Saturday, August 01, 2009

MA Dissertation

Working Title:

Adapting the CEFR for Assessment of Academic Writing Ability

I won't use the phrase in the actual dissertation, but there could be the start of a paradigm shift here. When I applied to NEECU for their pre-sessional last year, they turned me down: " do not appear to have the relevant experience or qualifications. EAP is very different from ESOL (and also very different from IELTS) and we require experience of the former, preferably in a higher education context."

I was a bit narked at the time, but now I can see that there was a conscious effort going on here to separate their EAP from IELTS. It's a rather bold move, because on pre-sessionals throughout academia everyone is focussed on getting their magic 6.0. 6.5 or 7.0. (Well, I'm saying that... But I have no data for it. It was the situation at Glasgow. A survey of practice across UK Universities might be a good idea for a future study).

I still need to read up on the details - I'm hoping there were discussion documents, and that they'll be available to me. But essentially, they've adapted CEF-based can do statements to fit with academic writing, and set the cut at C1. Which will be around 6.5, but it's potentially much more precise. And much more transparent.