Critical Language Testing In Canada


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Critical Language Testing In Canada

  2. 2. OUTLINE <br />1. The Language Situation in Canada<br />1.1 Historical Background<br />1.2 The Official Languages Act<br />2. Language Testing Policies<br />2.1 Education<br />2.1.1 The Quebec Education System<br />2.1.2 The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test<br />2.2 Society<br />2.2.1 Federal Positions<br />2.2.2 Businesses<br />2.3 Immigration and Citizenship<br />2.3.1 The Canadian Immigration Model<br />2.3.2 Citizenship Tests: The Case of Quebec<br />3. Reactions<br />
  3. 3. The Language Situation in Canada <br />
  4. 4. Historical Background<br />Colonization (started early 16th century)<br />Canada (England)<br />New France<br />Seven Years War (European war played out in N. Am.)<br />1755: French-speaking Acadians deported by English<br />1759: Gen. James Wolfe (English) invades Quebec (the city/fort); defeats French army led by Louis Joseph de Montcalm<br />1763: Most of N. Am. under British control<br />English Canada dominates socially, economically, and politically until 1960s (Quiet Revolution)<br />Since 1960s<br />Linguistic legislation in QC<br />French language revitalization<br />Quebec independence movement<br />Hostilities between Anglophone and Francophone Canada<br />Quebec Identity Act (2007)<br />
  5. 5. The Official Languages Act (1969) & (1988)<br /> Set English and French as the official languages of Canada Official Bilingualism<br /> Came as a reaction to the unequal status of French in relation to English The Official Languages Act will ensure the preservation of French in reaction to the defacto privileged position of English.<br />Francophones more supportive of the policy than Anglophones. <br /> Targeted the implementation of official bilingualism to all aspects of the Canadian Society and Federal institutions.<br /> Only one province in Canada is officially bilingual: New Brunswick<br /> Charter of the French Language (1977)French as the only official language in Quebec  Clash between the federal and the provincial levels.<br />
  6. 6. Language Testing Policies In Education<br />
  7. 7. Quebec Education System<br />Education in French (since 1977, la Loi 101)<br />All Quebeckers and immigrants<br />Anglophone Canadians (from outside QC) and Fist Nations can opt to send children to English schools<br />English taught as L2 (since 2006)<br />Early immersion available in some schools<br />
  8. 8. The Ontario Secondary School LiteracyTest<br />What is OSSLT? <br /> A large scale test of reading and writing taken by all Ontario secondary schools students in Grade 10 as a requirement for secondary school graduation.<br /> Available in French and English but widely taken in English <br /> Originated as a result of an educational policy that emphasizes accountability in education quality enforced by large scale standardized tests (Fox and Chen, 2007)<br /> ESL (English as a Second Language) and English Literacy Development (ELD) and Non-ESL-ELD students sit for the test in Ontario secondary schools.<br /> Designed on the basis of a First Language population<br /> Test accommodation is provided for L2 learners: More time to complete the test<br /> Students can defer or retake the writing section if they fail<br /> Students take a literacy course to graduate if they fail the OSSLT<br />
  9. 9. The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test<br />L2 Performance on OSSLT<br />Cheng, Klinger, and Zheng (2007) reported:<br /> Lower performance of L2 in relation to L1 test takers across reading text types, skills and strategies and the writing tasks.<br />“Alarmingly high failure rates for L2 students”  In 2002, 63% of L2 students failed at least one component of the test<br />Dropout rates 52% in 1999<br />
  10. 10. The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test<br />Validity and Ethical Issues with OSSLT<br />Is it measuring literacy or language proficiency?<br />Fox and Cheng (2007 <br /> Students could not understand the prompts  Left answer fields blank.<br /> Students could not understand some concepts: “Junk food” <br />Which “meanings” does it test?<br />Cheng, Klinger and Zheng (2007)<br /> The narrative reading text type, the indirect understanding reading skill and the vocabulary reading strategy were found to be the best discriminators between ESL/ELD and non ESL-ELD students Tests knowledge of culture: items that have the more embedded social and cultural conventional meanings are the more challenging for L2 learners.<br />
  11. 11. The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test<br />OSSLT Accounts<br />Fox and Cheng (2007) focus group accounts on the OSSLT<br />“Just give this to me in Chinese and I’d be able to do it in a minute”<br />“Why when we use our dictionaries everyday in class…why can’t we use them on the test”<br />“We don’t want more time. We want to be treated like all the other students  Awareness they belong to a different membership category. <br />
  12. 12. Language Testing Policies in Society<br />
  13. 13. Federal Employment<br />Competence in English and French<br />CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)<br />Test de connaissances du français<br />Most Anglophone Canadian “proficient” but not functional in French<br />Most Francophones (30s and younger) bilingual<br />English remains primary language of federal government<br />Military<br />Official bilingualism<br />Officers must be able to give order in English and French<br />Separate Anglophone and Francophone units<br />
  14. 14. The Quebec Language Police: Another form of Testing is Monitoring<br />Limited services in English in Quebec<br />Some health and social services institutions with 50% of its staff as non French speaking are allowed to use English internally Compare to: 20% in New Brunswick and 10% in Ontario<br />Economic sanctions based on language  Corporations of a certain size will not receive subsidies if their non French speaking employees do not have a francization certificate.<br />
  15. 15. Immigration and Citizenship<br />
  16. 16. Immigration<br />A point system where language is one factor of selection.<br />Knowledge of one of the official languages gives you points depending on your proficiency<br />Quebec requires immigrants to sit for the Test de Connaissance du Francais (TCF)<br />CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) for Anglophone Canada<br />
  17. 17. Canadian Citizenship<br />Quebec Identity Act (2007)<br /> A person is a Quebec citizen if they have an appropriate knowledge of the French language; and appropriate knowledge of Quebec. <br />Canadian citizenship test developed by the centre for Applied Language Studies.<br />Citizenship administered in English and French Test language skills in addition to knowledge. <br />
  18. 18. Reactions/Community Feedback<br />
  19. 19. Reactions<br />Language Fairness in Canada. Facebook Group<br />“Sunday&apos;s column suggested, in a light-hearted way, that Ottawa is home to legions of bureaucrats who have faked their way through to bilingual status -- not fluent in any meaningful sense -- but able to pass a test.”<br />ESSO in Quebec<br /><br />Early French Immersion <br /><br />
  20. 20. Immigration<br />Forums<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
  21. 21. References<br />Cheng, L., Klinger, D. and Zheng, Y. (2007). The challenges of the OSSLT for second language students. Language Testing, 24. <br />Fox, J. and Cheng, L. (2007). Did we take the same test? Differing accounts of the OSSLT by First and Second Language test-takers. Assessment in Education, 14: 1. <br />The Official Languages Act. Retrieved July 11, 2009 from<br />Quebec Identity Act (2007)<br />