Holistic and Analytic Assessments of the TOEFL iBT® Integrated Writing Task

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  • Holistic and Analytic Assessments of the TOEFL iBT Integrated Writing Task

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Integrated writing tasks are becoming popular in the field of language testing, but it remains unclear how teachers assess integrated writing tasks holistically and/or analytically and which is more effective. This exploratory study aims to investigate teacher-raters’ holistic and analytic ratings for reliability and validity and to reveal their perceptions of grading the integrated writing task on the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT). Thirty-six university students completed a reading-listening-writing task. Seven raters scored the 36 compositions using both a holistic and an analytic scale, and completed a questionnaire about their perceptions of the scales. Results indicated that the holistic and analytic scales exhibited high inter-rater reliability and there were high correlations between the two rating methods. In analytic scoring, which contained four dimensions, namely, content, organization, language use, and verbatim source use, the dimensions of content and organization were highly correlated to the overall analytic score (i.e., the mean score of the four dimensions). However, the dimension of verbatim source use was found to be peculiar in terms of construct validity for the analytic scale. The analyses also indicated various challenges the raters faced while scoring. Their perceptions varied particularly regarding verbatim source use: Some raters tended to emphasize the intricate process of textual borrowing while others stressed the difficulty in judging multiple types and degrees of textual borrowing. Pedagogical implications for the selection and use of rubrics as well as the teaching and assessment of source text use are suggested.


  • JLTA Journal

    JLTA Journal 22 (0), 65-88, 2019

    Japan Language Testing Association

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