In language assessment, authenticity has been considered one of the crucial elements defining the standard of an assessing process. However, little research in the field of ESL/EFL education has been conducted to specify how that quality is evaluated. This study focused on constructing a framework for authentic writing portfolios which was then applied to investigate the authenticity of the writing portfolios for sophomores in a Social English course at Vietnam National University, the University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS, VNU). A qualitative approach with four phases including document analysis, interviews with ESL/EFL assessment experts, observation, and semi-constructed interviews with students was adopted for concrete results. According to the findings, a framework for authentic writing portfolios should base on five main aspects: tasks, goals, context, assessment criteria, and roles of assessors. Regarding the ULIS second-year students writing portfolios, the authenticity quality was generally ensured, but some adjustments still needed making. The study hopefully will benefit researchers and teachers who are interested in the same topic.
EFL/ ESL education, Language assessment, authenticity, writing competence, and writing portfolios