The writing assessment tasks are organised across three broad text purposes, informative, imaginative and persuasive, which elicit different kinds of English language use from students. Tasks are provided for a range of EAL Stages: A1, B1, A2, B2, B3, S3 etc. When choosing a writing assessment task:
- consider first what the students already know and can already do in terms of their writing skills
- consider what they need to learn in order to extend their writing skills; this then provides a clear sense of the purpose of the assessment: i.e. to find out where the students are and to help them progress to the next level
- consider also which aspects of your students’ writing you want to better understand:
- do you want to look at how they write informational, imaginative or persuasive texts?
- do you want to help them write a particular text type?
- look at the common writing assessment tasks and decide which task will give this sort of information
- select a task which is likely to be engaging and which is relevant to your students’ language level, age/year level and stage of learning. Note: The difficulty level for each task can be ascertained by reading the Assumed knowledge section of the task.
Keep in mind that assessment decisions cannot be based on the performance of one task alone so a range of tasks need to be selected and accomplished over time to ensure that trustworthy assessment decisions can be made. In general, a minimum of three tasks should be undertaken with each student.