Harmer’s Online Presentation on Testing

Please see new post: Harmer On Testing. I leave this here because of the comments.

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35 thoughts on “Harmer’s Online Presentation on Testing

  1. I get what you’re saying, but perhaps a lack of continuous praise or ongoing discussion online or off (admittedly though, only those part of the offline conversation actually are privy to their exchanges about it…) of the merits of a talk is indicative of how people feel about it, rather than simply the lack of flat-out written criticism on blogs, for example. Was it widely publicised after it took place or before? Are posts like this one countered with an array of those praising the talk too? Maybe I’ve missed them. We, as a whole, are rather polite, but within the talk itself, it takes a bold person to berate it, like you do here.

    Ultimately, I don’t see the point in clouding your valid criticisms with what comes off as disgust at his talks or a sweeping generalisation about our profession’s standards. Maybe it’s cathartic?

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  2. Hi Tyson,

    Perhaps a lack of praise, etc., is indicative of how people feel about Harmer’s presentation and perhaps directly after the talk itself it would have taken a bold person to berate it. And it’s certainly the case that you are, as a whole, polite. None of which has much force as a reply to my claim that the general lack of criticism of Harmer’s work reflects badly on our profession. What’s more, I suggest that describing my criticisms as clouded by disgust is unwarranted, and that calling them “a sweeping generalisation about our profession’s standards.” is simply wrong. I make no such sweeping generalisations; I refer quite specifically to just one thing: the general lack of criticism of Harmer’s work.

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    • The fact that you say “Harmer’s talk is pure bullshit” and “dripping sentimentality and meaningless blather” is what I’m talking about as coming off as unnecessarily emotionally charged i.e. disgust. I guess it sounds angry, rather than analytical.

      I wasn’t calling all your criticisms a sweeping generalisation; isn’t your reference to the whole of standards of our profession based on one man’s work sweeping enough?

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      • Ask any reviewer (theatre / film / video / music / literary / etc., etc.) or critic if it’s possible to use phrases like “pure bullshit”, “dripping sentimentality” and “meaningless blather” without being emotionally charged and they’ll tell you that it is. I didn’t intend the phrases to be emotionally charged, and anyway, “unnecessarily emotionally charged” doesn’t equate with “disgust”.

        Your inversion of my comment about the lack of criticism of Harmer’s work reflecting badly on the standards of our profession still doesn’t make it a sweeping generalisation.

        What’s interesting is that you call my criticisms “valid”. If it’s valid to say that Harmer’s presentation is totally lacking in coherence, scholarship, critical acumen, and interesting content, then surely I have a point when I say that we in the ELT community should respond more critically and vocally to Harmer’s bullshit. I know: it’s not what I say, it’s the way I say it.

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  3. As somebody not really connected to any of the higher-ups in ELT I think I can say something without appearing rude. I understand Tyson’s point of view in that because his organisation (rather TOBELTA as two organisations but you get what I mean) invited Jeremy Harmer it’s not really on to then turn one’s nose up at the fellow. Also, the TOBELTA web conference was themed around assessment. JH did his IATEFL turn on testing and made the case for the industry. Luke Meddings got a right of reply in the TOBELTA web conference and I think this balanced it out. (LM’s critical stance against JHs stance of supporting large businesses if his IATEFL turn is anything to go by).

    That said, I knew that I didn’t want to watch this TOBELTA recording because I know that what JH says/writes is not my cup of tea and, in my opinion, is facile generalisation that appears truthful on the surface but does not have anything substantial to back it up. That said, it seems interesting to other people. Maybe the more people access JH’s work the more likely they are to read something that is a bit more critical later on and change their minds.

    I do think that because many in our profession are ‘nice’ people (because you need to be at least a bit personable to be a teacher) I think that a lot of this niceness shields some of the higher-ups from being called out on some half-baked ideas, shoddy products and contributing to a continuation of inconsistent quality in institutions/large companies.

    However, I don’t know whether JH is really so influential outside of the IATEFL bubble. I didn’t do a CELTA and didn’t know of Harmer prior to my DipTESOL course when I had to read one of his books because it was the easiest to get hold of out of the three alternatives. I know that there are a large number of teachers without CELTA/CertTESOL who are trained in-house without knowing about Harmer.

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    • Hi Marc,

      I’m tempted to ask what sheltered corner of the planet you live in and buy a small plot of land there 🙂 Alas, the “IATEFL bubble” is a big one, and, equally regrettable, in my opinion, Harmer’s influence extends even further; apart from giving talks and workshops all over the world, his books sell globally, and he’s also on the academic staff, as an advisor to those doing a Masters in TESOL, at The New School in New York. No, I’m not joking.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vindictive vitriol does not make for a reasoned or reasonable academic argument. I’m only pleased that I criticise my colleagues’ work when I feel the need by showing dignity and respect for their efforts. I’d rather see Mr Jordan’s criticisms in a peer-reviewed article. Then I might show his writing some respect, as I have in the past.

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  5. Hi Phil,

    You call my post “vindictive vitriol”. I invite you to provide some evidence to back up your offensive and unwarranted charge that it’s vindictive.

    In reply to your suggestion that it would have been better to have published “a reasoned or reasonable academic argument” in a “peer-reviewed article”; first, Harmer said nothing worth reviewing in an academic journal, and second, my “vindictive vitriol” pointed to several weaknesses in Harmer’s presentation, none of which you address.

    I’m a bit tired of making the same reply to indignant folk who express their disapproval of my posts. If you don’t like my writing style, fair enough. But don’t accuse me of being disrespectful, rude, or, indeed vindictive, just because I strongly criticise the published work of a well-known figure in ELT who takes every opportunity to appear in public. I have no interest whatsoever in Jeremy Harmer the sentient human being; and, of course, I have no interest in being vindictive towards him. I’m careful to limit myself to comments about what he says in a professional capacity and about the influence he has on the ELT profession. It’s a pity that you and others fail to distinguish between the statements “Harmer is a bad man” and “Harmer writes bullshit”.

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    • Mr Jordan

      I’ll leave it to you to reflect on the language choices (mainly vitriolic) you have made that reflect your interpersonal stance toward Mr Harmer. There is certainly plenty of evidence to suggest you have more than a passing interest in judging his credibility as a colleague, both interpersonally and experientially.

      As for the victimisation complaint, you seem to imply that your linguistic realisation of your stance toward Harmer’s contribution to ELT is somehow separate from your personal position toward him. You are “tired” of people’s disapproval of what you write. That’s a nice try, but it doesn’t stack up. One’s use of language is more than making experiential observations. Your personal attitude is there in all its glory. But I am no doubt preaching to the converted.

      Yours in hope.

      Phil Chappell

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    • Geoff – It’s not that you’re being critical of Harmer. Give me some credit for not being 12. It’s that you do actually come off abrasively. Yes, you do have valid points, but why does your writing style need to make them sound like you are being personally critical? You may not see it, but obviously others do.

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      • Hi Tyson,

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound condescending.

        I appreciate that some people see my remarks as being personally critical, and I can only keep repeating that I have no intention of attacking people on a personal level. I’m honestly shocked that Harmer tours the world making public pronouncements on matters that he knows so little about, and I use this blog – which is a mixture of lampoons, satire, quick reviews like this one, and more serious discussions of aspects of teaching and SLA – to air my views. My view is that Harmer’s presentation was painfully inarticulate, hopelessly disorganised, dripping with sentimentality, and full of meaningless blather, and I really don’t see why people should be upset if I say so. Of course I wouldn’t like it if somebody described a presentation I’d given like that, but I’d at least appreciate that it wasn’t a personal attack. I have quite a few tutees in the MA course I teach in, and I’d never dream of criticising their work like this. But Harmer is generally lauded in the ELT world; he’s described as “The Maestro”; he advises examination bodies; he’s a goodwill ambassador for IATEFL; his books are required reading in thousands of CELTA & DELTA courses around the world. He teaches on an MA program in New York, for God’s sake.

        Leading on from this, I think that Harmer and other leading lights in the ELT world, such as Prodromou, Underhill, Scrivener, and Dellar, attempt to impose their views and commercially-available products on the rest of us, without treating issues of language teaching and learning with the scholarship or critical examination that these matters deserve. I feel perfectly entitled to criticise their published work in the same style as I have here criticised Harmer’s, although I’ve also given more careful, more academic reviews of their work too.

        I value your comments, Tyson, and thanks for taking the time to make them here.

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  6. Mr. Harmer’s writings and opinions were extremely helpful for me when I started out in ELT. But now, fifteen years into this career, I know that I’m not going to get very much from one of his talks, as I’m certain it will in every case be a very generalized discussion of his thoughts on an expansive issue aimed at an inexperienced group. I personally feel there is a time and a place for Jeremy Harmer; perhaps this wasn’t it, nor were you or I the intended audience.

    As far as your writing style is concerned; this is your soap box and you can give your opinions in any way you wish. Am I right in thinking you’d have no problems expressing these thoughts in exactly the same way if you had the opportunity to meet Harmer face-to-face? I have a feeling that’s what really irks most of the people commenting here, i.e. they don’t believe you would.

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    • Hi Adam,

      I would welcome the opportunity to meet Harmer face-to-face in a public forum, and to give him the opportunity to reply to my criticisms.

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  7. Mr Chappell,

    You fail to give any evidence for your insulting suggestion, so let me say clearly that it’s false and unfair. I have nothing personal against Harmer, and I have no cause to seek revenge.

    Given your interest in styles of writing, I wonder if you appreciate how pretentious your own text sounds. Instead of answering a straightforward question, you invite me to reflect on the “language choices” I’ve made which “reflect my interpersonal stance toward Mr. Harmer”. What verbiage!

    More verbiage is used to reply to my claim that criticising Harmer’s published work is not the same as making personal attacks on him. You say that I’m wrong to try to separate the “linguistic realisation” of my “stance toward Harmer’s contribution to ELT” from my “personal position toward him”. “One’s use of language is more than making experiential observations. Your personal attitude is there in all its glory”. While you might be blinded by this pompous piffle, I trust that other readers will notice that the argument is not just poorly-expressed but also entirely devoid of content.

    Your first comment uses the well-known ploy of stating the obvious and then imputing it to something else. You say “Vindictive vitriol does not make for a reasoned or reasonable academic argument”. No it doesn’t; but in order to show that my criticisms of Harmer’s presentation amount to vindictive vitriol and are devoid of reasoned academic argument you need to give some evidence and arguments of your own, which you fail to do. Your second comment offers no evidence or arguments either. Still, I hope insulting me and writing this rubbish has made you feel better. .

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    • By the way, Mr Jordan (or Geoff, if I may)

      I’m in a team debate next month at the English Australia conference (shameless plug for English Australia) http://www.eaconference.com.au . The GrEAt Debate 2015 is on the topic “Change Brings about more opportunity than Challenge”. I am on the team for this topic and our colleague JH is on the opposing team. I certainly don’t want to use any pompous piffle if I can avoid it. Perhaps you could help me offline with a compelling argument 😉

      Cheers!

      Phil

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      • Hi Phil,

        The motion “Change brings about more opportunity than Challenge” sounds like something JH might say. I’ve no idea what it means, so I’m afraid I can’t help you with a compelling argument, but I’m sure you’ll do a great job for your team anyway 🙂

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  8. Great to hear from you again, Geoff. I was beginning to worry. I find, as I’ve said before, your posts immensely instructive. What are, I’m very eager to know, your own views on assessment and its proper role? Just how do we deal with the fact that assessment appears to be, at the same time, both necessary and dehumanising?

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  9. Hi Patrick,

    I was enjoying a summer break until I came across Harmer’s latest contribution. My own view of assessment in ELT is that formal testing should play no role in classroom teaching and that we should fight moves to further centralise linkage to the CEFR which would remove the principle of subsidiarity from language education in Europe (Bonnet, 2007). As Fulcher (2009) says “If realized, these changes would lead to unaccountable centralized control of education and qualification recognition across the continent.”

    Elsewhere, Fulcher (2014) says this:

    “The practice of language testing for purposes other than second language learning research is primarily concerned with making decisions about education and employment. The purpose of the test is to generate a score, the meaning of which is both relevant to, and useful for, the decision to be taken. Individuals who obtain sufficiently high scores gain access to educational programs or jobs, or obtain certification that allows mobility to other institutions or countries; those who do not achieve these cut scores are denied the same benefits. Large-scale testing is therefore a social tool for rationing limited resources and opportunities.”

    Language testing, and particularly high stake tests, have a political dimension and, as an anarchist, I oppose the use of such tests by reactionary authorities to maintain the status quo. More reasonably, perhaps, Fulcher (2011) in yet another context says

    “Policy makers are using testing to carry a larger social burden than it can reasonably bear. Let it do the one thing it is good at….. Language testing assumes that scores are indexical of the linguistic abilities required for a real world communicative purpose. Validity is about whether scores are genuinely useful for making decisions about an individual’s likely communicative success…. We therefore need to de-couple language testing from what it does least well: implementing immigration policies, evaluating teachers, rank ordering schools. There are other more useful and humane tools for doing these things.”

    Amen to all that.

    The 3 references to Fulcher can be found on Glenn Fulcher’s excellent website here: http://languagetesting.info/gf/glennfulcher.php Scroll down 4 pages till you come to “Selected Papers”. I particularly recommend his 2009 article “Test use and political philosophy” which you can download from his website. At the end of the article, Fulcher proposes an “effect-driven test
    architecture” which he hopes can serve “as a method for testers to proscribe unintended uses of their tests.” It should be obvious that I admire Glenn Fulcher’s work; in my opinion he’s an erudite scholar of the highest calibre.

    The other reference is:
    Bonnet, G. (2007) The CEFR and education policies in Europe. Modern Language
    Journal, 91(4), 669–672.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Geoff. Characteristically clear and direct. I often wonder what people think they’re doing when they say, ‘I have no easy answer …’ to some or other problem and then proceed to offer no answer of any sort, easy or otherwise. More honest, probably, would be to just say, ‘I have no answer.’

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      • Yes, indeed Patrick. But how many lucrative offers to travel the world (next stop Australia, according to Phil) and lecture people about ELT would you get if you confessed that you had no idea what you were talking about!.

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  10. Whenever I publish a post which includes strong criticism of leading establishment figures in ELT, it is met with comments containing far harsher and more unfair criticism than I ever dish out. This post is no exception.

    Phil Chappell here and on Twitter says that my review of Harmer’s talk is “vindictive vitriol” which makes an “unwarranted, personal attack on an ELT colleague.” The “colleague” bit is an interesting touch; appealing to a twisted sense of solidarity, it implies that I’m some kind of traitor and that my attack wouldn’t be so bad if it had been leveled at somebody outside the field of ELT. Phil offers no evidence or arguments to support these assertions. It’s preposterous and offensive to suggest that my criticisms are vindictive, and, given the quality of the 2 talks in question, I’d like to see Phil argue that the criticisms are “unwarranted”. As for it being a personal attack, quite simply I did not attack Harmer personally.

    Tyson says that my valid criticisms are “clouded” with “what comes off as disgust at his talks.” I didn’t call Harmer’s talk “disgusting”, or say, or imply that I felt disgusted by it. Again, the criticism is offensive and unfair.

    Sinéad Laffan asks “Why so angry, Geoff?” Notice I’m not asked why I was angry, but why I was SO angry. Of course Sinéad makes no attempt to explain how my text expresses not just anger but a completely incommensurate amount of it, because this is just a cheap shot, couched as feigned concern.

    Adam suggests that “what really irks most of the people commenting here” is that they don’t believe I’d be willing to express myself so strongly in a face-to-face meeting with Harmer. This amounts to calling me a coward, and, worse, to saying that my cowardice is what really irks other people. But at least Adam finishes his insult with a question, which allowed me to reply. I was president of debates at LSE; I’ve won a few prizes for public speaking; I’ve debated with Ralph Milliband (Dave and Ed’s dad) and Robert Kennedy, among others; and I really don’t think I’d quake in my boots if confronted with Harmer at an ELT conference.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Geoff, good to see you writing again.

    I have a problem with anyone defending standarlized testing sold by external sources. It is a product created by a large corporation and it is needed to be sold, consumed, promoted and creates a range of needs around it. Assessment literacy? more training courses to be able to apply such scale? Examiners assessing the people who will use such instruments of evaluation… and so on. In the education industry, those working in consultancy become the salespeople who need to convince the clients what to buy, what to consume. It’s a competitive market by the way. It’s always about the products (or solutions) and rarely about the people. It’s about increasing shareholders bank account and creating new business opportunities, not really about education.

    We all know that English is a big business throughout the world and everyone wants a share of the market. Take a look at this video from Pearson about the GSE. It is the same line of argument (if this makes for an argument anyway) in JH’s talk, isn’t it? Correct me if I’m wrong.

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  12. Hi Rose,

    I share your scepticism of Pearson’s latest money-making venture and its global pretensions. The “Global Scale of English” (GSE) is part of “The GSE ecosystem”, which provides “a detailed and graded model of student target performance across a range of skills and domains” so as to ensure that “learning, teaching and assessment elements are all working together to support the learner in acquiring their new language skill”. Highly suspicious! Still, we need to give the GSE a very close inspection in order to see what it consists of and how it’s used. I notice from the website that the Technical Advisory Group includes a long list of technical experts and some good academics, and that Harmer’s name is nowhere to be seen – which allows for at least a glimmer of hope. 🙂

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    • Geoff, I was thinking along the lines of how they’ve been promoting the need for standarlized scales. In the video, bake a cake or run a marathon versus be a surgeon. The same type of comparison in JH’s presentation. It makes people connect easily and one agree with that. But the problem isn’t so much the scale as it is its impact on all of us as we can see in the infographic taken from http://www.english.com/gse/teachers.

      I checked the whole site and I did notice the names. But having them behind this project doesn’t impress me. Surely there are a lot of well-intended people working on research and for companies, but what people might fail to realize is how this type of work can actually keep us trapped into the same game which contributes for keeping teachers’ education and working conditions to be taken seriously.

      Outside experts and solutions do not improve education. Schools pay big money (public and private sectors) for pedagogical materials which do not make learners learn better or teachers teach better. A friend of mine whose daughter goes to one of the most expensive school in town have spent thousands only on textbooks for a year of study. It was a huge box which she couldn’t even carry herself to the car. The time to cover such materials are so short, most of it is used superficially and class discussions or practical activities are next to zero. Most of the classes are teachers reading/lecturing from the board and teens listening/reading. As I see, after spending the last 5 years looking into education in Brazil, too much attention is given to the use of materials and next to nothing to teachers and students. They prefer to pay a lot of money for them than give teachers the appropriate conditions to work and the right kind of PD that will tackle issues and educate teachers to make the decisions which provide optimal conditions for learning. Teachers do not have enough time to prepare for their lessons + design tests and correct them. I don’t work in regular school with 35-45 students per class , but I know teachers have around 500-700 students for a term. One size-fits it all makes sense because it’s humanly impossible for teachers to attend all of them. So they give in and in public education… sometimes… they give up. Testing is based on rote learning because it’s easier to correct but even so, teachers during testing time spend a whole weekend marking tests. So, companies take the advantage of that and design “solutions” which does not change the system or improve the conditions. Solutions that cost a lot of money especially for us tax payers and those behind public education use our money to keep this awful system going.

      Teachers in regular schools in Brazil, with or without those so called solutions are suffering from all sort of stress. Lack of time to allow students to think about what they are learning and work actively in construting knowledge, and let’s not forget the time school spend focusing on testing and preparing for tests. Then, they are blamed for school not passing standarlized tests. It makes me really angry to hear someone say that we HAVE to accept things the way they are because testing industry is here to stay!

      The creation of a global scale, for me… call me hardheaded, falls into the same category of coursebooks and it seems to me that defending this keeps us from making any improvement in the working and learning conditions I’ve discussed in my blog post back in May: https://rosebardeltdiary.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/implications-of-defending-cbs/

      The solutions for a better education is inside the school and within the people. In fact, there is something called Political and Pedagogical Project which is a document schools have to provide that is determined by law, and which must be elaborated with the participation of all people involved in the local education (parents, students, teachers, adms, coordinators, community, even people who work by doing the cleaning have to activily participate in the construction of this document).

      This school did just that and here is the result! You would love this school. I’ll try to translate and post in my blog as an example of a great school!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Rose,

        Thanks for this, and I agree with just about everything you say, especially that “too much attention is given to the use of materials and next to nothing to teachers and students”. As for testing, I’m sure you’re right to question both the tests themselves and the way they’re used in your context. I have the strong impression that most of the testing that goes on is damaging to good educational practice, but I’m not an expert in testing and I don’t have enough information to support my impression. And as I say, I think we should look carefully at the new Pearson package. At first sight, it looks like “a load of mcnuggets”, so to speak, but we can’t dismiss it out of hand.

        I strongly agree with you that solutions for a better education are best sought at the local level, and that they require the involvement of parents, students, teachers, admin, coordinators, the community, and the cleaning and maintenance staff too.

        The school looks fantastic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Geoff,

        Well, if one cannot ensure proper conditions for learning and the learning itself, testing becomes meaningless especially if comes from an external source. I know you want to take the discussion to a more academic level and focused on assessment itself, so I’ll try to keep that in mind on my next visit to your blog.

        Meanwhile, let me share couple of things that makes me even more skeptical of Pearson and anyone speaking on their behalf to promote a product.
        1) Pearson bought one of the worst schools chain to work in (the wage is ridiculous; you are not a teacher, just an instructor who have to follow the teacher’s guide; methodology based on audiolingual). But guess what? They also own 6 other brands, each of which follows a different line of teaching/methodology. I wonder where all the wonderful research goes when all that matter is money. ps, Pearson keep the brand names so If I hadn’t taken a look around, I’d never known that Pearson had bought them. Pretty smart of them!
        https://br.pearson.com/franquias.html

        2) After taking a good look at Pearson Brasil, I got really worried. Their business also extends itself to ALL areas of formal education with their so called solutions. Plus, they’ve bought a number of other related business in Brazil in the last 5-7 years! Of course they are not the only ones, but they are said to be the biggest in the educational industry.

        What I see is a machine of making money at full speed creating new products called “solutions” and using anything they can to make sure these products reach potential buyers (consumers) and disampower teachers.

        Actually Geoff, I had never paid any attention to the extension of the testing industry until you wrote about Mr. Harmer’s presentations. Now, I wish I hadn’t taken a closer look at this. I’m starting to get sick to my stomach.

        I noticed that Pearson seems to be connecting more and more technology and assessment. Am I wrong to think that?
        Versant: https://www.versanttest.com/
        A testing product aligned with the GSE: http://product.pearsonelt.com/progress/#.VdTLpJdcLod
        Have you seen this?
        https://research.pearson.com/articles/preparing-for-a-renaissanceinassessment.html
        and this one…
        https://www.pearson.com/hattie/distractions.html

        By the way, sorry for ranting in your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Rose,

        First, please don’t apologise for ranting and please don’t think I want to restrict the discussion to a more “academic level focused on assessment itself”. These are important issues you bring up and thanks for doing so.

        I need some time to dig around myself now, and I invite everybody to contribute with any information they might have about Pearson’s activities.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Standardised testing is not even standardised, one could argue, seeing as they tend not to based on the ability to use the language beyond a superficial level: gap fills and multiple choice are the order of the day because they are easier to program into a computer system. Let’s imagine, for argument’s sake, the TOEIC test, where it is feasible that two examinees leave with a 500 score but got almost completely different questions correct/incorrect from one another. It’s not about the test, it’s about the score, and it’s the score that is marketed because it’s all about money.

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  14. Hi Marc,

    I don’t know how good the TOEIC test is at assessing the testee’s abilities to successfully participate in “International Communication”, but I’d be interested to hear from people who know about the on-line speaking and writing test. A review by Irwin & Nagy of the 2010 revision of the TOEIC Speaking Test found:
    1. that while it “adequately addresses the issues of practicality and validity, both reliability and authenticity appear to be somewhat lacking.”
    2. It uses only a very limited range of world Englishes. “There is no indication that the language presented in the test is common across all or even most cultures and thus truly “international”. They cite Canagarajah (2006, p. 235) who “laments the fact that organizations such as ETS make claims that their test results represent comprehensive English ability when in fact only inner-circle English contexts (American, British, Australian, etc.) are assessed.”
    3. “Proficiency level descriptors provided by ETS should be accepted cautiously by educational institutions, especially those in outer-circle English contexts (India, Pakistan, Singapore, etc.), as they may not fully illustrate one’s overall language proficiency” (Canagarajah, 2006, p. 235).
    4. Only test-raters based in the United States are used. “If ETS were serious about its commitment to authentic language testing there should be no compromise to save money by centralizing the raters into one geographic location. As English is clearly no longer the property of a single nation or culture and the notion of a standard English is being replaced by the idea of diverse world Englishes, raters from various backgrounds should be hired.” The article can be found here:
    http://jalt.org/test/irw_nag.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s still half-baked according to that article and also, in practice here in Japan, the SW component is rarely taken.

    On the plus side, IELTS is a better (by no means perfect) test and looks to be making inroads.

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  16. Pingback: Test Validity | aplinglink

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