This is the first volume to focus on the assessment of second language writing. The collection as a whole provides coverage of all issues in second language writing assessment, starting from the context in which and for which assessment must occur, moving through the aspects of decision-making and design in a writing assessment program, and then considering how the need to evaluate any program on assessment can be carried out. After a discussion of issues of public reporting, an area which will receive increasing attention in the next few years, the volume closes with a discussion of what new issues and answers the future may bring. The book reflects the current belief in direct writing assessment in second language writing assessment. While it is often expected that those working with ESL students will focus on language error, throughout the book themes of needs, attitudes, ideas and content dominate. For second language writers the use of written language to learn, to create knowledge and to share ideas and beliefs are vitally important. Additionally, issues of cross-cultural academic literacy, practical information on criteria and scoring models for use with ESL writers, and research on the efficacy and effects of various assessment models are provided. The book blends theory and practice in a way which offers all those who are concerned with the writing skills of nonnative users of English an invaluable resource.