VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2019

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Improving EAP Writing and Assessment with Strategic Templates
Nathan Meyer

Building: B
Room: B404
Date: 2019-10-11 04:00 PM – 04:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-09-19

Abstract


A key challenge facing EAP writing instruction is too often essays are assigned without clear assessment targets beyond ‘a topic of your choosing’ coupled to an arbitrary word count and minimum number of citations. This ambiguity inevitably leaves students asking, ‘what kind of essay does my instructor want?’ whereas instructors must ask, ‘how do I assess their work fairly when all the essays are so different?’ This presentation answers these critical questions by promoting the use of assessment-specific templates for which define objectives and target specific writing skills so students no longer concentrate on ‘what’ to write, but ‘how’ they will write it. By working within a common essay structure, students can demonstrate their mastery of core writing skills and frees them to focus on the craft of writing and individual expression. For instructors, using assignment specific templates and rubrics encourage students to improve essays through peer workshops, reduces plagiarism, and allows essays to be fairly graded. Essay templates have the potential to dramatically improving writing skills for EAP students and has proven a successful strategy at universities in North America, Europe, and Asia.