Integrating Formative Assessment with Foreign Language (English) Process Writing Instruction: Lessons from Two College Writing and Reading Classes in Germany
Timed single-draft essays as summative assessment tasks have been argued to be inadequate for both teaching and assessing writing in the context of process writing. This is because single draft essays assess product rather than process. To address this concern, the authors developed, implemented, and evaluated two FL (foreign language) English writing courses that integrate various formative assessment activities for teaching writing. The course-embedded evaluation methodology included three techniques: pre-testing, collecting teacher-student conference reports, and administering a student opinion survey at the end of the semester. Pre-testing and collecting conference reports were both used as techniques for simultaneous teaching and inquiry into this teaching. The student opinion survey evaluated the course design grounded in the new teaching methodology. The findings of the study indicate that consistent use of formative assessment in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) writing class increases student confidence and motivation to develop their writing skills. Results demonstrate that academic (C1 level) and college (B2 level) writing courses that integrate formative assessment into teaching process writing can be a valuable addition to an array of FL (English) language courses offered by the departments of foreign languages at European universities.