Journal article

'I will go to my grave fighting for grammar': Exploring the ability of language-trained raters to implement a professionally-relevant rating scale for writing

Ute Knoch, Barbara Ying Zhang, Catherine Elder, Eleanor Flynn, Annemiek Huisman, Robyn Woodward-Kron, Elizabeth Manias, Tim McNamara



Researchers have recommended involving domain experts in the design of scoring rubrics of language for specific purpose tests by eliciting profession-relevant, indigenous criteria and applying these to test performances (see, e.g., Douglas, 2001; Jacoby, 1998; Pill, 2016). However, these indigenous criteria, derived as they are from people outside the assessment field, may be difficult to apply by the non-domain expert raters typically employed to rate performances on language tests. This paper addresses this question with reference to the writing component of the Occupational English Test (OET), a test designed to assess the English communication skills of overseas-trained health profession..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council [Linkage grant number LP130100171]. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, the owner of the Occupational English Test (OET), and all the OET raters who participated in the study.