Diagnostic Writing Assessment: The Development and by Ute Knoch

By Ute Knoch

The diagnostic review of writing is a crucial point of language checking out which has usually been neclected within the literature. although, it really is a space which poses specific demanding situations to practioners either within the lecture room and in large-scale checking out occasions. This e-book provides a research which got down to advance and validate a score scale in particular designed for the diagnostic evaluation of writing in an instructional English surroundings. the dimensions used to be constructed by way of analysing a number of writing performances produced by way of either local audio system of English and inexperienced persons of English as an extra language. The score scale was once then verified utilizing either quantitative and qualitative tools. The research confirmed distinctive data-based score scale is extra legitimate and extra worthy for diagnostic reasons than the traditionally used impressionistic score scale.

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Thirdly, the descriptors in the FSI family of rating scales range from zero proficiency through to native-like performance. Each descriptor exists in relation to the others. The criticism that has been made in relation to this point (see for example Pienemann, Johnston, & Brindley, 1988; Young, 1995) is that the progression of the descriptors is not based on language development as shown by researchers investigating second language acquisition. It can therefore be argued that the theories underlying the development of the rating scales have not been validated and are probably based on the intuitions and personal theories of the scale developers.

5 Alternatives to raters: Grading using the computer In the following section, research about automated ratings using the computer is reviewed and the relevance of these programs to diagnostic assessment is discussed. 32 The difficulty of obtaining consistently high reliability in the ratings of human judges has resulted in research in the field of automated essay scoring. This research began as early as the 1960s (Shermis & Burstein, 2003). Several computer programs have been designed to help with the automated scoring of essays.

The advantage of basing a rating scale on a model of communicative competence is that these models are generic and therefore not context-dependent. This makes results more generalisable and therefore transferable across task types. g. , 1995), it is clear that they do not offer a sufficient foundation for the testing of writing. It is for example not certain that the aspects distinguished in the theoretical models can be isolated, operationalised or weighted. Also, models of communicative competence, as the name suggests, have been intended to be models of underlying competence and not of performance.

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