Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: writing performance

3 Exploring SL Writing and SL Sensitivity during Writing Tasks: Poor and Advanced Writing in a Context of Second Language Other than English

Authors: S. Figueiredo, M. Alves Martins, C. Silva, C. Simões


This study integrates a larger research empirical project that examines second language (SL) learners’ profiles and valid procedures to perform complete and diagnostic assessment in schools. 102 learners of Portuguese as a SL aged 7 and 17 years speakers of distinct home languages were assessed in several linguistic tasks. In this article, we focused on writing performance in the specific task of narrative essay composition. The written outputs were measured using the score in six components adapted from an English SL assessment context (Alberta Education): linguistic vocabulary, grammar, syntax, strategy, socio-linguistic, and discourse. The writing processes and strategies in Portuguese language used by different immigrant students were analysed to determine features and diversity of deficits on authentic texts performed by SL writers. Differentiated performance was based on the diversity of the following variables: grades, previous schooling, home language, instruction in first language, and exposure to Portuguese as Second Language. Indo-Aryan languages speakers showed low writing scores compared to their peers and the type of language and respective cognitive mapping (such as Mandarin and Arabic) was the predictor, not linguistic distance. Home language instruction should also be prominently considered in further research to understand specificities of cognitive academic profile in a Romance languages learning context. Additionally, this study also examined the teachers’ representations that will be here addressed to understand educational implications of second language teaching in psychological distress of different minorities in schools of specific host countries.

Keywords: Second Language, immigrant students, writing assessment, Portuguese language, home language

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2 Development of a Rating Scale for Elementary EFL Writing

Authors: Mohammed S. Assiri


In EFL programs, rating scales used in writing assessment are often constructed by intuition. Intuition-based scales tend to provide inaccurate and divisive ratings of learners’ writing performance. Hence, following an empirical approach, this study attempted to develop a rating scale for elementary-level writing at an EFL program in Saudi Arabia. Towards this goal, 98 students’ essays were scored and then coded using comprehensive taxonomy of writing constructs and their measures. An automatic linear modeling was run to find out which measures would best predict essay scores. A nonparametric ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis test, was then used to determine which measures could best differentiate among scoring levels. Findings indicated that there were certain measures that could serve as either good predictors of essay scores or differentiators among scoring levels, or both. The main conclusion was that a rating scale can be empirically developed using predictive and discriminative statistical tests.

Keywords: analytic scoring, rating scales, writing assessment, writing performance

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1 The Effect of Motor Learning Based Computer-Assisted Practice for Children with Handwriting Deficit – Comparing with the Effect of Traditional Sensorimotor Approach

Authors: Shao-Hsia Chang, Nan-Ying Yu


The objective of this study was to test how advanced digital technology enables a more effective training on the handwriting of children with handwriting deficit. This study implemented the graphomotor apparatuses to a computer-assisted instruction system. In a randomized controlled trial, the experiments for verifying the intervention effect were conducted. Forty two children with handwriting deficit were assigned to computer-assisted instruction, sensorimotor training or control (no intervention) group. Handwriting performance was measured using the Elementary reading/writing test and computerized handwriting evaluation before and after 6 weeks of intervention. Analysis of variance of change scores were conducted to show whether statistically significant difference across the three groups. Significant difference was found among three groups. Computer group shows significant difference from the other two groups. Significance was denoted in near-point, far-point copy, dictation test, and writing from phonetic symbols. Writing speed and mean stroke velocity in near-, far-point and short paragraph copy were found significantly difference among three groups. Computer group shows significant improvement from the other groups. For clinicians and school teachers, the results of this study provide a motor control based insight for the improvement of handwriting difficulties.

Keywords: Dysgraphia, computerized handwriting evaluation, sensorimotor program, computer assisted program

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