Improving bad writing
Most English teachers know that General 3 and 4 grades can be awarded to pupils who have some significant problems with writing and reading.
It is, therefore, perfectly un-
derstandable when such pupils cannot cope with courses like Intermediate 1 and 2. These require writing skills which are "sufficiently accurate".
For 20 years, we have operated an assessment system which has paid very little attention to independent wriing skills. Teachers, parents and others have been encouraged to participate in "redrafting" essays so that folio work is usually a combined effort.
Revised Higher grades are
similarly skewed by folio work, although they at least are slightly influenced by the report-writing section of the exam. Nevertheless it has been possible to achieve impressive Scottish Qualifications Authority awards with fairly ropey writing skills.
The SQA must decide what skills English awards assess. Comprehension? Syntax? Spelling? Reasoning? Memory?
Copying? Redrafting? Reciting? Diction?
Can we please have a complete system of assessment which allows all candidates to succeed in courses which accurately reflect their skills and their interests? In particular, can we please start being honest about independent writing skills?