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: "...you 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.