Teaching and assessment of persuasive writing: juggling the language features and grasping the metalanguage

O'Neill, Shirley (2012) Teaching and assessment of persuasive writing: juggling the language features and grasping the metalanguage. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 7 (1). pp. 84-98.


Being able to write persuasively has always been important. This skill is central to a range of genres such as comparative analysis, editorial or discussion. It is argued to be the written genre that students will meet most frequently as they progress through their schooling (NAPLAN, 2010) and its mastery continues to be of paramount importance to passing high stakes/gate-keeping tests of English and being able to engage with tertiary studies (Wollman-Bonilla, 2004). Compared with writing a narrative the persuasive written text requires an understanding and application of specific persuasive devices as well as particular knowledge and understanding of the context in question. This draws attention to the need for the design of assessment tasks to firstly take account of students' background knowledge. Similarly, teachers need give priority to the explicit teaching of the associated language features, which in turn demands students' acquisition of the metalanguage involved. This research examined thirty-five Taiwanese high school students' responses to a persuasive writing task based on the task, criteria and descriptive data used for the Australian national test of literacy (NAPLAN, 2011a). Responding to 'Learning a language is better than learning a sport' students' scripts showed a range of performance but overall strong evidence of understanding the persuasive genre and the ability to apply persuasive devices. These devices included use of personal opinion, appeals to reader's logic or values, conditional and emphatic statements, and ability to temper or modify their argument.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © eContent Management Pty Ltd. No limitation will be placed on the personal freedom of authors to copy or to use in subsequent work, material contained in their papers. Please contact the Publisher for clarification if you are unsure of the use of copyright material. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of research and private study, or criticism and or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 of Australia, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the Publishers.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 02:35
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2014 02:28
Uncontrolled Keywords: english as a foreign language; language assessment; persuasive writing; EFL high school students
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200302 English Language
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4703 Language studies > 470307 English language
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390104 English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.5172/ijpl.2012.7.1.84
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22162

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