Using the assessment criteria

Each writing assessment task has a unique criteria sheet showing four levels of accomplishment across the domains of the EAL Developmental Continuum. The EAL Developmental Continuum is organised using the same stages as the EAL Companion to AusVELS, but contains more detailed information about each stage, including more detailed performance indicators, and examples of language use. The indicators of progress in the Continuum are organised into four aspects:

  • Texts and responses to texts
  • Cultural conventions of language use 
  • Linguistic structures and features: Text structure, Grammatical features, Vocabulary, Writing conventions
  • Maintaining and negotiating communication

The writing task criteria sheets are organised using the same four aspects, thus enabling teachers to clearly focus on different features of writing performance and to more precisely identify the stage of development on the EAL Companion to AusVELS/EAL Developmental Continuum.

Using the criteria sheet:

  • The four levels of the criteria sheet relate to the stages that the task is suitable for, such as A1, A2, BL, B1, B2.
  • Once the writing task has been completed, analyse the written performance using the criteria sheet to assess in detail if students have produced the type of written language the task was intended to elicit, and to what level of proficiency they have done this.
  • In each column, identify and highlight descriptions that best match what you observe in your students’ written work. This will enable you to match a general level, from 1 to 4, of performance of the task. It is not unusual that students spread at different levels across different domains.
  • Notice other things your student is able to do that may not be identified in the criteria sheet, and which may be noteworthy in the written performance. These can be added to the criteria sheet, as they help enrich the description of your student’s performance, and to describe a point of English language development.



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