A Sharing of “Grading Composition”
1. To share some grading ideas on
compositions, works from a
2. To discuss and re-grade the writing
works with other rating schemes in
sample collection:12 copies from a writing class
class time: 2 hours each time/ once per week
class members: English teachers (6)
Junior high students (2)
Students’ parents (4)
English ability: varied
goal: to improve English writing ability
(1) sample reading
(ex: 2 articles on the same topic of “my summer vacations”.)
(2) sample discussion:
a. How do you like them?
b. Which article do you prefer and why?
(3) main points of writing:
a. the essential idea (tightly connected to the topic)
b. the writing structure (the heading, the body, the closing)
c. the expression (the richness of the content)
(4) an A+ sample sharing
(5) class sharing
(free talking on the members’ summer experiences)
(6) a writing assignment: When Summer Comes
When Summer Comes (sample)
Once my master asked, “What would your dreams be if all of them could come true?” A picture “in the sun” showed clearly in my mind because summer was my
favorite season. I always feel much alive and become more excited when summer comes. There are few places I want to go and certain activities I like to do this summer
to complete my dream.
What was my answer to my master’s question? It was a dream of a forest where the trees were so big and tall that you could hardly feel a bit of the heat even at
noon in mid summer. In my dream, I was lying on a huge flat rock next to a deep blue watering fall, reading and occasionally staring at the sky with piles of books all over
around me. A little cabin made of wood stood at the corner where a light green river singing happily while running by turned. My friends were chatting noisily with my
family in the hut which was surrounded with plenty of books on the four walls. I want to fulfill my dream this summer since it is forecasted to come true.
First of all, I will go to Maolin National Scenic Area with my family and couple of friends in July. I have been there once. The unforgettable image of it stays in
my mind. The shadowy paths lead us mysteriously somewhere and sometimes nowhere. The pavilions show unexpectedly to notice us it’s time for breaks and some tea. I
cannot wait to be there again and will definitely go this summer. I will bring my favorite book, the Story of the Stone, along though I do not quite understand it at all.
Reading it makes me feel right and reading it in the woods makes me feel extremely great. The whispering insects might reveal the secrets of the Stone to me. The
knowledgeable wind that travels everywhere might inform me about the shortcut to the garden of the Red Chamber. The spirits of trees might inspire me with obvious
pictures of its beautiful poems. I will communicate with Mother Nature, the dark brown leaf-covered soil fertilizing abundant lives and the light bright star-liked sun
shining through crowded leaves. The energy of living lively and the heat of giving warmth spread a deep smile in me. I can now breathe the breath of Maolin sending her
invitation to me. “Yes, I’ve got it. I’ll go back again this summer.”
Besides, I will go to South Cross-Island Highway to explore those watering falls. I have been to different springs with different friends before. There must be more
sources waiting for more adventures. In traditional Chinese medical science, “water” is one of the essential elements and it stands for “wisdom.” Looking at the floating
water while standing in it, I feel the vibration of its soul and realize the connection between them, water and wisdom. It brings so many comes-and-goes and prophesies
endless come-and-go. The three forms of it, precipitation, condensation and evaporation, demonstrate the changes of lives. One thing for sure is that no matter how it
varies in appearance the core of it remains the same. In this aspect, it doesn’t seem to alter at all. It says,” Drop all your worries and concerns. Just go bravely ahead. Life
is an eternal cycle rotating permanently.” I’ll go seek for a new fall and lie on a giant rock next to it with Condor-shooting sequels around me. All of us, my husband and
my daughter, are fans of Jin Yong. We’ll be soaking in the water and diving in the stories because we are good swimmers and nice readers. There has never been enough
martial art talking whenever the characters join us. Hong Qigong is so upright and heroic; Huang Rong is so talented and brilliant that I like them best of all. As for my
idol, Guo Jing sets an excellent example of “Greatly wise as if simpleminded.” I think he is the man equipped with the element of “water” and the quality of “wisdom.”
I’ll have lots of fun by a watering fall with my family and heroine, heroes in South Cross-Island Highway this summer.
Most importantly, I’ll stay at home to read and read and read since reading is and will be my life-long hobby. I’ll open the gate of imagination to turn my place
into a wooden cabin. It is so warm and cozy that once one comes in then never wants to go out. He or she or anyone else will find great pleasure being with books, too. I’ll
have more and more friends to read, to discuss, and to share ideas together. We’ll all become wiser and smarter with better capabilities to work and learn and play.
Definitely, I’ll study traditional Chinese medicine because it helps me understand my physical and psychical conditions better with tremendous knowledge and ancient
wisdom. The yin and yang theory always reminds me of keeping a balanced inner and outer oneself. I’ll be probably happy most of the time since I try to learn to stay in
balance. Moreover, I’ll do translation as well in the belief of “Practice makes perfect.” It has a huge temptation to me to build up a bridge between Chinese and English. It
is a never ending dream of mine to be good at both languages to read a lot in Chinese and English versions to gain cross-cultural background. This way, I might be able to
find the similarity through differences from both cultures for a best daily use wisely. This summer, I’ll do some reading at my “hut” and go to work energetically with
what I am going to learn from it.
A school vacation arrives when summer comes. I’ll have enough time to gather the pieces of jigsaw puzzle to form my dream. There will be a fascinating hiking
in the forest in Maolin, a powerful watering fall showing mighty wisdom in South Cross-Island Highway and unlimited reading brings me everywhere at home.
When summer comes, I get myself well-prepared to answer the calls from the nature and to respond to the needs from the bottom of my heart to fulfill my dream.
Specifications of the Assignment
1. Topic: When Summer Comes
2. Please write an article on the topic of “When
3. Please follow the three main points discussed
in class to complete it.
4. The work of yours will be shared in next
class yourselves orally.
an achievement grading type
a holistic grading type
a subjective grading type
a rapid impressionistic grading in 3 aspects:
a. the essential idea
(tightly connected to the topic)
b. the writing structure
(the heading, the body, the closing)
c. the expression
(the richness of the content)
Grade A: 3
Grade B: 3
Grade C: 6
Backwash Effect and Decision
Backwash effect: beneficial
Decision: tracking to the same leading approach
and sharing on more writing topics
because the group think it is fun and
would like to go further.
The Testing Problems for Writing
1. representative tasks:
to match the specific purpose ( V )
2. elicit valid samples of writing ability:
to reflect the participants' writing ability (V)
3. validity and reliability:
the writing samples are scored validly (X:
the halo effect) and reliably (X: consistency)
(2) Discussion and A Class Activity
the Purpose of the Writing Assignment
To improve the group's self-expression on varied
topics in English writing.
To seize the main idea, to recall memories, and
to extend their experiences or thoughts in a
proper writing structure.
A Holistic Rating Scheme
The whole is often greater than the sum
of its parts, especially in rating a
composition, a reflection of writing
Two Holistic Rating Scales
Holistic Scale for Assessing Writing (generic) Holistic Rubric for Assessing Menu-Writing Task (task-
Excellent—Communicative; reflects awareness of
sociolinguistic aspects; well-organized and coherent; contains a
4 Task: The teacher provided a variety of menus from different
range of grammatical structures with minor errors that do not Mexican restaurants. Using these as models, students worked in
impede comprehension; good vocabulary range. pairs to create menus for imaginary restaurants. They named their
restaurants and included appropriate decorations on their menus.
Good—Comprehensible; some awareness of sociolinguistic
aspects; adequate organization and coherence; adequate use of Exceeds criteria and requirements. Menu is clear, complete,
3 A logically organized, and includes language and cultural features
grammatical structures with some major errors that do not
impede comprehension; limited vocabulary range. that go beyond basic requirements of the task.
Meets all criteria at a good level. Menu is clear, complete,
Fair—Somewhat comprehensible; little awareness of B logically organized. Most Spanish words and phrases are written
sociolinguistic aspects; some problems with organization and correctly. Includes some detail.
2 coherence; reflects basic use of grammatical structures with very
limited range and major errors that at times impede
comprehension; basic vocabulary used. Meets most criteria at a satisfactory level. Generally
understandable, complete, and logically organized. May include
C some errors in spelling or vocabulary that cause parts of the
communication to be unclear or confusing. Tends to rely on basic
Poor—Barely comprehensible; no awareness of sociolinguistic vocabulary and patterns. Little detail.
aspects; lacks organization and coherence; basic use of
grammatical structures with many minor and major errors that
often impede comprehension; basic to poor vocabulary range. I/ Does not demonstrate listed criteria. Message may be
F incomprehensible, inappropriate, or extremely brief.
Adapted from scales found in Cohen (1994) and Shohamy (1985) and published in: Minnesota Articulation
Source: British Columbia Ministry of Education. Integrated Resource Package 1996. Spanish 5 to
Project. (2002). Proficiency-oriented language instruction and assessment: A curriculum handbook for
12. Appendix D: Assessment and Evaluation: Sample 2: Grade 8.
teachers (Rev Ed.). CARLA Working Paper Series. D. J. Tedick (Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: University of
Minnesota, The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.
The Adjusted Rating Scheme
1.well-connected to the topic
Excellent 3.well-organized and coherent
(90-100) 4.great grammatical structures with scarcely minor errors
5.good vocabulary use
1.some-connected to the topic
Good 3.adequate organization and coherence
(80-89) 4.adequate use of grammatical structures with very limited errors
5.limited vocabulary use
1.1. little-connected to the topic
2.2. somewhat comprehensible
Fair 3.3. some problems with organization and coherence
(70-79) 4.4. basic use of grammatical structures with some major errors
5.5. basic vocabulary use
1.1. hardly any connection with the topic
2.2. barely comprehensible
Poor 3.3. lack organization and coherence
(50-69) 4.4. basic use of grammatical structures with many major errors
6.5. poor vocabulary use
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 average
An Analytic Rating Scheme
To gain different grading experience with
varied rating schemes.
To compare the results with a holistic rating
To discuss the findings and to get a better
viewpoint of scoring writing.
The Adjusted Rating Scheme from Jocobs'
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 average
When summer comes (1 )
There are four seasons in a year. Generally speaking, it is warm in spring and hot in summer. Fall is cool and
winter is cold. However, because of the greenhouse effect, it's getting hotter and hotter in summer all over the world.
But I still like summer better than any other seasons.
When summer comes, it also means that we can have a lot of sunny days. I like everything on sunny days,
such as white clouds, the blue sky and the shining sun. When I wake up in the morning, I enjoy seeing the sun
shining through the window. That always makes me feel happy and energetic.
When summer comes, I can have my own summer vacation, too. Though it is only seven days long, I am
satisfied with it. During the seven days, I don't need to worry about my job or my students. I can relax myself by
doing what I like to do. For example, I like to enjoy the quiet moments of mine, so I really don't like to go to crowded
places. My favorite place is the bookstore because I can read books there quietly. I feel free in the bookstore.
However, there is one thing worth to mention to you. This summer, I had an unforgettable experience about
visiting South of Taiwan. Three weeks ago, my family went to Maolin National Scenic Area with Jim, Donna and
their daughter, Francis. Jim and Donna, they are not only my bosses but also my most reliable friends. It was the first
time that my family took a trip together after my son, Alex was born. He tried many new things in the journey, such
as learning how to swim, playing billiards, sleeping in a cabin, and so on. He really had a good time.
In fact, I am a woman who hates outdoor activities. And I'm also a woman that doesn't know what
entertainment is. It has been difficult to see smiles on my face since I was a little girl. There is a similarity in my
daily photographs. That is no matter what the backgrounds were, my facial expression always revealed a little bit
sadness. At first, I was so astonished when I found the secret last year. But now I understand that maybe I think life is
as bitter as medicine in my mind. However, while we were driving along Lao Nung Stream, I was touched by the
scenery of Mountains Eighteen Disciples of Buddha. The place is as beautiful as a painting. When I stared at them, I
felt I had returned to my original home. There was a short moment I thought I belonged to that place, and my heart
was filled with peace. It was a wonderful experience. Maybe I should go out to visit mountains, trees, waterfalls and
seas more often. They seem to be able to cure the unknown sadness in my mind.
In a word, summer is a good season for people to do different kinds of outdoor activities. What do you like
to do in summer? Do you like summer, too? I hope so because it is a wonderful season.
When summer comes ( 2 )
When summer comes, I plan to do a lot of things about English learning. What I want to do will
help me to upgrade my English ability. In addition to English learning, it’s a routine for me to plan a trip
to Taipei every summer.
As an English teacher in a cram school, continuous learning is required. English reading is the
first part that I want to develop. Some interesting English novels will help me to create a good habit in
reading. I can not only learn more about English, but also try to experience the joy of reading. I believe
that reading a lot will lead me to feel the fascination of the language. Furthermore, it will give me a lot
of imagination. So, reading will be helpful to me. Besides reading, writing also plays an important part. I
will spend some time on expanding my vocabularies, learning more useful phrases and grammatical
integration. Through reading and these practices, I can learn how to write and train my writing skills.
Step by step, I can be stimulated again and benefit greatly by reading and writing. With these two targets,
I am sure the more I devote, the more I will get. Learning will bring me a lot of joy.
As the saying goes,” All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Therefore, when summer
comes, planning a trip is indispensable. My plan is to go to Taipei. Taipei is a charming city. People
there lead different kinds of life. They have various kinds of thinking, lifestyles and characteristics. As a
country girl, those interest me a lot. I like to observe how it differs from the life in the country. Besides,
some beautiful scenic spots also excite me. I will go to Tan Shui. It’s a good way to take MRT to go
there. Cause on the way to Tan Shui, you can enjoy the suburban scenery. The picturesque land scape
will refresh me. I will spend the leisurely afternoon there. The beautiful sunset is mentionable. I will
take a walk along the riverside to feel the wind breathe my face. Moreover, an exotic restaurant by the
riverside will add color to the romantic sunset. After the sunset, having a wonderful dinner with the
exotic music is the best way to finish this unforgettable day. At the thought of this, I can’t wait to go.
This summer, I will fulfill my achievements and experience the life in different places. That’s
just what I expect when summer comes. So, what a meaningful and colorful summer I will have!
When Summer Comes ( 3 )
Summer is the time to try different things from daily routine. Therefore, I always looked
forward to spending my summer vacation when I was a student.
Attending the trips to mountains or seashore or visiting classmates’ home during summer
vacation let me meet many people whom I didn’t know before. Those things happened and the
people I met during the trip also taught me something new which were lifelike and three
dimensions. For example, it was the time for me to distinguish the real location of Tai-tong and
Ping-tong which always confused me. Furthermore, when I stepped on the border of the counties,
the road told me how different the results would be because they were caused by different
counties. It was the same road, but the part in Tai-tong is paved and the other part in Hwa-liang
This summer, I am so happy to have a brand new life. From Monday to Friday, five days a
week, I can learn new things. Different aspects in reading, writing, translating and teaching that I
didn’t have before, I can learn them now. Besides, I expect to have more time to meditate to set
my mind in order this summer. As monks spend summer meditating should be meaningful.
Taroko National Park in Hwa-lian waves her hands to me for years. The clean and clear
water there certainly can wash out dust both of one’s body and mind. The quiet and high
mountains there certainly can refresh both of one’s body and mind. I’m planning to meet her and
another beauty-- Dong-hwa University this summer.Riding a bike in the natural environment to
visit the natural animal in the campus should be relaxation and comfortable. On the way to Taroko
National Park, we can soak in the wide wisdom of the natural – the Pacific Ocean, too.They say
water represents wisdom.
It’s sure interesting to learn new things in every summer.And I’m in a happy summer now,
though it’s not in a vacation already, but I’m learning.What a wonderful summer!!
When Summer Comes ( 4 )
Summer is a good time for snorkeling. Many years ago, I went
snorkeling in Green Island. That’s a good experience for me and it stimulated
my interest in the sea.
First, we must wear diving suits, life vests, and flippers and face masks
with snorkels. When we arrived at the coast, the coach taught us how to us
leaves to wash the face masks and use the snorkel to breathe with our mouths.
It was a little difficult for everyone that way. If you used it the wrong way,
you would drink a lot of sea water. It was not delicious yet tasted salty. Then,
we walked hand in hand into the sea. When we started floating on the sea and
breathing with the snorkel. I felt very nervous, anxiety and tense because I
can’t swim. Soon, I saw sting rays, tropical fish, puffer fish, starfish,
octopuses, squids, sea horses, sea flowers, sea weeds, kelp and corals. The
colorful view was so beautiful that it made me relaxed. This is why I enjoy it.
I think I will remember that view forever.
If I have time, I will learn how to swim and go diving in Green Island
again. I wish I can go diving every summer.
When Summer Comes ( 5 )
Summer is my favorite season. When summer comes it means the
summer vacation is coming. And I can do my favorite exercise with my
friends---swimming. There are a lot of wonderful memories in my childhood.
When summer comes, the weather is hot and sunny. I love it best,
because it always rains in Keelong. When I was a child, my brother, sister,
friends and I went to the river where near our house. At first, we piled rocks
up around the river like a large pool. Then we can play games there all the
day before dinner. We jumped into the water to race that can make the
Once, we challenged to jump into the water from an old and
abandoned bridge. It is dangerous, but so excited. Sometimes we had a
barbecue on a huge rock beside the river. When we were hungry, we can go
there to eat something. In summer there is nothing better then soaking in a
pool of cool water to beat heat.
How I long for summer! I have a plan in my mind. Next time, I will
invite all friends and my families to the river which I have a lot of wonderful
memories, and have a “cool” party.
When Summer Comes ( 6 )
There are four seasons in a year and I like summer best. When summer
comes, the weather is hot and sunny. We can do outdoor activities.
When I was a child, I often climbed trees with my friends. And we made a
little house in the tree. I took a nap, than all my worries seemed to be far away.
It’s so much fun. Besides, we had a lot of water sports. I enjoyed the sea, lying
on the beach in the sun. Staying there made me feel relaxed.
When summer comes, that reminds me of my happy childhood. I will never
forget that interesting experience and beautiful memory.
Comparisons of Two Rating Results
student holistic analytic difference