Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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There has been a surprisingly limited amount of research comparing the direct assessment of writing by teachers of English as a mother tongue and English as a second language (abbreviated as English and ESL respectively) given the amount of common ground they share as teachers of writing. This study aims to investigate whether these two groups of teachers rate writing samples differently using both holistic (global) and analytical (multiple trait) scoring methods. The research compares the assessments made by four experienced teachers from each of these two rater groups of the same set of 20 native speaker (English) and 20 non native speaker (ESL) essays written by final year secondary students. While no significant difference was found between the single global essay ratings of the two groups of teachers, this was not the case for the essay totals obtained by combining the global and analytical scores. The comparison based on these essay totals indicated that overall English teachers rated all of the essays significantly more harshly than ESL teachers. These findings suggested that the analytical scoring method may be more faithful to real dissimilarities which exist between raters of different backgrounds and professional experience than is the holistic scoring method in the assessment of writing. The choice of scoring procedure when both types of raters are used, therefore, is likely to determine whether or not these differences are highlighted and thus the overall level of inter-rater reliablity.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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