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Variation in Assessment: A Coh-Metrix Analysis of Evaluation of Written English in the Swedish Upper Secondary School
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Reliable evaluation is an important part of language education. However, reliable

evaluation of student writing is notoriously difficult to achieve nationally. To better

understand what evaluators value in upper secondary English education in Sweden this

study has examined correlations between grading and linguistic variables in student

writing using Coh-Metrix, a natural language processor. Previous studies in Hong Kong

and the U.S. have shown that linguistic and lexical sophistication have a high correlation

with good grades, while explicit cohesive devices have a negative correlation with grades.

Results have varied depending on level of proficiency and there are indications that

evaluators have cultural differences. Seventy-nine essays from the national test for the

course English 6, from two different schools and teachers were analysed in this study.

The study asked: What language variables correlate with grades, and how do two teachers

differ in their value of quality? In order to answer this, correlations between grades and

all 106 Coh-Metrix indices were calculated and t-tested for significance. The ten most

highly correlating variables were then compiled, with very similar indices excluded.

Correlation scores of the same variables but for both teachers separately were then

compiled for comparison. The ten highest correlations for both teachers separately were

also compiled along with scores for the same indices for the other teacher. The results

showed similarities with previous studies. Lexical sophistication correlated significantly

with grades and indices measuring explicit cohesive devices showed significant negative

correlations with grades. Surprisingly however, syntactic complexity did not correlate

clearly with grades. The highest correlating indices differed between teachers but were

mostly connected to cohesion or word choice. In all, the results showed that while

teachers seem to differ in their evaluative focus, they do in fact value similar aspects of

student writing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 20
Keywords [en]
Writing assessment, lexical sophistication, cohesion, Coh-Metrix, L2 writing
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178837OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178837DiVA, id: diva2:1391962
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-02-09 Created: 2020-02-05 Last updated: 2020-02-09Bibliographically approved

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ff3e5e88a343d45616bec71ad55d13c4b95157948402f01536f2bbd0e184aeacfcc3f36440ac1c693be17382761a3c43f427871784ff9e58b751493c89ec3e63
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Department of English
General Language Studies and Linguistics

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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