ERIC Number: ED217694
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Language Testing--A Historical Perspective.
McGarrell, Hedy M.
Medium, v6 n4 p17-40 Dec 1981
Three major stages in the development of language testing have been identified and correlated with corresponding stages in teaching. These are: (1) the pre-scientific stage associated with the grammar-translation method; (2) the psychometric-structuralist stage concomitant with the audio-lingual method; and (3) the integrative-sociometric stage which goes along with recent communicative methods. The three trends are discussed in terms of views of language and learning, language teaching and the learner, testing, and strengths and weaknesses of each approach. The study shows the progression from lack of concern for statistical information and no accounting for validity, reliability, or objectivity in the pre-scientific stages through an atomistic approach towards language that concentrated on form, towards an integrative or global approach that concentrates on meaning. This third trend calls for testing instruments that allow an assessment of the learners' communicative competence. It would seem that a large number of tests will have to be developed if they are to evaluate different learners' communicative competence and if they are based on the learners' communicative needs. (AMH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Service Commission of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).