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Critical Language Testing In Canada
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Critical Language Testing In Canada Critical Language Testing In Canada Presentation Transcript

  • LANGUAGE TESTING POLICIES IN CANADA: DESCRIPTION AND IMPACT
    BASMA BOUZIRI & REMI A. VAN COMPERNOLLE
  • OUTLINE
    1. The Language Situation in Canada
    1.1 Historical Background
    1.2 The Official Languages Act
    2. Language Testing Policies
    2.1 Education
    2.1.1 The Quebec Education System
    2.1.2 The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
    2.2 Society
    2.2.1 Federal Positions
    2.2.2 Businesses
    2.3 Immigration and Citizenship
    2.3.1 The Canadian Immigration Model
    2.3.2 Citizenship Tests: The Case of Quebec
    3. Reactions
  • The Language Situation in Canada
  • Historical Background
    Colonization (started early 16th century)
    Canada (England)
    New France
    Seven Years War (European war played out in N. Am.)
    1755: French-speaking Acadians deported by English
    1759: Gen. James Wolfe (English) invades Quebec (the city/fort); defeats French army led by Louis Joseph de Montcalm
    1763: Most of N. Am. under British control
    English Canada dominates socially, economically, and politically until 1960s (Quiet Revolution)
    Since 1960s
    Linguistic legislation in QC
    French language revitalization
    Quebec independence movement
    Hostilities between Anglophone and Francophone Canada
    Quebec Identity Act (2007)
  • The Official Languages Act (1969) & (1988)
    Set English and French as the official languages of Canada Official Bilingualism
    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.
    Francophones more supportive of the policy than Anglophones.
    Targeted the implementation of official bilingualism to all aspects of the Canadian Society and Federal institutions.
    Only one province in Canada is officially bilingual: New Brunswick
    Charter of the French Language (1977)French as the only official language in Quebec  Clash between the federal and the provincial levels.
  • Language Testing Policies In Education
  • Quebec Education System
    Education in French (since 1977, la Loi 101)
    All Quebeckers and immigrants
    Anglophone Canadians (from outside QC) and Fist Nations can opt to send children to English schools
    English taught as L2 (since 2006)
    Early immersion available in some schools
  • The Ontario Secondary School LiteracyTest http://www.curriculum.org/MISAEAST/files/principals/eqao/FrameworkOSSLT.pdf
    What is OSSLT?
    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.
    Available in French and English but widely taken in English
    Originated as a result of an educational policy that emphasizes accountability in education quality enforced by large scale standardized tests (Fox and Chen, 2007)
    ESL (English as a Second Language) and English Literacy Development (ELD) and Non-ESL-ELD students sit for the test in Ontario secondary schools.
    Designed on the basis of a First Language population
    Test accommodation is provided for L2 learners: More time to complete the test
    Students can defer or retake the writing section if they fail
    Students take a literacy course to graduate if they fail the OSSLT
  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
    L2 Performance on OSSLT
    Cheng, Klinger, and Zheng (2007) reported:
    Lower performance of L2 in relation to L1 test takers across reading text types, skills and strategies and the writing tasks.
    “Alarmingly high failure rates for L2 students”  In 2002, 63% of L2 students failed at least one component of the test
    Dropout rates 52% in 1999
  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
    Validity and Ethical Issues with OSSLT
    Is it measuring literacy or language proficiency?
    Fox and Cheng (2007
    Students could not understand the prompts  Left answer fields blank.
    Students could not understand some concepts: “Junk food”
    Which “meanings” does it test?
    Cheng, Klinger and Zheng (2007)
    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.
  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
    OSSLT Accounts
    Fox and Cheng (2007) focus group accounts on the OSSLT
    “Just give this to me in Chinese and I’d be able to do it in a minute”
    “Why when we use our dictionaries everyday in class…why can’t we use them on the test”
    “We don’t want more time. We want to be treated like all the other students  Awareness they belong to a different membership category.
  • Language Testing Policies in Society
  • Federal Employment
    Competence in English and French
    CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)
    Test de connaissances du français
    Most Anglophone Canadian “proficient” but not functional in French
    Most Francophones (30s and younger) bilingual
    English remains primary language of federal government
    Military
    Official bilingualism
    Officers must be able to give order in English and French
    Separate Anglophone and Francophone units
  • The Quebec Language Police: Another form of Testing is Monitoring
    Limited services in English in Quebec
    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
    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.
  • Immigration and Citizenship
  • Immigration
    A point system where language is one factor of selection. http://www.immigrate.net/law/en/Visaslaws/PointSystem.asp
    Knowledge of one of the official languages gives you points depending on your proficiency
    Quebec requires immigrants to sit for the Test de Connaissance du Francais (TCF)
    CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) for Anglophone Canada
  • Canadian Citizenship
    Quebec Identity Act (2007)
    A person is a Quebec citizen if they have an appropriate knowledge of the French language; and appropriate knowledge of Quebec.
    Canadian citizenship test developed by the centre for Applied Language Studies.
    Citizenship administered in English and French Test language skills in addition to knowledge.
  • Reactions/Community Feedback
  • Reactions
    Language Fairness in Canada. Facebook Group
    “Sunday'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.”
    ESSO in Quebec
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_iTDjpsU_g&feature=related
    Early French Immersion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdzpBmt09m8
  • Immigration
    Forums
    http://www.canada-city.ca/canada-immigration/posting.php?messageid=21086http://groups.yahoo.com/phrase/immigration-quebechttp://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=430739
    http://www.immigration.ca/discussion2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=38691&whichpage=3http://www.loonlounge.com/community/forum/thread/1235/
    http://www.canada-city.ca/canada-immigration/posting.php?messageid=14498
    http://www.immigration.ca/discussion2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=49810&whichpage=3
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/canada/379235-need-info-quebec-cities-immigration.html
  • References
    Cheng, L., Klinger, D. and Zheng, Y. (2007). The challenges of the OSSLT for second language students. Language Testing, 24.
    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.
    The Official Languages Act. Retrieved July 11, 2009 from http://laws.justice.gc.ca/PDF/Statute/O/O-3.01.pdf
    Quebec Identity Act (2007)