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Do we need uniform guidelines to cope with English language proficiency issues when assessing student work?

Penny Lee
The University of Western Australia
To what degree should students' English language proficiency be taken into account when assessing their work? This issue is one which is often discussed at institutional and departmental levels and which can occasion a good deal of private concern among lecturers and tutors. Should uniform guidelines regarding proficiency levels be provided and, if yes, by whom - departments, faculties or institutions? Should lower levels of proficiency be accepted in early undergraduate years than at masters and doctoral levels? Should different standards apply in different departments or in relation to different kinds of assessments? What information should be given to students about the language and literacy requirements of departments or courses?

Many universities are currently addressing or beginning to address these issues but it is an open question whether lecturers in all institutions feel that they have sufficient guidance about when to take marks off for English expression and what to take marks off for. This session will address the central issue of whether guidelines are required and, if so, what specificity lecturers and students require.

Author: Dr Penny Lee, Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, The University of Western Australia. plee@ecel.uwa.edu.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Lee, P. (2002). Do we need uniform guidelines to cope with English language proficiency issues when assessing student work? In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/lee-abs.html


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