Assessing functional adequacy across tasks: A comparison of learners’ and native speakers’ written texts
Keywords:FUNCTIONAL ADEQUACY, L1 ITALIAN, L2 ITALIAN, ASSESSMENT, WRITING TASK
This study aims to explore further the applicability of the six-point rating scale elaborated by Kuiken and Vedder (2017) to assess functional adequacy. According to the authors, functional adequacy (FA) is a multidimensional construct combining successful task completion and the effective transmission of a message from a speaker or writer to a hearer or reader. Kuiken and Vedder’s scale has been mainly applied to written L2 output in previous research, whereas in this study it is tested on both L1 and L2 written texts, elicited by means of different tasks. The texts, produced by 20 non-native and 20 native speakers of Italian, were rated by seven non-expert raters, trained to use the scale. The results showed low levels of absolute inter-rater agreement and consistency, especially for L1 texts. On the other hand, our findings are more encouraging with regard to the reliability of the scale and its applicability across tasks. The results also revealed a strong correlation between FA scores and those obtained in a C-test used as an independent measure of general L2 proficiency.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Elena Nuzzo
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