ERIC Number: ED138053
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Language and Culture in the Multiethnic Community: Spoken Language Assessment.
Matluck, Joseph H.; Mace-Matluck, Betty J.
This paper discusses the sociolinguistic problems inherent in multilingual testing, and the accompanying dangers of cultural bias in either the visuals or the language used in a given test. The first section discusses English-speaking Americans' perception of foreign speakers in terms of: (1) physical features; (2) speech, specifically vocabulary, syntax, phonology, morphology, and suprasegmentals; and (3) sociolinguistic factors, in terms of differences in how reality is viewed, ranking of values, interpersonal relationships, cause and effect relationships, and institutions. The Multilingual Test Development Project which resulted in the development of the MAT-SEA-CAL Oral Proficiency Tests is described. The objectives of the tests are: (1) to determine the child's ability to understand and produce the distinctive characteristics of a given language, to express known cognitive concepts, and to handle learning tasks in that language; and (2) to provide placement and instructional recommendations. The tests were developed in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Ilokano, and Spanish. The principal modes of assessment were listening comprehension, sentence repetition, and structured response. Linguistic and cultural factors were considered in test preparation. The test provide a profile of students' ability to handle a given concept and of students' strengths and weaknesses in their first language and English. (CLK)
Descriptors: Cantonese, Chinese, Cognitive Processes, Communicative Competence (Languages), Cultural Influences, English (Second Language), Interference (Language), Language Proficiency, Language Skills, Language Tests, Mandarin Chinese, Morphology (Languages), Non English Speaking, Phonology, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Spanish, Standardized Tests, Suprasegmentals, Syntax, Tagalog, Test Bias, Test Construction, Testing, Vocabulary
Not available separately; see FL 007 842
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pacific Northwest Conference on Foreign Languages, Portland, OR.