ASSESSING WRITING: the art of the possible …
THE FOURTH in our series of events exploring the issues involved in assessing each of the four skills: this time, in Glasgow, it is the turn of Writing. As practitioners, we are all aware of the inherent challenges and issues in assessing a learner’s writing competence, designing assessment mechanisms and tasks which assess what we want or intend to assess, ensuring that the scoring/ grading scheme is valid and that the assessment is consistent and provides rich, constructive and relevant feedback for the L2 writer. This is perhaps the one skill that causes learners most difficulty and causes groans to go up, or grimaces on the faces of the learners when confronted with the challenge of producing a coherent and accurate piece of writing! How can we help learners to acquire good writing skills? How can we help learners to feel positive and confident in their writing? How can we ensure that the scoring/ grading is valid and fit for purpose? How can we support learners in understanding the various types of writing and generic differences? How we can support and facilitate learners in the successful development of their writing skills, whether it is in the domain or academic, professional , occupational or general purposes.
Just some of the challenges that face us when addressing writing skills with learners…
This is a PCE designed to enlighten, stimulate, provoke, reassure, challenge, encourage, refresh, illuminate, inform, intrigue, invigorate, motivate, surprise all participants! We hope that after participating in this day, you will walk away buzzing with new ideas, reflecting on current practices, planning what you would like to do now in terms of your own (and your organisation’s) practice in assessing writing.
We are very fortunate in the presenters taking part in our PCE as they are all renowned experts in the field – please see below for more detailed information on what the PCE has in store for you ….and will contribute to ensuring that the day is thought-provoking and full of stimulating ideas:
For this year’s PCE, with the help of an array of experts in the field, we would like to explore issues related to assessing writing and will focus on many of the points raised above:
- Is it possible to assess writing skills? Can this be done discretely? Is this the most effective approach?
- What is the impact of this assessment in the classroom?
- What are the key factors to consider in the design of a test of writing?
- How can test designers minimize test bias and maximize reliability?
- How can we classify and describe writing skills?
- Can ‘writing’ be analysed as a set of easily assessable sub-skills?
- What is the influence of cultural and educational background in the assessment of writing?
- What is needed in assessing writing for academic purposes?
- What is the optimal mode for feedback to test-takers on their performance?
Please click here for the program of the day – please note that the PCE will start promptly at 10.00. There are two coffee breaks (AM and PM) and that lunch is from 13.00-14.00). All presentations are 60 minutes long.