Article published in:The Language Testing Cycle: From inception to washback
Edited by Gillian Wigglesworth and Catherine Elder
[Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. Series S 13] 1996
► pp. 13–32
The politicisation of English
The case of the step test and the Chinese students
The past decade in Australia has been characterised by a striking growth in the application of language testing, frequently in contexts governed by macro-political pressures. Despite this, the literature to date has rarely placed its first emphasis on the pragmatic considerations which typically give rise to test development, and impact on test design as well as administration outcomes. To illustrate the significance of this, this chapter explores the recent pressures surrounding the evolution and implementation of the Special Test of English Proficiency (step test) – a form of ESL testing designed not merely to assess linguistic competence, but to play a central role in the determination of residential status for substantial numbers of asylum seekers.
Published online: 01 January 1996
Cited by 2 other publications
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