Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Mary Rohl

Abstract

The assessment and evaluation of the literacy achievements of ESL learners is emerging as a contentious issue in Australian schools. However, at this time no studies appear to be completed that focus on the identification of features of ESL children's writing and the processes involved in using the frameworks available in Western Australia to assess and evaluate ESL students. In this study, a qualitative research design was employed. Data were collected from one Year Five ESL student over a three week period in order to determine: a) which features of his English writing were identified by each evaluative framework available in Western Australia; b) which features were not identified and; c) how the frameworks differ as heuristic tools. The frameworks available for the study were the First Steps Writing Developmental Continuum, the Student Outcome Statements, the ESL Scales and the ESL Bandscales. Features of the student's writing were identified by descriptive analysis using the four evaluative frameworks. The results showed that the evaluative frameworks identified a range of features of the student's writing, but some features were not identified by any framework. It was also found that there were differences between the frameworks as tools for evaluating and assessing the writing of an ESL child. It is suggested that, while the results of this study cannot be generalised to the ESL population at large, it seems that all of the frameworks used in this study could be used to identify many of the features of one ESL student's writing. However, it was found that for most of the frameworks the features of the child's writing were distributed over several phases or stages. It was concluded that the frameworks may be useful for helping teachers identify features of ESL children's writing in order to plan appropriate learning activities (evaluation), but that using them for accountability (assessment) does not appear to be appropriate. Finally, it is suggested that the frameworks should be carefully chosen according to purpose and, where appropriate, should be modified to suit the needs of the school, teacher and student.

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