professional learning community.

Practical implications

This study shows that interactions of high interdependence are beneficial to facilitate professional learning communities.

Originality/value

This study shows that the assessment data can guide a well-thought out design of interventions to establish professional learning communities among assessors. Assessment data can be a guidance for supportive group constellations and discussions to improve assessment practices. The key in this regard lies in the level of interdependence that is created among participants.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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