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Developing rubrics to assess the reading-into-writing skills: a case studyThe integrated assessment of language skills, particularly reading-into-writing, is experiencing a renaissance. The use of rating rubrics, with verbal descriptors that describe quality of L2 writing performance, in large scale assessment is well-established. However, less attention has been directed towards the development of reading-into-writing rubrics. The task of identifying and evaluating the contribution of reading ability to the writing process and product so that it can be reflected in a set of rating criteria is not straightforward. This paper reports on a recent project to define the construct of reading-into-writing ability for designing a suite of integrated tasks at four proficiency levels, ranging from CEFR A2 to C1. The authors discuss how the processes of theoretical construct definition, together with empirical analyses of test taker performance, were used to underpin the development of rating rubrics for the reading-into-writing tests. Methodologies utilised in the project included questionnaire, expert panel judgement, group interview, automated textual analysis and analysis of rater reliability. Based on the results of three pilot studies, the effectiveness of the rating rubrics is discussed. The findings can inform decisions about how best to account for both the reading and writing dimensions of test taker performance in the rubrics descriptors.
Some evidence of the development of L2 reading-into-writing skills at three levelsWhile an integrated format has been widely incorporated into high-stakes writing assessment, there is relatively little research on students’ cognitive processing involved in integrated reading-into-writing tasks. Even research which reviews how the reading-into-writing construct is distinct from one level to the other is scarce. Using a writing process questionnaire, we examined and compared test takers’ cognitive processes on integrated reading-into-writing tasks at three levels. More specifically, the study aims to provide evidence of the predominant reading-into-writing processes appropriate at each level (i.e., the CEFR B1, B2, and C1 levels). The findings of the study reveal the core processes which are essential to the reading-into-writing construct at all three levels. There is also a clear progression of the reading-into-writing skills employed by the test takers across the three CEFR levels. A multiple regression analysis was used to examine the impact of the individual processes on predicting the writers’ level of reading-into-writing abilities. The findings provide empirical evidence concerning the cognitive validity of reading-into-writing tests and have important implications for task design and scoring at each level.