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Italian SL Writing Competence in Socially Vulnerable Students

A Comparison Between two Rating Scales

Anna De Meo    Università degli Studi di Napoli «L’Orientale», Italia    

Marta Maffia    Università degli Studi di Napoli «L’Orientale», Italia    

Giuseppina Vitale    Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italia    



The high number of low-literate vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers among L2 Italian learners requires a rethinking not only of approaches and teaching methods, but also of assessment strategies. The present study aims to investigate the effectiveness of two different rating scales in the assessment of writing skills for this peculiar target of learners, a Standard Evaluation Scale and a Functional Adequacy Scale. Application of the two assessment methods on a corpus of about 450 written texts produced by 50 refugees and asylum seekers from 16 different countries, with an Italian A2 level competence, demonstrated that a Functional Adequacy Scale can be a more reliable and efficient tool than a Standard Evaluation Scale for valorising also poor writing skills, instead of underlying the limits of low-literate productions.

June 4, 2020
Dec. 1, 2019
May 2, 2019

Keywords: Written competenceFunctional Adequacy ScaleStandard Evaluation ScaleL2 ItalianAdult refugees

Copyright: © 2019 Anna De Meo, Marta Maffia, Giuseppina Vitale. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.