Assessing EFL University Students Writing: A Study of Score Reliability
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AbstractThe assessment of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) writing is a complex activity that is subject to human judgment, which makes it difficult to achieve a fair, accurate and reliable assessment of student writing (Pearson, 2004: 117; Hamp-Lyons, 2003). This study reports on the variability that exists between the analytical grades that 11 Mexican EFL university teachers awarded to five writing samples. It describes the raters views on writing assessment and their use of analytical scoring rubrics. Data obtained from the grades awarded to each paper, and a background questionnaire, suggested that great variability was found between grades, and raters differed in their levels of leniency and severity, suggesting that having similar backgrounds and using the same rubric are not enough to ensure rater reliability. Participants perceptions were found to be similar in terms of the use of analytical rubrics.