Formative Assessment in Writing in CEFR-aligned Secondary Curriculum: Malaysian Teachers' Practices and Beliefs


  • Tavamani Thiagarajan
  • Tan Kim Hua


Education, CEFR Assessment, Formative Assessment, Writing Skill, Writing Assessment


The alignment of the CEFR framework in the Malaysian English curriculum has significantly changed Malaysian English classroom teaching and learning. The new curriculum shifted from emphasising centralised exams to measuring learning progress; hence, formative assessment was introduced. Previous research highlighted a substantial gap between secondary school teachers' understanding and actual formative assessment practises in the classroom. The research also found that writing was the most challenging language to teach and assess in the classroom. This paper seeks to find the practices of formative assessments in writing lessons and explore the teachers' beliefs of formative assessment in their writing lessons. This study involved seven secondary English teachers in Selangor chosen through convenience sampling. Two data collection methods were used: a semi-structured interview and classroom observation and the data were analysed using transcription and content analysis. Results showed a contradiction between teachers' practices and beliefs. The findings revealed that teachers did formative assessments in writing with the summative assessment as their primary target, and the teachers misperceived the formative assessment practices. It was also found that challenges like lack of time, class size, student language proficiency, work burden, and parents' expectations hinder the effective implementation of formative assessment. The study implies effective formative assessment benefits both teachers and students to teach and learn writing skill. Future research could explore students' perspectives of formative assessment in their writing lessons.