EFL Assessment and the Construction of Positioned Writer Identities in Gulf University Students

  • Lelania Sperrazza


This qualitative study situates the discussion of EFL writing assessment in a particular context by describing the assessment practices of writing teachers as perceived by freshmen university students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The aim of the study is to explore how participants construct and interpret their writer identities based on the assessments of past writing teachers, which in turn, positions their current perceptions of writer identity once they enter university. Three themes emerged from the data in which the participants felt a lack of Perceived Academic Control (PAC) based on their secondary school teachers’ writing assessments: feeling at fault for not understanding how to write academically, feeling forced to write academically, and feeling like the ‘weakest’ writer in the class. The study ends by suggesting that university-level educators in the Gulf should engage in specific pedagogical and assessment practices to assist EFL students as they transition into using academic discourse at the university.


EFL assessment Positioned writer identities Gulf university students UAE 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Lelania Sperrazza
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of SharjahSharjahUAE

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