From Huot book, we will focus on chapters 1,3, and 5.
Chapter 1: How does Huot approach assessment?
He thinks that "assessment must be a multi-disciplinary enterprise, something that should never be driven completely by the beliefs and assumptions of any single group" (2). So, assessment should exclude ant certain groups.
He thinks that there is a strong connection between assessing and teaching writing which is why he recommends that teachers should use as tool to teach writing to students. "Using writing assessment to promote teaching" is Huot's main idea.
He suggests that as teachers we should remember the idea that assessment is a social action. Language and writing are also social actions. If teachers assess writing (they also deal with language while assessing writing), they should consider writing's social nature. This is why, they should approach assessment as a social action. Huot thinks that "constructing and agenda for writing assessment as social action means connecting assessment to teaching" (8). This is the most important idea that he tries to make clear in his arguement about assessment. he says that "an agenda for assessment that recognizes it as an important element for social action allows us the ability to guard against over-privileging the values, gestures and customs of certain groups and provides assessment with the potential to become an agent for progressive social change that includes and highlights the improvement of educational environments and opportunities for all students" (9).
Chapter 3: The distinction between assessing, grading, and testing
He focuses on a pedagogy linking teaching and assessing of writing. Finding the distinction between grading, testing, and assessing writing is crucial to find this pedagogy.
Grading/Testing : labeling students. This situation causes them to write correctly based upon the grades and tests results. This situation erases the teaching progress and learning progress. By focusing on the things that students need to change and revise (based upon their grades and test results) prevent them learning. "A grade or test exists beyond our assessment of a particular text and beyond any commentary or instruction on how to improve the writing we are basing our judgments on in the first place. The purpose of grades or tests is to ascertain what a student knows or can do at a particular point. Grading or testing involves little or no learning or teaching" (62)
Self-assessment: It is "an important ability for the developing writer and is related to a student's ability to use assessment to write... is [also] focused on how well students measure their progress in a particular class or how well or how much they have revised" (60). "The ability to assess writing is related to the ability to write" so self-assessment is a great tool teach writing (60).
Huot says that we think writing as a process, and teaching writing as a process too. So, this leads us to "rethink what it means for our students to evaluate the way writing works and to relate these decisions about writing quality to the process if writing" (69).This is an insight that second language writers should definitely gain to understand the concept of writing in English.
Instructive Evaluation: It "involves the student in the process of evaluation, making her aware of what it is he is trying to create and how well her current draft matches the linguistic and rhetorical targets she has set for herself, targets that have come from her understanding of the context, audience, purpose, and other rhetorical features of a specific piece of writing. Instructive evaluation requires that we involve the students in all phases of assessment of her work. We must help her set the rhetorical and linguistic targets that will best suit her purpose in writing and then we have to help her evaluate how well she has met such targets, using this evaluation to help her reach additional targets and set new ones" (69). For second language writers, linguistic and rhetorical targets in English are crucial to learn, since they do nit know this knowledge. To be bale to develop as writers, they should learn these targets, and instructive evaluation would be a good approach to apply in second language writing classes.
Chapter 5: Reading like a teacher and responding like a teacher
He also re-articulates what it means to read like a teacher: creating a "dialectic between the way we think about language and teaching and the way we read and respond to student writing" (112).
Reading like a teacher should be reading students' writing to teach writing to them.
In reading, to make meaning, reader's prior background, training, experience etc. are important elements. How would it work this idea in a second language writing class? How can teacher have a background while reading a second language writer's paper?
Ethnic diversity can impact teachers' response and assessment. The impact of cultural identity: page 116. In the case of a second language writing teacher, how he/she can deal with different cultural identities.