L2 French Writing Assessment: A Methodological Critique
This paper presents a methodological critique of three empirical studies in second language (L2) French writing assessment. To distinguish key themes in French L2 writing assessment, a literature review was conducted resulting in the identification of 27 studies that were categorized into three major themes. The three studies examined in this article each represent one theme respectively. Within this analysis, the underlying constructs being measured are identified, and the strengths and limitations are deliberated. Findings from this detailed examination suggest that three examined studies in L2 French writing assessment have significant methodological flaws that raise questions about the claims being made. From this investigation, several studyspecific recommendations are made, and four general recommendations for improving French L2 writing assessment are offered: (1) the social setting in which L2 assessments take place ought to be a consideration (2) the difficulty of tasks and time on task should be taken into account (3) greater consistency should be used when measuring and denoting a specific level of instruction (i.e. “advanced”) and (4) universal allusions to “fluency” should be avoided when generalizing one component of L2 competency (such as writing achievement) to other aspects of L2 development.
Key words: French writing, methodological critique, written assessment, language assessment, second language writing assessment