Fluency, Accuracy, and Complexity in Graded and Ungraded Writing
Article first published online: 9 DEC 2010
© 2010 by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc.
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 43, Issue 4, pages 690–702, Winter 2010
How to Cite
Armstrong, K. M. (2010), Fluency, Accuracy, and Complexity in Graded and Ungraded Writing. Foreign Language Annals, 43: 690–702. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2010.01109.x
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 9 DEC 2010
- error correction;
- foreign language writing;
- grading L2 writing;
- writing policy
Abstract: This study describes the effect of grades on second language writing performance. Do students write better when their essays are graded, and what implications might this have for foreign language instruction? This study compares three different types of student writing: graded compositions; for-credit online discussion boards; and ungraded, not-for-credit, essays. Data were collected from writing samples provided by students enrolled in a 4th-semester Spanish class. Each sample was coded for T-units, errors, and clauses and then analyzed to determine the fluency, complexity, and accuracy of the different writing samples. Findings suggested that grades had little effect on student writing, and therefore more frequent and more varied ungraded writing assignments may be a productive pedagogical tool for improving the form and content of student writing.