Towards a Vygotskyan model of writing assessment

L.P.D. Faragher, C.A. Puhl, J.J. Swartz

Abstract


This article challenges a widely current model of second language writing assessment which focuses on language errors. A significant sample of the examination writing of matriculants from the then (1991) Department of Education and Training in the Cape Town area is assessed using elements of a Vygotskyan approach. Rather than focusing on surface errors, the analysis explores some of the conceptual and communicative processes involved, using three tools: word count, analysis of metaphors, and exploration of idiosyncratic expressions. This preliminary investigation describes underlying aspects of language proficiency in the group studied, and suggests areas to be clarified in developing a new approach to proficiency assessment.

In hierdie artikel word 'n model om geskrewe tweede taal te evalueer wat tans wyd in gebruik is, aangespreek. 'n Beduidende monster van die geskrewe eksamens van die 1991-matrikulante van die voormalige Departement van Onderwys en Opleiding in die Kaapstadgebied is volgens elemente van die Vygotskyaanse benadering geevalueer. Die fokus is nie op oppervlaktefoute nie, maar op sommige van die konseptuele en kommunikatiewe prosesse wat betrokke is. Drie instrumente word gebruik, nl. woordtelling, analise van metafore en die eksplorasie van idiosinkratiese uitdrukkings. Hierdie voorlopige ondersoek beskryf die onderliggende aspekte van die studiegroep se taalvaardighede en maar voorstel/e oor areas wat uitgeklaar sal moet word in die ontwikkeling van 'n nuwe benadering tot vaardigheidsevaluasie.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/12-2-204

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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