The Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) writing project: a case for post-entry assessment policies and practices in Hong Kong universities
Jane Lockwood, City University of Hong Kong
Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013
Abstract: This article describes undergraduate English language support in the context of universities in Hong Kong, with reference to early academic writing needs and support. It focuses specifically on the writing needs of post-entry year 1 students as reported in a series of Hong Kong based studies, and on the recent outcomes of a project funded by an Education Research Grant (ERG): The Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) – The Writing Assessment. These studies have revealed that many undergraduate students, whilst obtaining university mandated minimum entry levels for English, are challenged by the demands of academic writing when studying in Hong Kong EMI (English medium instruction) universities. This article reports on this situation and positions DELTA as a desirable post-entry assessment instrument, arguing that it is a critical part of a multilayered approach to addressing the poor English language levels of novice Hong Kong undergraduate students.
Keywords: diagnostic assessment; novice academic writing; post entry language assessment