Holistic vs. Category-Based Self-Assessment of Expository L2 Writing: Validity and Reliability Considerations

Massoud Yaghoubi-Notash


A considerable body of research in EFL assessment seems to be motivated by the notion of self-assessment (see Sung et al., 2010, for example). In this research, essay writings of sixty-four major English learners were subjected to self- and teacher-assessments employing holistic vs. category-based scoring. The average of teacher scorings was used as the criterion for validity. Statistical analysis indicated that self-assessments were fairly valid, but not reliable. Also, holistic and category-based self-assessments correlated but not very highly. Findings imply that while self-assessment may provide a valid method for measuring learner performance in EFL, an unthinking application of self-assessment as a primary means of measuring learners’ performance would be questionable. Another implication might be that in the cautious application of self-assessment as a partial representation of learners’ performance, teachers and testers may instruct the learners to use both types of scoring as they empirically evoke similar self-judgments on the test-takers’ part.


Self-assessment, writing, EFL

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.2p.26


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