The use of rubrics and correction codes in the marking of Grade 10 Sesotho home language creative writing essays
This study investigates the assessment of creative essays in grade 10 Sesotho home language. Nine participants from a total of six schools took part in the research. For the purpose of this study, no literature was found on the assessment of Sesotho essays (or essay writing in any other African language) in general or specific to creative writing in high schools in South Africa. The literature on English first language teaching and English second language teaching were then used to theoretically contextualise the writing and assessment of creative writing essays in Sesotho home language in South African high schools. Data were collected through questionnaires completed by teachers, an analysis of a sample of marked scripts (representing above average, average and below average grades) and interviews with teachers (tailored to investigate the asset of creativity and the aspect of style in Sesotho creative writing essays). The researcher manually coded open-ended responses in the questionnaires. Interview responses were coded with Atlas.ti version 7. Frequencies were calculated for the close-ended questions in the questionnaire. Participating teachers perceived their assessment of essays with the use of the rubric and the correction to be standardised. This was evident in their awarding of marks. It was found in this study that teachers generally award marks around 60%. However, their report that they use comments as per their responses in the questionnaire was disproven by the lack of comments in the scripts analysed in this study. There was also no relationship observed between the correction code frequencies observed in the marked essays that were analysed and the marks granted for specific sections of the rubric. This study recommends use of the rubric in earlier drafts of the writing process. In addition, it proposes an expansion of the marking grid used to provide clearer feedback via the revised rubric to the learners. Due to the participating teachers’ evident lack of clarity on what style in Sesotho home language essays entail, it was inferred that teachers are not clear on the distinctions between different essay assessment criteria in the rubric. A recommendation was the development of a rubric guide, which would clearly indicate to teachers what each criterion of the rubric assesses.
- Humanities