Taaltoetsen in onderwijs en onderzoek: 29 oktober 1978 te Hasselt
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Two methods for measuring 'writing competence' are discussed. We can try to measure on the one hand general language competence, and on the other hand specific writing competence. General and specific competences are strongly related, and it is postulated that general linguistic competence is much more important than the specific competences (for writing, reading, speaking and listening).The two ways for measuring writing competence are:1) The direct method, which tries to judge the 'writing performance' of subjects. Essays are marked wholistically (the impressionistic or global method), analytically, or by means of a composition scale. In all cases more writing-products (i.e. essays) are needed, and more markers per essay to ensure a reliable and valid measurement.2) The indirect method, which tries to measure the performance in other language areas than writing; the subject does not accomplish a real writing-task. Examples of this method are: the interlinear test, the multiple choice writing skills test, reading comprehension tests, cloze tests, etc.The direct method aims at the specific writing competence; the indirect method at general verbal competence. The first method is generally unreliable and consequently a weak predictor of the specific writing competence. The latter method is mostly reliable and in general predicts writing competence better, although the method cannot be as content-valid as the direct method. The different methods are compared on different points: reliability, predic-tive and content validity, efficiency and educational acceptability.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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