SPANISH WRITING: WHAT DO RATERS LOOK FOR?
As students as 'writers' move across the globe to courses in higher education, the area faces challenges regarding academic writing across cultures. In a 1988 international comparative study edited by Gorman, Purves & Degenhart it was found that student writing across educational systems had in common what constituted a written product by its surface features. However, beyond that each nation varied in the perception of what was valued. The CEFR very much challenges this notion bringing common standards across writing in multiple languages and cultures. On this point the current study investigates Spanish rater perceptions of what is valued in educated Spanish writing on two tasks: a report and an argument. The words raters focus on while using the scales (Eckes 2004), as well as the choice of band-scale wording for scale development will be presented. The grid will be compared to an English one for the same pair of tasks. Furthermore, the rating grids for academic Spanish will be compared to the CEFR C1 / C2 Spanish versions. The data will illuminate what raters consider to be valuable for judging written Spanish and how this concurs with the CEFR higher levels.