Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of TEFL, Allameh Tabataba'i University

2 PhD Candidate of TEFL, Allameh Tabataba'i University


English language practitioners have long relied on intuition-based scales for rating EFL/ESL writing. As these scales lack an empirical basis, the scores they generate tend to be unreliable, which results in invalid interpretations. Given the significance of the genre of description and the fact that the relevant literature does not introduce any data-based analytic scales for rating EFL descriptive writing, the researcher conducted a three-strand mixed study aimed at the empirical development of an analytic rating scale for scoring descriptions written by EFL learners. Composed of one quantitative and two qualitative strands, this mixed study factor-analyzed 172 ELT experts' analyses of the genre of description, and it content-analyzed 20 authentic and 30 inauthentic descriptive texts. Resulting from two meta-inferences made in the course of this study, the Analytic Rating Scale for EFL Descriptive Writing was constructed. Hopefully, employing this scale will lead to more reliable scores and more valid interpretations and decisions.


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