The impact of english language on taiwanese schools
The Impact of EnglishLanguage on TaiwaneseSchools A Closer look at the cause and effect of the General English Proficiency Test By Michael Chang
Acknowledging English as theInternational LanguageIn response to the demands of English language by theInternational Communities, General EnglishProficiency Test has being developed and promoted asa scheme to raise awareness of English Proficiency andan assessment to measure one’s ability in English.
The Good vs The “Oopsies”GoodThe promotion of GEPT Oopsiessuccessfully raised someawareness of English proficiency GEPT is a Indirect Test, as pose toof the Taiwanese people. Direct test.Raise the awareness of English, but did not raise the Taiwanese English proficiencies. GEPT has been XXXX as the requirements of graduation assessments in high-schools and Junior colleges, and prerequisite of University entrances. The over promotion of GEPT causing schools to reconstruct their curriculums .
Why the “Oopsies”?GEPT is a Indirect test, which only measures the ability orknowledge that underlies the skills we are trying to sample, thereis no indication of the candidates’ oral proficiency, accuracy, orappropriateness of pronunciation. Or simply, knows how tocommunicate using English even.After schools start to implement GEPT to the exams, Student hadshift their focus on the scores of the test, promoting the WashbackEffect of testing. May the schools only taken the first part of theGEPT tests as requirements, students may only be focusing onReading and Listening part of English, thus narrowing thelearners’ goals.
More “Oopsies”!?The rapid implementation of GEPT had cause schools toreconstruct the curriculum to based around GEPT in order toprepare students. Course materials of English subject had beenreplaced by GEPT materials only. Teachers are focusing onteaching the students to be able to pass GEPT as the main goal inEnglish language and the orientation of Teaching method hasbeen shift from performance of English, to GEPT.In other words:WASHBACK EFFECT LIVES OMG!!
What should we do?What needs to be done so we could fix this problem? Implementing Direct-Tests and Performance-based Tests. Urge schools to focus on English Language Competence, and not GEPT alone. Provide more authentic English materials, even materials subjected to interests of the students such as video games, TV shows, fashion…etc. (unorthodox method in Taiwan). Promoting student exchange programs such as JET.
What CAN we do?The scale of this issue is large. It will take more than just Englishteachers and scholars to change this long-lasting trend. Inreality, there are other considerations such as resources, financialcapability and even the political aspects regarding the change ofTaiwanese education system.So what we can do as English teachers right now, is to take theresponsibility upon our hands, to provide our students as muchhelp as possible towards English acquisition.
Reference• Arndt, V., Harvey, P., Nuttall, J. (2000). Alive to language: Perspectives on language awareness for English language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press• Liao, P., & Chiang, M. (2004). How College Students’ Beliefs about English Learning Relate to Their Strategy Use. Journal of National Hsin Chu Teachers College 19,137- 154.(THCI)• The Language Training & Testing Center. (2010), 全民英檢網. Retrieved from https://www.gept.org.tw/Exam_Intro/t01_introduction.asp• Shawcross, P. What do we mean by the ‘washback effect’ of testing?. Aviation English Services. Retrieved from http://www.icao.int/icao/en/anb/meetings/ials2/docs/15.shawcross.pdf• Nunan, D. (2003). The Impact of English as a Global Language on Educational Policies and Practices in the Asia-Pacific Region*. TESOL QUARTERLY, 37(4). Retrieved from http://nzdl.sadl.uleth.ca/gsdl/collect/literatu/index/assoc/HASH01fc.dir/doc.pdf