Home Forums Discussion Board Discussion 4.2 – Testing English

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      The 2 points presented earlier in this unit (repeated below) represent, for me, the essence of what learning English means.

      ● “The systems of grammatical rules that actually guide individuals’ language use are constructed by their users on the basis of their exposure to, and participation in, meaningful communicative events around them. This is true for both L1 and L2 English.”

      ● “Descriptions of grammatical rules that are deliberately taught and learned in an educational context are a kind of partial ‘knowledge about’ language systems, but having this knowledge doesn’t mean learners have the systems themselves to guide their usage.”

      I think this is the million dollar question: if you teach in a plurilithic way, how can you test in the same way? If for 20 students there are 20 different Englishes and they have constructed their own mental grammar and lexicon, testing the textbook English is a fallacy.
      Personally, I would challenge the “fill in the blank” and the multiple choice testing, to begin with. If we NEED to test, then perhaps allow learners to be a bit creative and have some free reign over their tests and exams and have them create personal and fun presentations, or blogs, or stories, or bring in pictures to talk about, rather then giving them pre-set sentences with blanks about random things and people that don’t mean anything to them and that have to rigidly follow the rules in declarative memory. Focus of them successfully completing the task, instead of how accurately it was completed…We always say that activities should be communicative and meaningful for the learner, but then the testing is the opposite. It’s a tough one!

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/23/testing-english

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