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ERIC Number: EJ939067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 87
ISSN: ISSN-0034-527X
Subjectivity, Intentionality, and Manufactured Moves: Teachers' Perceptions of Voice in the Evaluation of Secondary Students' Writing
Jeffery, Jill V.
Research in the Teaching of English, v46 n1 p92-127 Aug 2011
Composition theorists concerned with students' academic writing ability have long questioned the application of voice as a standard for writing competence, and second language compositionists have suggested that English language learners may be disadvantaged by the practice of emphasizing voice in the evaluation of student writing. Despite these criticisms, however, voice continues to frequently appear as a goal in guidelines for teaching writing and on high-stakes writing assessment rubrics in the United States. Given the apparent lack of alignment between theory and practice regarding its use, more empirical research is needed to understand how teachers apply voice as a criterion in the evaluation of student writing. Researchers have used sociocultural and functionalist frameworks to analyze voice-related discursive patterns, yet we do not know how readers evaluate written texts for voice. To address this gap in research the present study asked: 1) What language features do secondary English teachers associate with voice in secondary students' writing and how do they explain their associations? 2) How do such identified features vary across genres as well as among readers? Nineteen teachers were interviewed using a think-aloud protocol designed to illuminate their perceptions of voice in narrative and expository samples of secondary students' writing. Results from an inductive analysis of interview transcripts suggest that participating teachers associated voice with appraisal features, such as amplified expressions of affect and judgment, that are characteristic of literary genres. (Contains 4 tables and 6 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon; United States