Rating scale in writing assessment: Holistic vs. Analytical scales: A review
Alhaji Malah Galti, Sani Saidu, Habu Yusuf, Abba Alkali Goni
Language learning could be best measured through testing and assessment. Teachers appreciate learners’ learning strengths and weaknesses through testing. This may assist teachers in making judgement about the learning process in general and learning performance in particular. Therefore, how to conduct the testing is of paramount to experts and practicing teachers. The processes involved in testing, especially the choice of scoring scale in the testing process depends on what needed to be tested. Which scoring scale is appropriate to be employed to test writing task is a great concern to experts.Basically, language writing raters used any of the following rating scales in assessment- Holistic or analytical scales. This paper reviewed these scoring scales and identified why and when to employ these scales. In addition, the pros and cons of each of the scale were presented. Finally, this paper suggested that holistic scale should be employed for beginners when focusing on the learners’ ability to develop content; while the analytic scale should be considered for learners with higher or intermediate level and when the focus is on mechanical accuracy.