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ERIC Number: ED267597
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Audiolingual Tradition in Foreign Language Testing.
Barnwell, David
Approaches to the testing of foreign language proficiency have tended to mirror prevailing philosophies in foreign language teaching, and for many years, no serious effort was made to devise oral proficiency measures. However, after World War II, structural linguistics applied to the classroom produced audiolingualism, which was a method heavily influenced by behavioral psychology. New interest in estimating the quantity of sounds and structures learned as habit led to discrete-point testing, a trend reflected in the American emphasis on standardized testing and a variety of discrete-point test formats. Audiolingualism never delivered the results its theoreticians promised, either empirically or theoretically. Contrastive analysis, while useful in examining learner errors arising from differences between languages, will not predict errors from irregularities within a language, a major source of learner problems. In addition, language points are not really discrete, and are not entirely subject to the relatively inflexible discrete-point measurement. Language proficiency is increasingly viewed as a global skill, and language testing has become more integrative. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A