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The role of handwriting in ESL writing assessment

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The role of handwriting in ESL writing assessment

Stanley, Kevin A (1999) The role of handwriting in ESL writing assessment. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study explored handwriting bias in ESL writing assessment and the phenomenon of national handwriting styles. It examined the effects of different styles and levels of quality of handwriting on the holistic assessment of intermediate-level ESL writing and how those effects related to the graders' length and depth of experience, as well as their views on writing assessment criteria. The study was also designed to investigate whether the graders could guess the first language (L1) of the writers, using handwriting as a cue. No bias against "poor" handwriting was found, nor was there a relationship between the graders' length of experience or their views of handwriting as a writing assessment criterion and the holistic grades assigned to writing samples copied in "good" and "poor" handwriting. Explanations offered for the absence of bias in this study include insufficient differences in the degree of legibility between the "good" and "poor" handwriting as well as the graders' familiarity with a range of national handwriting styles. On the other hand, in the L1 identification, many graders' guesses appeared to have been guided by handwriting cues, rather than textual features. This suggests that if the handwriting corresponds to a national style, this may trigger the application of a set of stereotypes that may in turn influence the graders' responses to their students' writing

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > TESL Centre
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stanley, Kevin A
Pagination:xii, 134 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:TESL Centre
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):White, Joanna
ID Code:962
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:17
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