The Case of Composition Questions in the Examinations of Turkish Lesson

Tahir TAGA* Suleyman UNLU** Huseyin OZTURK***
Res. Asst. Gazi University, Education Faculty, Ankara, TURKEY.
** Res. Asst Süleyman Demirel University, Education Faculty, Isparta, TURKEY.
*** Res. Asst. Artvin Coruh University, Education Faculty, Artvin, TURKEY.


Problem Statement: Writing is a skill area that is difficult to teach and evaluate. The fact that writing is a complex skill including many factors underlies on the basis of these difficulties. Such factors as grammar, writing and punctuation, language and expression, text linguistics and thinking skills, which are knowledge and skill areas all by itself, form wholeness through interaction in the writing process. Topics, types, methods of the writing are the decisive factors when reflecting on the students’ competence. Thus, quality of the questions affects students’ writing achievement in the exams. In the studies, it is not presented how the writing skill is addressed in assessment and evaluation that forms the final link of the teaching process. It is possible to determine the effectiveness of assessment and evaluation regarding writing skills and to correct the deficiencies if any, with the composition of the questions to be addressed from different angles.

Purpose of Study: This study aims to identify the case of composition questions in the examination of secondary school Turkish lesson and the teachers’ perceptions related to this issue.

Method: In this study conducted in case study design, 18 schools have been identified through convenience sampling method. According to the method of document review, 432 exam papers were collected from these schools and eight of the teachers those preparing exams were interviewed.

Findings and Results: The results obtained are as follows: In 52.08 percent of the exams, composition questions take place. A significant part of these questions require writing according to the method of guided writing. Teachers often did not specify the type of text to be written. In the questions that are specified with text types, event texts become prominent. According to the participants, lack of diversity in terms of writing methods in composition questions results from teachers’ habits and unfollowing the latest developments.

Conclusions and Recommendations: It can be argued that composition questions examined in the study are not adequate in terms of both quantity and quality. It can be said that writing methods and types learnt in the teaching process haven’t been reflected in the evaluation process. Findings reveal that teachers act upon the concerns rather than objectives and attainments of the lesson when preparing exam questions and this causes misevaluation of writing skills of students. To evaluate students’ writing skills properly, composition questions should be increased and enriched by teachers.

Keywords: Teaching Writing, Written Expression, Assessment, Evaluation.