Using an Analytical Rubric to Improve the Writing of EFL College Students

| March 10, 2014
Title

Using an Analytical Rubric to Improve the Writing of EFL College Students

Keywords: Analytical rubric, assessment-for-learning, writing, writing assessment, writing instruction

Author

Hui-Chuan Liao & Lina Hsu
National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan

Bio

Hui-Chuan Liao is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences in Taiwan. Her current research interests include TEFL, instructional design and evaluation in writing and speaking, learning strategies, and peer learning.

Lina Hsu is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences in Taiwan. Her current research interests include English language teaching and using literature to enhance reading abilities.

Abstract

To examine the effect of integrating an analytical rubric with writing instruction on paragraph composition, we conducted a research study with a 1-year longitudinal time-series design. One college English writing class in Taiwan participated in the study. The analytical rubric was used as both the writing guide and the scoring criteria. In addition to writing instruction, the participants also received error feedback and written comments. Six specific research issues guided the study: an investigation of the perceived instructional effects of the writing program, whether the rubric raised learner awareness of organization, word use, and grammar, whether the rubric affected learner behavior in writing, learner evaluation of the scoring rubric, their motivation toward English writing, and, whether the integrated writing program improved the writing of the learners.
Data were collected using a self-reported questionnaire and pre-, mid-, and post-test writing. The data were analyzed with one-way repeated measures ANOVAs with subsequent protected t tests in addition to descriptive statistics. The results show that using the analytical rubric with writing instruction raised structure awareness, improved writing organization, and alerted students to lexical usage and grammar. Believing that the rubric had helped them identify their writing weaknesses, students showed a highly-positive attitude toward using the rubric. Strong motivation for learning writing was also discerned. Writing performances of the participants confirmed the questionnaire findings. Pedagogical implications and recommendations for future research are addressed.

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Category: Quarterly Journal