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Appears in:
Pages: 5876-5883
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CORRELATION BETWEEN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TESTING AND TEACHING AND THE ENSUING IMPACT ON GENERAL LINGUISTICS

P. Wahl

Szczecin University (POLAND)
There is a certain correlation between the format of Foreign Languages Testing (FL Testing), the format of Foreign Languages Teaching and Learning (FLT/L) and the dominating mainstream General Linguistics (GL) theories. If the format of FL Testing turns out to be wrong, there must be something wrong with the format of FLT/L and, consequently, with the dominating mainstream GL theories.

Several groups of Polish students have been examined on their competence in the Polish language at the level of C2 – the level of educated native speakers – according to the system of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). Most of the tested students, who were all educated native speakers of Polish, failed the exam. As the statement 'native speakers of language X are not native speakers of language X' does not make sense, there must be something wrong with the CEFR, and, consequently, with the whole chain FL Testing – FLT/L – GL theories.

The repair programme should be started with the detailed diagnosis of the current status quo. In FLT/L and FL Testing almost the only sphere that is taught and tested are four skills; and the use of students’ native language is commonly forbidden. Such principles are substantiated by the mainstream GL theories, which suggest that much more attention should be paid to (practical) skills and much less to (theoretical) knowledge. Behind such thinking there is an underlying dichotomy into skills and knowledge, which – on second thoughts – is not so obvious. In any case, a linguistic knowledge is composed of lexicon and grammar. Grammar, sensu largo, comprises phonetics, morphology and syntax, of which syntax is the most important component.

The proposed repair programme should be concentrated on ten areas:
(1) The knowledge of the language should be moved to the foreground, and the linguistic skills to the background; and both of them – the knowledge of the language and the linguistic skills – redefined.
(2) The syntax of a language may and should be quantified.
(3) The vocabulary of a language may and should be quantified, too.
(4) A fifth linguistic skill – the skill of translating – should be added to the already functioning four skills in FL Testing and FLT/L; and it should be precisely defined.
(5) Much more attention should be paid to the pronunciation of the language that is being taught and learnt.
(6) A direct and clear correlation should be established between the phonic and written modes or channels of linguistic communication.
(7) In FLT/L only authentic materials should be used.
(8) More elements of colloquial language should be introduced in FL Testing, FLT/L and GL.
(9) All the FLT materials should be addressee-profiled.
(10) Instead of one foreign language, two, three or four cognate languages should be taught in a parallel way.
@InProceedings{WAHL2014COR,
author = {Wahl, P.},
title = {CORRELATION BETWEEN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TESTING AND TEACHING AND THE ENSUING IMPACT ON GENERAL LINGUISTICS},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5876-5883}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Wahl
TI - CORRELATION BETWEEN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TESTING AND TEACHING AND THE ENSUING IMPACT ON GENERAL LINGUISTICS
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 5876
EP - 5883
ER -
P. Wahl (2014) CORRELATION BETWEEN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TESTING AND TEACHING AND THE ENSUING IMPACT ON GENERAL LINGUISTICS, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 5876-5883.
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