Characteristics of Advanced Level Writing

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Characteristics of Advanced Level Writing

Post by Hadeyah Bishi on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:36 am

Characteristics of Advanced Level Writing

from the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Writing, ACTFL, Inc. 2001
For the full ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Writing, visit:
http://www.actfl.org/files/public/writingguidelines.pdf

ADVANCED-HIGH
Writers at the Advanced-High level are able to write about a variety of topics with significant precision and detail. They can handle most social and informal correspondence according to appropriate conventions. They can write summaries, reports, precis, and research papers. They can also write extensively about topics relating to particular interests and special areas of competence, but tend to emphasize the concrete aspects of such topics. Advanced-High writers can describe and narrate in all major time frames, with good control of aspect. In addition, they are able to demonstrate some ability to incorporate the functions and other criteria of the Superior level, showing some ability to develop arguments and construct hypotheses. They cannot, however, sustain those abilities and may have difficulty dealing with a variety of topics in abstract, global, and/or impersonal terms. They often show remarkable ease of expression when writing at the Advanced level, but under the demands of Superior-level writing tasks, patterns of error appear. Although they have good control of a full range of grammatical structures and a fairly wide general vocabulary, they may not use these comfortably and accurately in all cases. Weaknesses in grammar, syntax, vocabulary, spelling or symbol production, cohesive devices, or punctuation may occasionally distract the native reader from the message. Writers at the Advanced-High level do not consistently demonstrate flexibility to vary their style according to different tasks and readers. Their writing production often reads successfully but may fail to convey the subtlety and nuance of the Superior level.

ADVANCED-MID
Writers at the Advanced-Mid level are able to meet a range of work and/or academic writing needs with good organization and cohesiveness that may reflect the principles of their first language. They are able to write straightforward summaries and write about familiar topics relating to interests and events of current, public, and personal relevance by means of narratives and descriptions of a factual nature. Advanced-Mid writers demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe with detail in all major time frames. Their writing is characterized by a range of general vocabulary that expresses thoughts clearly, at times supported by some paraphrasing or elaboration. Writing at the Advanced-Mid level exhibits some variety of cohesive devices in texts of several paragraphs in length. There is good control of the most frequently used target language syntactic structures, e.g., common word order patterns, coordination, subordination. There may be errors in complex sentences, as well as in punctuation, spelling, or the formation of non-alphabetic symbols and character production. While features of the written style of the target language may be present, Advanced-Mid writing may at times resemble oral discourse or the writing style of the first language. Advanced-Mid writing incorporates organizational features both of the target language or the writer's first language. While Advanced-Mid writers are generally aware of writing for the other, with all the attendant tailoring required to accommodate the reader, they tend to be inconsistent in their aims and focus from time to time on the demands of production of the written text rather than on the needs of reception. When called on to perform functions or to treat topics at the Superior level, Advanced-Mid writers will generally manifest a decline in the quality and/or quantity of their writing, demonstrating a lack of the rhetorical structure, the accuracy, and the fullness of elaboration and detail that would be characteristic of the Superior level. Writing at the Advanced-Mid level is understood readily by natives not used to the writing of non-natives.

ADVANCED-LOW
Writers at the Advanced-Low level are able to meet basic work and/or academic writing needs, produce routine social correspondence, write about familiar topics by means of narratives and descriptions of a factual nature, and write simple summaries. Advanced-Low writers demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in major time frames with some control of aspect. Advanced-Low writers are able to combine and link sentences into texts of paragraph length and structure. Their writings, while adequate to satisfy the criteria of the Advanced level, may not be substantive. Writers at the Advanced-Low level demonstrate an ability to incorporate a limited number of cohesive devices but may resort to much redundancy, and awkward repetition. Subordination in the expression of ideas is present and structurally coherent, but generally relies on native patterns of oral discourse or the writing style of the writer's first language. Advanced-Low writers demonstrate sustained control of simple target-language sentence structures and partial control of more complex structures. When attempting to perform functions at the Superior level, their writing will deteriorate significantly. Writing at the Advanced- Low level is understood by natives not used to the writing of non-natives although some additional effort may be required in the reading of the text.

Hadeyah Bishi

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