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ERIC Number: EJ1112042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Writing Proficiency Exams and the Internationalization of U.S. Higher Education
Mott-Smith, Jennifer A.
CATESOL Journal, v23 n1 p214-232 2011-2012
In the U.S., writing proficiency exams (WPEs) often employ a construct of writing proficiency that is based on U.S. English and essay-text literacy. As universities internationalize, they should reconsider whether such exams reflect the literacy requirements of a globalizing world. Since the ways in which universities respond to international students reflect their commitments to internationalization, this article presents the experiences of 8 international students taking a WPE. Results show that the exam did not always promote opportunities for participation, a sense of belonging, or respect for student knowledge, factors known to promote international student success. Concrete suggestions are made for redesigning WPEs such that the writing proficiency construct is based on the ability to negotiate a rhetorical situation. Doing so would be an important symbolic shift away from privileging the linguistic form of one social group, and it would benefit U.S. monolingual students and faculty as well as international students.
Descriptors: Writing Tests, Writing Skills, College Students, Foreign Students, Student Characteristics, Test Construction, Culture Fair Tests, English (Second Language), Language Proficiency, Immigrants, Interviews, Coding, Knowledge Level, Cultural Relevance, Barriers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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