Testing English as a lingua franca is a slippery business. Testers need certainties about the language they are testing, and those certainties are conveniently provided by standard descriptions of language, not by the fluid norms in which ELF operates. As a result, the major examining boards are reluctant to engage with the realities of ELF use, which in turn has an effect on the language classroom, since, as Jenkins (2006) warns, 'It is changes in teaching which keep pace with changes in testing, and not vice versa. This may be true for high stakes tests, which should have the function of providing a reliable assessment of language proficiency to a third party, such as a prospective employer or an educational institution. But language assessments at school are likely to have a wide range of functions, including diagnostic, motivational, and communicative; and in these contexts it seems crucial that language tests should reflect the real world use of English to which language programmers (in Europe and beyond) increasingly aspire. The aim of the chapter is thus to present an overview of the issues involved, which could provide useful input for language teaching professionals wishing to engage with ELF in classroom assessment, and to enable them to identify contexts where an ‘ELF’ element to assessment is both possible and appropriate. After an initial reflection on the role of teacher as tester, it goes on to refer to research in educational contexts in Italy, and to discuss how fundamental notions in testing and assessment, such as validity, the distinction between receptive and productive skills, and the testing of grammar and pronunciation can relate to an ELF-aware learning environment. Throughout the chapter it offers teachers, syllabus designers, and language planners the chance to relate to their own professional contexts through guided questions and points for reflection.
|Titolo:||ELF in Language Tests|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|
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