Author Archives: Strix Texturae

Ethics in language testing, local practices, once more in the spotlight

This is to share two thoughts with you.

First, that it’s time for language test developers in South Africa to begin to evaluate the ethicality of their assessment practices with reference to international codes, and second, to consider what local and contextual conditions might further shape our design work.

ilta

Does the South African language testing community need a Code of Ethics? That need has just been brought into focus again by an invitation from Tineke Brunfaut, coordinator of a project of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA; http://www.iltaonline.com/) aiming to have the ILTA Code of ethics translated into more languages, to translate it into Afrikaans. Continue reading

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A dual accountability

fail-passThe solutions proposed by applied linguists are defensible in two ways:

First, the designs must be justified with reference to theory – not only linguistic theory, but also those found in other disciplines, like psychology and pedagogy, and across disciplines.

AccountabilitySecond, applied linguists are accountable to the public for the designs they produce. This is because their plans affect ever-increasing numbers of human beings. A bad and inappropriate language test may prevent one from earning a decent living or gaining legitimate access to a country or resources. An inadequate language course may stultify personal and professional growth. An ineffective and inappropriate language policy or arrangement can inhibit optimal performance within an institution or the workplace. Continue reading