Teaching Esl Essay, Research Paper

OPTIONS IN WRITING ASSESSMENT: AN Exploration

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Introduction

I would wish to get down by raising a few inquiries:

1st. What way should assessment of composing take?

2nd. Should it measure samples of day-to-day work such as a journal entries or portfolio authorship?

3rd. Or is the impression of general appraisal wholly out of synchronism with the mega-trends in instruction where appraisal and response to composing hold become radical? I will try to reply these inquiries as a recommended solution to instructors & # 8217 ; jobs on how to measure, measure and tag pupils & # 8217 ; work.

Based on my experience as a instructor trainer, I should state that the instruction and subsequent appraisal of composing leave much to be desired. Not much alteration has been undertaken in footings of attacks and schoolroom processs. Might this be due to the fact that some of us teach the manner we were taught? That some of us still cleaving to the antique beliefs and patterns in measuring, rating and instruction, measuring and reacting to student composing?

Let me mention some of the patterns that most of us linguistic communication instructors find hard to make away with:

1. Teacher gives exercisings and theoretical account paragraphs and essays for pupils to copy. If this is all that a instructor does, so she hampers or impedes creativeness on the portion of the pupils.

2. Teacher lists a figure of subjects on the blackboard, so asks pupils to take one and compose about it. This is done without so much as a preliminary activity to the existent authorship exercising.

3. Teacher prescribes the exact figure of words and the clip bound with which to complete a piece of authorship. For illustration, all documents have to be handed in at the terminal of a 40 or 60-minute period, inclusive of preliminaries such as instructions, figure of words, figure of paragraphs, etc.

4. Appraisal, rating and scaling are imprecise unsystematic. Teachers normally write fringy remarks, which merely serve to confound pupils. General remarks like improve, rephrase, vague, excessively wide or stipulate frustrate the pupils alternatively of assist them.

5. Teacher gives composing assignments, which take clip to tag and give back to pupils, or worse, teacher sometimes fails to return the documents. We were pupils one time and we know how of import the instructor & # 8217 ; s feedback was. Can we fault our pupils today if they become apathetic to their English classs?

6. Teacher corrects all mistakes, & # 8220 ; bleeds & # 8221 ; pupils & # 8217 ; documents to decease, figuratively and literally. Red pencilling all over the paper reveals that signifier, instead than substance, is given more attending. By rectifying on signifier, pupils tend to turn in documents, which are about unflawed in grammar but missing in substance. Research in the instruction of composing harmonizing to Sommer ( 1989 ) reveals that red ink, fringy notes and symbols for rectification are by and large uneffective in bettering pupil authorship. He besides says that get downing authors have the misconception that unflawed grammars, proper punctuation, right pick of words, are some of the primary considerations in authorship ; that & # 8220 ; what the instructor wants & # 8221 ; is more of import than a pupil & # 8217 ; s developing original thoughts ; and that composing submitted to the instructor for rectification is finished work instead than a phase in the procedure of betterment and completion.

7. Readership is limited. Students write composings for their instructor & # 8217 ; s eyes merely. They do non acquire the opportunity to read each other & # 8217 ; s work.

These are merely some of the schoolroom & # 8220 ; malpractices & # 8221 ; that confuse and disorient pupils. How so do English instructors put an terminal to these apparently debatable scenarios in their authorship categories?

Appraisal and rating are non the exclusive duty of the instructor. Teachers need to do their pupils realize that their paper is their ain property- therefore replying the inquiry of ownership. A paper which is & # 8220 ; overly marked and scribbled over & # 8221 ; by the instructor is no longer the pupil & # 8217 ; s belongings. It becomes the instructor & # 8217 ; s. How can we measure and react efficaciously to student composing sing the negative effects of certain traditional beliefs and patterns?

Aim

My paper chief nonsubjective therefore is to show new waies in measuring and reacting to pupil composing. Wiser & A ; Dorsey ( 1991 ) claim that what we are making now is non much ; what we are traveling to be making is a batch more. Some of us want appraisal to play a function that is wholly different from the function it now plays. Others may desire to make away with traditional appraisal wholly and to research writing appraisal through the usage of alternate signifiers of appraisal.

Options in Writing Assessment

The term appraisal, based on the context of my paper, involves the agencies of obtaining information about pupils, abilities, cognition, understanding attainments or attitudes. An assignment in authorship, for case, will be helpful in measuring a pupil & # 8217 ; s ability in and apprehension of the assigned activity.

Sommer ( 1989 ) defines appraisal as the procedure of happening out who the pupils are, what their abilities are, what they need to cognize, and how they perceive the acquisition will impact them. Sommer farther distinguishes appraisal from rating when he says that appraisal takes topographic point at the beginning of the authorship class, whereas rating describes ongoing activities that finally provide closing in the authorship class.

Assessment places the demand of the pupils at the centre of the instructor & # 8217 ; s planning.

At this point, allow me travel back to the inquiry raised earlier on & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; How do we measure and react to student composing sing the negative effects of certain traditional beliefs and patterns? & # 8221 ; My reply is, we have to research new waies and positions along this line.

In the visible radiation of pedagogical concerns, I should wish now to discourse options in composing appraisal through alternate and non-traditional signifiers of measuring classroom-based authorship. They are:

1. Portfolio appraisal

2. Protocol analysis

3. Learning logs

4. Journal entries

5. Dialogue diaries

Some of these signifiers of appraisal are familiar to you but they will be discussed in the visible radiation of new tendencies and attacks relevant to the instruction of composing. It will brood more at length an in greater item than the remainder the issues of portfolio appraisal.

1. Portfolio & # 8211 ; appraisal

How can portfolios be used as an alternate method of appraisal? New thoughts in the instruction of English do come along. Some of them become rapidly established in pattern because they are & # 8220 ; so right, so seasonably, so useful. & # 8221 ; The portfolio in authorship categories is a instance of point. Disenchantment with the traditional manners of appraisal has likely contributed to portfolio attack to appraisal of authorship.

What so are portfolios? Applebee and Langer ( 1992 ) define portfolios as a cumulative aggregation of the work pupils has done. Some of the most popular signifiers include:

a. A traditional & # 8220 ; composing booklet & # 8221 ; in which pupils maintain their work.

B. A edge notebook with separate subdivisions kept for work in advancement and concluding bill of exchanges

c. A loose-leaf notebook in which pupils maintain their bill of exchanges and alterations

d. A combination booklet and large brown envelope where pupils & # 8217 ; Hagiographas & # 8211 ; exercisings, trials, composings, bill of exchanges, etc. & # 8211 ; are kept. ( By the way, this signifier of portfolio is my ain creative activity. )

e. A notebook divided into two subdivisions: one for bill of exchanges and the other for concluding transcripts ( traditionally called original and rewritten composings manner back in the late 50s & # 8217 ; and the60s & # 8217 ; where I used to be a public school instructor in the Division of City Schools, Manila. )

A typical authorship portfolio contains the pupil & # 8217 ; s sum composing end product to stand for his/her overall public presentation, but it may besides incorporate merely a choice of plants which the pupil has chosen for the instructor to measure. In other words, portfolios show a pupil & # 8217 ; s work from the beginning of the term to the terminal giving both instructor and pupil a opportunity to measure how much the latter & # 8217 ; s authorship has progressed.

Let me give a specific illustration. In April 1995, I personally handled 15 hours of a 30-hour authorship category ( a particular CELL composing plan. ) which I team-taught with another instructor. The category was composed of 20 college edge pupils who wanted to better their authorship accomplishments in readying for university surveies. I exploited portfolio attack, which I found effectual despite the fact that the composing category was a non-degree plan. Alternatively of taking their portfolios place, the pupils kept them in a authorship desk which I appropriated in one corner of the room ( we had a lasting room for the full class ) . Before they left the category at noontime, the pupils had to set their portfolios on the desk and would acquire them back every bit shortly as they arrived the undermentioned forenoon. The pupils had all the clip to discourse their assignments, to compose, to make exercisings, and other activities relevant to the capable affair. Likewise, I had all the clip to measure their work with the aid of class of the whole category. Incidentally, I besides asked my pupils to set their diaries entries in a little notebook, which they kept in their portfolios. Two yearss before the terminal of categories, I required my pupils to fix a tabular array of contents for their portfolios and to compose a timed brooding essay in category which was the lone timed composing they did, explicating their pick of documents for appraisal and rating intents. They got back their portfolios with my written remarks and suggestions on the last twenty-four hours of categories as portion of our culminating activity. This doesn & # 8217 ; t mean, nevertheless, that portfolio appraisals should be done merely one time ; really, they should be done at the beginning and advancement along with the pupils & # 8217 ; ain advancement in authorship.

Portfolio aggregations form the footing for conferences, which I will discourse in a small while as one of the responses to student composing. Conferencing is a critical constituent of portfolio appraisal. Farr & A ; Lowe ( 1991 ) are of the sentiment that pupils, through conferencing and maintaining portfolios, experience doing real-life determinations every bit good as determinations about school assignment. In order for pupils to take duty for their acquisition and their lives, ownership of their ain picks and actions is an all important consideration. In the traditional attack, ownership of work and acquisition is looked upon more as the duty of the teacher than of the scholar. But when pupils actively take part in the choice and treatment of their work, they gain a true sense of ownership, which consequences in personal satisfaction, and feelings of dignity.

For portfolios to run into the ends of literacy appraisal, Farr & A ; Lowe province that they must be developed as follows:

+ Teachers and pupils both add stuffs to the portfolio.

+ Students are viewed as the proprietors of the portfolios.

+ Conferencing between pupils and the instructor is an built-in activity in portfolio appraisal.

+ Conference notes and contemplations of both the instructor and the pupil are kept in the portfolio.

+ Portfolios demand to reflect a broad scope of pupil work and non merely that which the instructor or pupil decides is the best.

+ Samples of the pupil & # 8217 ; s reading and authorship activities are collected in the portfolios-including unfinished undertakings.

Applebee and Langer ( 1992 ) believe that portfolios of pupils & # 8217 ; work offer one of the best vehicles for ASSESSMENT OF WRITING for two grounds:

1. They typically contain a assortment of different samples of pupil work, and

2. They make it easy to separate rating from the procedure of direction.

No system of appraisal is every bit perfect as portfolio appraisal harmonizing to Gallehr ( 1993 ) because pupils are required to compose, but within this demand, they can take the subject, audience, responde

R in the category, alteration schemes, etc. They are besides free to choose from their plants the pieces they want to include in their portfolios. This shows that portfolios may be used as a holistic procedure for measuring class work. Portfolios provide a sound footing on which to document single pupil advancement because they can integrate a scope of appraisal schemes over an drawn-out period of clip.

2. Protocol-analysis

A 2nd though slightly complicated agencies of measuring pupil authorship is protocol analysis. Actually, protocol analysis, every bit good as the other non-traditional signifiers of appraisal, is a writing process that promotes the procedure attack to authorship.

Protocol analysis is besides known as the & # 8220 ; composing aloud protocols & # 8221 ; or a & # 8220 ; believe aloud & # 8221 ; activity, which is the exact antonym of the fixed theoretical account used by traditional composing instructors. This type of analysis reveals the witting procedures involved in composing. In this attack, pupils are asked to enter every idea that comes to mind during the authorship procedure. The transcripts are analyzed and used as one of the instruments for measuring pupil composing. To enable the pupils to utilize protocol analysis efficaciously, the instructor should foremost function as theoretical account. She should demo the category how to continue, by doing the category listens to a taped theoretical account of her ain protocol analysis process, or to make existent protocol analysis in the schoolroom with pupils listening and detecting. Appraisal of pupil authorship can be done utilizing this scheme for through protocol analysis, a instructor can state how pupils write, the schemes they use to bring forth thoughts, how frequently they revise and edit their work, whether their written work has improved at all.

3. Learning logs

A acquisition log is another signifier of appraisal that helps instructors maintain path of what pupils are larning, peculiarly in the authorship category, and in the linguistic communication category as a whole. Harmonizing to Applebee & A ; Langer ( 1992 ) , in a acquisition log, pupils write about the cognition they have gained from analyzing in their authorship categories, and from their ain thought. One great advantage of larning logs is that pupil & # 8217 ; s record in composing information and their ideas about it. A instructor doesn & # 8217 ; t rate larning logs, but from these logs a instructor can measure how much a pupil has gained or benefited from the composing category.

4. Journal entries

Journal entries may be used as an informal agencies of appraisal by the instructor. I said informal because journal entries are personal and confidant. It is a record of ideas and feelings chiefly for personal usage. What a instructor can make is to compose short notes in response to pupils & # 8217 ; ideas. Merely as in portfolio appraisals, journal entries may be a beginning for conferencing.

Journal maintaining, being informal in nature, enables a pupil to acquire extended authorship pattern. Some of its advantages are: ( 1 ) it can be gratifying, since it gives the pupils free reign to compose on any subject at the goad of the minute ; ( 2 ) it offers pupils the privateness, freedom, and safety to experiment and develop as a author ( Applebee and Langer, 1992 ) .

Since diary maintaining is as private and confidential every bit good as a extremely individualised procedure, measuring pupils & # 8217 ; journal entries is besides a private affair between the author and the instructor. At this point, I am pleased to state that I started journal maintaining at the DLSU Writing lab in the late 80 & # 8217 ; s. I required all pupils to maintain their diaries in the Writing Lab. Because the pupils had been making it on a regular basis, it finally became a wont with them. I gave them a upper limit of 10 proceedingss to compose briefly on anything that came to mind, e.g. , household assemblages, household jobs, thoughts on love and wooing, travel, current-events, particular occasions and other relevant issues. They wrote down their ideas in a few sentences at the beginning, but their authorship improved and developed so much so that at the terminal of their Writing Lab stretch, they could already compose their ideas in longer paragraphs. Sometimes the instructor responded to journal entries through conferencing. At the beginning, for every bit long as the pupils could pass on their ideas on paper, for every bit long as their Hagiographas were comprehendible & # 8211 ; their grammatical defects and oversights were taken attention of subsequently. What worked good at the clip were due to several factors such as the involvement of the pupils, the forbearance of the lab teachers, and the coaction between the lab teachers and the capable instructors.

By the way, I besides suggested to the lab instructors to maintain diaries and prosecute in composing their diary entries at the same time with the pupils. Occasionally, some pupils shared their entries with the category.

I believe that journal entries may besides lend greatly to the humanistic attack to learning and acquisition, an illustration of which is the integrating of values during the sharing Sessionss.

5. Dialogue-journals.

Another non-traditional signifier of appraisal of authorship is written duologues between instructor and pupils. They are applicable to both linguistic communication and literature categories every bit good as content country classs

Kreeft, Jay and Staton ( 1993 ) distinguish diary maintaining from duologue diaries as follows: Journal maintaining is a provide diary which provides pattern in composing. It does non give pupils assistance beyond what he/she already knows how to make. Dialogue diaries, on the other manus, are written duologues with a instructor or on rare occasions, a schoolmate, which provides guided aid to the scholar in showing thoughts and feelings, depicting and lucubrating on experience, and reflecting more and more critically on that experience. Dialogue journal interaction creates a context of equality and power symmetricalness that leads to swear between scholar and instructor.

A duologue diary purposes to demo how it can back up a reflective, synergistic schoolroom, which is honoring for both instructor and pupils. Its value in footings of appraisal is that it provides single-handed, unedited samples of pupil authorship and reading comprehension as pupils become more and more able to read and react fluently to the instructor & # 8217 ; s entries. Kreeft, Jay and Staton, 1993 ) . By the way, this shows that reading can non be disassociated from composing that a nexus truly exists between these two accomplishments.

6. Response to Students Writing In antiphonal instruction, the pupil Acts of the Apostless and the instructor reacts. The scope of reaction is extended and diverse because an single instructor is reacting to an single pupil, and the pupil in bend is go throughing through an ever-changing procedure of find through authorship. ( Murray, 1985 )

How do linguistic communication instructors respond to their pupils & # 8217 ; written composing? Most instructors can non defy rectification the mistakes both planetary and local in their pupils & # 8217 ; composings. By and large in the instance of planetary mistakes ( mistakes that impede communicating ) , instructors substitute their ain words, sentences, and even thoughts for their pupils & # 8217 ; mistakes so that ( as I mentioned earlier on ) these pupils & # 8217 ; lose the ownership of their authorship. They can hardly acknowledge their work. This is conducive to many pupils & # 8217 ; disfavor of authorship.

Reacting to pupils & # 8217 ; composing, if done decently, may take to pupils improved written work and may do composing interesting, disputing and gratifying.

Reacting or feedback to authorship can be both unwritten and written. There are a assortment of response types that an English instructor can use in the schoolroom. In alternate signifiers of appraisal, I emphasized portfolio appraisal ; in response to pupil composing which comprises the other half of my paper, I will zero in on conferencing & # 8211 ; but foremost, allow us see what other responses are.

1. Self-response

Self-response and appraisal of one & # 8217 ; s ain authorship or feedback is possible. Surveies on self-assessment reveal that pupils are capable of analysing and reacting to their ain authorship given the proper preparation. By leting pupils to respond to their ain work and to pattern self-feedback, the instructor is promoting them to be self-sufficing and independent. How can self-assessment be done? A few sample inquiries can be given as guidelines to the pupils such as:

+ What am I composing about? ( s.m. )

+ Is the chief thought of my work all the way?

+ Do I hold inside informations, e.g. illustration and illustrations to back up my chief thought? Etc.

Many instructors are interested in holding pupils able to make self-assessment and understand how they are developing as literary scholars.

2. Peer Response.

Peer response show that readership does non belong entirely to the instructor since in this type of response, pupils are enjoined to portion their Hagiographas with each other. Students may non wish this at the beginning but with the instructor & # 8217 ; s encouragement, they will bit by bit acquire used to the thought of pass oning their thoughts to each other. Elbow, ( 198 ) believes that when the pupils write merely for their instructor ( which normally means for a class ) they frequently fall into certain bad wonts, handling composing as an empty school exercising and trying merely to merely & # 8220 ; acquire it right & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; give teacher what they want. & # 8221 ; When pupils write for their equals, they become really concerned about what they say and how they say it. Students may non be every bit skilled as instructors reacting to each other & # 8217 ; s work but they are first-class in supplying the one thing that authors need most & # 8211 ; an audience.

Kroll ( 1991 ) says that because ESL pupils lack the linguistic communication competency of native talkers of English who can respond informatively to their schoolmates & # 8217 ; documents, equal responding in the ESL schoolroom must be modeled, taught and controlled for it to valuable activity. Controling equal response is merely similar self-feedback, can be done through the usage of a checklist. Below are the typical inquiries for equal response:

+ & # 8220 ; What is the chief intent of this paper? & # 8221 ;

+ & # 8220 ; What have you found peculiarly effectual in this paper? & # 8221 ;

+ & # 8220 ; Do you believe the author has followed through on what the paper set out to make? & # 8221 ;

+ & # 8220 ; Find three topographic points in the essays where you can believe of inquiries that have been answered by the author. Write those inquiries on the border as countries for the author to reply in the following bill of exchange & # 8221 ; .

3. Teacher response.

The last to react to a written work is the instructor. The instructor & # 8217 ; s burden is lightened when pupils have done both single and peer feedback. Gradually, the instructor can present peer rectification so that pupils can be used to it. If single and peer rectification and feedback fail at first, the instructor can sometimes assist by concentrating attending on the topographic point where the errors occur.

4. Conferencing: A one-to-one conversation.

Conferencing is a signifier of unwritten instructor feedback. A short conference of 10 to 15 proceedingss will enable the instructor to inquire the pupil about certain humanistic disciplines of the latter & # 8217 ; s composing which are debatable, but conferencing may be every bit short as 30 seconds, or every bit long as the two parties wish to speak. All the signifiers have the same indispensable characteristic: merely two parties, a instructor and a pupil, non a instructor and a category. The conversation between these two parties is the strength of the conference method. Conferences make better acquainted with pupils.

Harmonizing to Kroll ( 1991 ) , conferences allow the instructor to cover possible misinterpretations that the pupil might hold about anterior written feedback on issues in composing that have been discussed in category. Furthermore, in conferencing pupils can normally larn more than they can when trying to decode teacher-written commentary on their ain.

Meeting separately with pupils is one of the most valuable services a instructor can execute. In the context of appraisal and response to student composing one-on-one conferences round out the procedure of detecting the demands of pupils, particularly the first conference. Sommer ( 1989 ) further suggests that, the instructor should set up to run into with pupils person-to-person after the latter have completed authorship samples.

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