ESSAY MARKING GUIDE - Andrew Roberts

I am actually an IELTS teacher in China – I have been for over 3 years now. For now, I really want to be an examiner; and being a non-native speaker of the language (I am from the Philippines), I would have to get a score of 9 in all bands to be successfully accepted (re IELTS examiner).

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In the case of work presented in a foreign language it is of course commoner for the marker to detect a significant difference between content and expression: excellent material in an essay on a social or literary topic will be brought down by linguistic mistakes, and a flawless essay will not gain a top mark if it is derivative, irrelevant or dull. In such work, first-class marks will only be given to work which achieves almost all the first-class criteria, whereas extreme weaknesses in either content or language may result in a fail or very low mark. Similarly in the case of translation between languages, extreme weakness in either understanding of the original or idiomatic and accurate use of the target language may result in a fail or very low mark.


Marks and degree classification

It is an adv/disadv essay. Some teachers classify this as a discussion essay but it is different because it uses different language.

I recently do some exercise on Writing Task 2 until I found a question essay written as: “Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scietific research, business and the academic world. other believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.” (Cambridge IELTS 12 Test 5 page 28)


Mark scale for undergraduate modules (for new students …

A student essay similar to the above example formed the basis of a marking exercise involving nine first-year French language class tutors (five full-time academics and four experienced part-time language tutors); the marks awarded to the piece ranged from 44 to 59, with a mean mark of 51 (Standard Deviation= 4.2). At that time, an overall mark of 45+ in a subject meant that the student could proceed to study the subject at Part II as a Major (Single or Combined), while an overall mark of 60+ in a subject corresponded to the highest grade obtainable for first-year work.

Other work (17-point marking scale) ..

The above scale, where each percentage mark corresponds to two points, is included solely for the purpose of illustration: it should not be the sole basis for deciding whether a script is to be classified as I, II 1, II 2, etc. But some form of points-to-marks scale is an essential element in ensuring fairness among all scripts in a set. The above scale could, for example, be made more severe (one percentage mark = one point) for course work assignments done under uncontrolled conditions. For translations from the TL into English, the bar for achieving 70% would need to be set higher, at +5 or even +10.

The descriptors in this table are …

Some people think about learning a foreign language but cannot use it frequently. What are the difficulties that people face while learning a foreign language? What can be done to overcome them

Essay Writing: How do I do it, and why did I get that …

For marking to operate effectively as feedback, the language, conventions and symbols used by the tutor must be clear, concise and capable of being acted on by the student. Much time and effort can be saved if a set of symbols is used: the tutor does not need to write in the correct word, form or phrase each time (though it can sometimes be helpful to provide a more suitable or more idiomatic version of a phrase), and the tutor can see at a glance whether a student’s errors tend to fall into particular categories. For students, the symbols serve as a prompt to think through for themselves the process of checking their work for gender, agreement, tense, and so on, instead of passively seeing the correct forms without doing anything to process them mentally.