The rating of class essays written by students of English as a second language: A qualitative study of criteria and process
Manal Saleh Alghannam
This study concerns a neglected aspect of L2 English writing research: teachers' processes when rating essays written by their own students for class practice, not exams, with no imposed rating/assessment scheme/rubric. It draws on writing assessment process research literature, although most work has been done on scoring exam writing, using a set scoring rubric, where all raters rate the same essays.
Eight research questions were answered from data gathered from six teachers, with a wide range of relevant training, but all teaching UK university pre-sessional or equivalent classes. Instruments used were general interviews, think aloud reports while rating their own students' essays, and follow up immediate retrospective interviews. Qualitative coding was undertaken using NVivo.
Teachers reported similar perceptions of ‘good writing’, and all used a form of analytic rating, achieved in three broad stages, drawing in part on information beyond that just in the essay text. However, they varied in what criteria they prioritized when actually rating essays, and in the scales, they used to summarize evaluations, ranging from IELTS scores to evaluative adjectives. Most claimed to use personal criteria, and showed concern for the consequential pedagogical value of their rating more than achieving a test-like reliable score.
ISBN 9783969391563. LINCOM Studies in Second Language Teaching 27. 370pp. 2023.