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Diagnostic Writing Assessment

Knoch, Ute

Diagnostic Writing Assessment

The Development and Validation of a Rating Scale

Series: Language Testing and Evaluation - Volume 17

Year of Publication: 2009

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 319 pp., num. fig. and tables
ISBN 978-3-631-58981-6 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.540 kg, 1.190 lbs

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Book synopsis

The diagnostic assessment of writing is an important aspect of language testing which has often been neclected in the literature. However, it is an area which poses special challenges to practioners both in the classroom and in large-scale testing situations. This book presents a study which set out to develop and validate a rating scale specifically designed for the diagnostic assessment of writing in an academic English setting. The scale was developed by analysing a large number of writing performances produced by both native speakers of English and learners of English as an additional language. The rating scale was then validated using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The study showed that a detailed data-based rating scale is more valid and more useful for diagnostic purposes than the more commonly used impressionistic rating scale.


Contents: Language testing – Language assessment – Writing assessment – ESL – Rating scale development – Rating scale validation – Diagnostic assessment – Diagnostic assessment of writing – Multi-faceted Rasch measurement.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Ute Knoch is a research fellow at the Language Testing Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are in the area of language assessment, second language acquisition, and language pedagogy.


Language Testing and Evaluation. Vol. 17
Edited by Rüdiger Grotjahn and Günther Sigott