Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effect of Grammatical Error on Holistic Scoring in the Essays of ESL College Composition Students
by Chang, Robin Rosen, M.A., Kean University, 2011, 64; 1502935
Abstract (Summary)

Holistic scoring is a commonly used method to assess the writing of college-level English language learners. While this form of assessment emphasizes the overall quality of a text, research shows it is nonetheless affected by many discrete factors. This study, based on departmental final essay exams of sixteen students in the first part of a two-semester ESL composition course, examines whether grammatical error is correlated with holistic scores, in general, and passing and failing holistic essay scores, in particular. To determine if correlations existed, experienced ESL instructors holistically and objectively scored a stratified random sample of ELL essays. Then, a Pearson's product-movement coefficient and a point biserial coefficient were calculated. Results indicate that grammatical error is moderately correlated with both holistic essay scores and with passing and failing holistic essay grades. Essays with higher error scores were correlated with failing holistic essay grades, and vise versa. These findings are important for ELLs, ESL instructors, and administrators. Although grammatical accuracy can be a result of overall academic writing proficiency, the potential for it to serve as a predictor of holistic scores has implications for instruction and assessment. Accordingly, this topic clearly warrants continued investigation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Griffith, Ruth P.
School: Kean University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, English as a Second Language, Higher education
Keywords: Assessment, Composition, English as a second language, Grammar, Holistic scoring, Writing
Publication Number: 1502935
ISBN: 978-1-267-06976-4
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