Writing Proficiency

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Abstract
The present study investigated the sentence-level errors of freshmen students at three proficiency levels and the aspects of writing that raters focused on while rating the essays. It views errors as valuable information for the following: For teachers, as it clues them on students’ progress; for researchers as it gives them valuable data as to how language is acquired or learned; for learners, as it enables them to reflect on their learning. The data for the present study is based on the data collected for a previous study. One hundred fifty essays written by freshmen college students on their first week of classes in five private schools in Metro Manila (30 for each participating school) were collected, word-processed, and subjected to rating and coding or errors. Most of the findings of the present study corroborate the findings of previous studies on error analysis and essay evaluation—that sentence-level errors have a significant role in essay scores. The raters still have the grammar accuracy model when checking essays, although it is just considered secondary to other aspects of writing such as the ability to address the prompt and organize the ideas logically.

Introduction

Areas of Writing Research
Writing teachers and researchers have always set their
teaching and research lenses on the variables that describe successful second language writing vis-à-vis unsuccessful writing. Because of this preoccupation, a plethora of research has been undertaken as regards the role of L1 in L2 Writing (Cumming, 1990; Krapels, 1991), L2 writers’ characteristics and proficiency (Hirose & Sasaki, 1994; Victori, 1999; Deane et al, 2008), L2 writing process/strategies (Arndt, 1987; Becker, 2003), L2 writing feedback/evaluation (Ferris, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003; Goldstein, 2001, 2005) L2 writing instruction (Zhang & Zhou, 2002; Liu, 2003; Chen, 2005; Coombe & Barlow, 2004) and L2 writer’s texts (Zhang, 1997;...
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