ERIC Number: ED365147
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The Difficulties of Difficulty: Prompts in Writing Assessment.
Hamp-Lyons, Liz; Prochnow, Sheila
This study investigated the effect of writing task topic on learner performance in a second-language writing test, in this case the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery designed to test proficiency in English as a Second Language. The 64 topics or "prompts" used in the test (offered as pairs of options) were categorized according to writing task type (expository/private; expository/public; argumentative/private; argumentative/public; and a combination of two or more of the previous types) and the categories assigned a level of difficulty. Scores received on the test were then correlated with topic difficulty. Contrary to expectation, the mean writing score increased rather than decreased as topic difficulty increased. Implications for test construction and for rater judgment are examined. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Michigan English Language Assessment Battery
Note: In: Sarinee, Anivan, Ed. Current Developments in Language Testing. Anthology Series 25. Paper presented at the Regional Language Centre Seminar on Language Testing and Language Programme Evaluation (April 9-12, 1990); see FL 021 757.