ERIC Number: ED323771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Essay Test Strategies and Cultural Diversity: Pragmatic Failure, Pragmatic Accommodation, and the Definition of Excellence.
A study examined the responses of five university students from linguistically diverse backgrounds to an unfamiliar essay examination task to be performed in English. Subjects were an East Indian educated entirely in English, a Korean-English bilingual, a Norwegian fluent in English, a black middle-class American, and an urban American. Data were drawn from interviews and think-aloud protocols collected from the undergraduates taking real essay exams. Results are presented in case-study style, with discussion addressing the differential learning and writing strategies used by each student. The findings cast doubt on some common assumptions about the essay exam strategies of culturally and linguistically diverse students, and suggest that while the essay test has value for some forms of assessment, the student's test preparation practice, understanding, and feelings of membership may contribute to making essay tests as inequitable a form of assessment as any other test type. Sample essay questions are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A