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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32154

Title: ESL/EFL Writing Instructors’ Practices for Assessment: General or Specific Purposes?
Authors: Cumming, Alister
Keywords: ESL/EFL writing assessment
classroom practices
comparative international survey
Issue Date: Apr-2001
Publisher: Sage Publications
Citation: Cumming, A. (2001). ESL/EFL writing instructors’ practices for assessment: General or specific purposes? Language Testing, 18, 2, 207-224. doi:10.1177/026553220101800206
Abstract: A fundamental difference emerged between specific and general purposes for language assessment in the process of my interviewing 48 highly experienced instructors of ESL/EFL composition about their usual practices for writing assessment in courses in universities or immigrant settlement programs. The instructors worked in situations where English is either the majority language (Australia, Canada, New Zealand) or an international language (Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand). Although the instructors tended to conceptualize ESL/EFL writing instruction in common ways overall, I was surprised to find how their conceptualizations of student assessment varied depending on whether the courses they taught were defined in reference to general or specific purposes for learning English. Conceptualizing ESL/EFL writing for specific purposes (e.g., in reference to particular academic disciplines or employment domains) provided clear rationales for selecting tasks for assessment and specifying standards for achievement; but these situations tended to use limited forms of assessment, based on limited criteria for student achievement. Conceptualizing ESL/EFL writing for general purposes, either for academic studies or settlement in an English-dominant country, was associated with varied methods and broad-based criteria for assessing achievement, focused on individual learners’ development, but realized in differing ways by different instructors.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32154
ISSN: 0265-5322 (Print)
1477-0946 (Online)
Appears in Collections:Faculty (CTL)

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