Comparing Perceptions of Evaluative Criteria in EFL Writing Between Learner and Instructor Group

  • Received : 20110100
  • Published : 2011.03.30


The quantitative study investigated perceptions of evaluative criteria in L2 writing between two groups - learners (N=212) and instructors (N=52) in Korea. Specifically, the purpose of the study is (1) to examine learners' and instructors' perceptions on evaluative criteria in L2 writing and to provide empirical evidence concerning how they respond to a list of them and (2) to ultimately devise appropriate rating criteria applicable to an EFL context like Korea. Analyses of evaluative criteria were conducted using factor analysis and yielded the following results: learner and instructor groups perceived the evaluative criteria differently and weighted them in a different way. For the learner group, the combined elements of grammar and language in use were identified as Factor 1 and mechanics as Factor 2. The results may infer that learners' response patterns are primarily linked to their instructors' writing practice in class, which may largely focus on grammatical knowledge based on lexical use and mechanical accuracy. Similarly, the instructor group acknowledged grammatical knowledge as Factor 1 and lexical use as Factor 2. The first two factors found in both learner and instructor groups indicate that in an EFL context like Korea, the form-then-content way of teaching and learning is still being considered more effective in L2 writing than any other method. Taking into consideration these perceptive similarities and differences between learners and instructors, the categories of evaluative criteria in writing include content and organization, grammar, mechanics, language in use, and flow of the essay, respectively.