Using the REEP Assessment for ESOL and ABE Classroom Instruction

The authors describe how they use the REEP Writing Rubric for teaching writing in a mid-level ESOL classroom and a pre-GED classroom. 

Joanne Pinsonneault
Carey Reid
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Adventures in Assessment
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages

The authors describe how they use the REEP Writing Rubric for teaching writing in a mid-level ESOL classroom and a pre-GED classroom. Both authors note that the tool is quite "user friendly", and can be used for formative assessment in the classroom. The REEP Writing Rubric is one component of the REEP Writing Assessment. For the mid-level ESOL classroom, the author focused on the components including the pre-writing activities, the essay prompts, and the rubric itself. The Assessment components formed the basis of the lesson for the students: they studied and practiced the pre-writing activities, wrote to essay prompts, and studied and used the rubric to understand the standards against which their writing would be judged. For the pre-GED class, the author and the co-teacher began by having the students study and understand the rubric, and then apply the rubric to pieces of student writing; in other words, the students were asked to score student writing with the rubric. The authors now use the REEP rubric to score the students own writing, and they are experimenting with using the rubric as a peer- or self-assessment tool.

Required Training

No training is required to utilize this resource; the resource itself describes a process for using the REEP Writing Rubric as an on-going learning tool and can be used readily. Familiarity with rubrics in general would be optimal for the user.

What the experts say

The title gave me the impression that the article was going to be about how to teach writing in a broad sense while using the REEP assessment as a starting point. However, the article (especially the ESL piece) was more about helping learners to become familiar with the REEP testing process. It is for this reason that I see this piece to be more connected to the research base on formative assessment than writing instruction.

This resource provides a first hand look at how teachers can help learners to better understand the processes and methods of standardized assessments. The authors did a nice job of working with the assessment and adapting it to develop their own writing activities for learners. The GED teachers in particular were able to use the REEP rubric to create writing activities that were more oriented to the GED.

This article emphasizes that students can benefit from understanding how standardized assessment works. It also demonstrates the role that teachers play in conveying to learners the importance of assessments that are used for accountability purposes. If learners don't take assessments seriously because the teacher has regularly denounced standardized assessments as a "waste of time" or "required by the state", then it can seriously compromise the results from those standardized tests.

The authors give step by step descriptions of how they administer and interpret REEP writing assessment in ESOL and ABE classrooms. I'm sure this is very interesting and useful to instructors.

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