Large-scale writing assessments can consist of multiple types of writing tasks. These tasks along with variance in human rating may contribute to an increase in score variability. Using generalizability (G-) theory, the purpose of this study was to examine the task and rating effects on assessing large-scale ESL students’ writing in the 2002, 2003, and 2004 administrations of a provincial English literacy test in Canada. The research question that guided this study was: Are there any significant differences between the rating variability (e.g., task and rating effects) of the writing scores assigned to ESL students and to native English students across three years? The results suggested that, for 2002 and 2004 in particular, the writing tasks could not distinguish between the students whose writing tasks were marked twice; further, they were not on average comparable in difficulty and they are uniformly difficult for all of these students. Further, the ratings were not very different in severity between the first and second ratings. However, the small variance due to the object of measurement and the large person-by-task effect may have masked relatively large rating effect. Important policymaking and practical implications are discussed.
Previous studies on perceptions regarding practicing language teachers’ grammar teaching found that ESOL teacher training impacts classroom practices. Adopting the participative inquiry method (Reason, 1994a) and using weekly reflection journals as the main data source, the researchers examined the experiences of five TESOL graduate students in a graduate-level grammar course at a university in the northeast U.S. We found that the ESOL teacher trainees’ perceptions of grammar and grammar teaching changed significantly due to authentic grammar teaching experiences, guest teacher teaching demonstrations, and various grammar activities in class. In particular, practicing teaching grammar in an authentic setting was both useful and changed the participants’ perceptions of grammar and grammar teaching. This research suggests that ESOL teacher trainees, whether native speakers or not, require teacher training in grammar in order to enhance the competency of both their own grammar and their grammar teaching.
This paper expands the definition of adolescent ESL writing beyond word-based composing; provides an empirical evidence of how this reconceptualization can play out in a concrete ESL writing classroom; proposes a framework for examining transformations in adolescent writers’ multimodal meaning making; and demonstrates how multimodal pedagogies can facilitate adolescent ESL writers’ development and communication of ideational meanings. The research was conducted among 8th graders in southern Ghana. A multimodal pedagogy was designed to support writers to compose multiple texts, including expository texts, posters and poster presentations. I adopted a multimodal social semiotic approach to analyze the meanings the writers constructed through their multiple texts. Additionally, I drew on the notion of intersemiotic complementarity and ideas from multimodal interaction analysis to examine the transformations in the writers’ meaning making. The findings were discussed in light of their implications for adolescent ESL writing pedagogy and research.
HUANG, JINYAN. Overcoming Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2012. Pp. xix, 166. $75, hard cover. ISBN 978-1613247754.
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