Another Doctoral Grant success for School of Education

Keke Zhang of the School of Education has been awarded a 2015 TOEFL Doctoral Research Grant for her research into the development and validation of a rating scale for assessing argumentative essays written by Chinese undergraduates in English programmes.

The use of argumentative essays is central to current language assessment practices for University entrance in China. Keke’s research explores the possibility of designing more reliable genre-specific rating tools to improve the quality of scores in high-stakes writing assessment. Supervised by Professor Glenn Fulcher, it is expected that the outcomes of this research will inform future HE assessment practice in China, and have implications for the assessment of writing in other University entrance examinations internationally.

This is the fifth TOEFL Doctoral Research Grant achieved by students in the School of Education since 2011, following Nathaniel Owen and Kunlaphak Kongsuwannakul in 2014. The grants are awarded by Educational Testing Service in the United States, which is the largest provider of educational assessment for entrance to Higher Education in the world.

Professor Glenn Fulcher said: "This is a very significant achievement for Keke. And it demonstrates once again the international impact of doctoral research in the School of Education. Our students have achieved amazing success in attracting funding from Educational Testing Service in the United States for a variety of projects, all of which will improve assessment practice around the world."

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