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Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services

Mar. 17, 2010 Round-Up: Language Proficiency & Testing

posted: Wed, Mar 17, 2010

This week's round-up includes a variety of language testing and proficiency news, including responses to recent education policy changes.

  • Vieux, en bonne sante . . . et bilingue (We're Only Human blog)
    "In French, that means old, healthy . . . and bilingual. I could just as well have used Google Translate to put that phrase into Finnish or Spanish or Chinese. The fact is, I don’t speak any of those languages fluently—any language except English really."
  • Students need to learn quick, efficient reading: British professor (Focus Taiwan News Channel)
    "Professor Cyril Weir of the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom said that in order to enhance English language ability, university students should learn to read quickly and efficiently."
  • Culture in 'Language' Tests (Learn Out Live blog)
    "As a linguist, I can tell you the difference between a language and a culture. However, the people who create these tests do not recognize any difference; and, even if they did, they would argue that the difference is completely unimportant."
  • When will video kill the radio star in English language tests? (English Raven blog)
    "I think it would be pretty fair to say video has become fairly ubiquitous through Internet applications, and in terms of online and computer-based language learning applications, there is veritable plethora of video-based programs and services that can be accessed and utilised with relative ease."
  • New York Board of Regents considers saving money by cutting some exams (Syracuse.com)
    "The state Board of Regents was doing some math on Monday. It looked at how much money it could save if it scrapped much of its testing program, including two of the five Regents exams students are required to pass to graduate from high school."
  • Fixing schools by firing teachers (Salon.com)
    "Slash-and-burn tactics come to education. But in our race to repair broken schools, are we hurting kids?"
  • Former 'No Child Left Behind' Advocate Turns Critic (NPR)
    "Diane Ravitch, once a staunch advocate of No Child Left Behind, speaks out against the law in her book, Death and Life of the Great American School System."

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