ESL Writing Assessments

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson addresses ways in which ESL teachers can assess writing from students of varying ages and English levels. It examines how mechanics, organization, and style all play a role in developing effective writing skills.

Importance of Writing Assessments

Writing is sometimes assigned less importance than other English skills in ESL classrooms. However, along with speaking, listening and reading, writing is essential to a comprehensive English training program. Students of all levels can benefit from being able to express themselves in a variety of writing forms. But how do you, as a teacher, assess an ESL learner's writing ability? Is grammar and spelling the most important part of a writing assignment? What about sentence and paragraph structure? While these are vital aspects of writing assessments, it's also important to look beyond the mechanics of writing and into the style and organization of a composition.

Mechanics of Writing

The importance of proper writing mechanics, namely grammar, spelling and punctuation, can depend somewhat on the type of writing being done, the learning objectives of the student and the desired outcomes of the teacher.

For example, in journal or diary writing, the primary goal should be expressing unfiltered ideas in a format generally free from harsh criticism. Therefore, grammar and spelling are not as important as getting thoughts down on paper. Too much insistence on proper writing in a journal or diary can actually stifle expression and creativity. In this type of writing, the clarity of the voice of the writer should be paramount.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support