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ERIC Number: ED192621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Cultural Bias in Testing ESL.
Cargill-Power, C.
Although cultural content is unavoidable as a backdrop for good language testing, cultural bias in testing English as a second language presents many dangers. A picture cue calling for a correct grammatical response may evoke an incorrect answer if the pictorial content is culturally coded. The cultural background behind a test must be accurately reflected, without misinformation or misleading emphases. Current events, especially those involving geography and "hot news items," should be questioned as a cultural setting for test items. A test designed for use abroad should not contain culture-coded items reflective only of certain American households. Test administration must take into account cultural conditioning that may find the student terrorized in the face of a typographical error, a timed test, or the language-specific bias of a cloze test. Syntactic differences between the native language and English may render certain tests useless as placement instruments. Test formats that are taken for granted in the American educational system, especially cloze tests, should be examined for the degree to which they may, by their nature, handicap one linguistic group or another. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Conference on English in the Two-Year College (15th, Birmingham, AL, February 21-23, 1980).