#IATEFL 2016 – Can a language test measure integration

This was billed as TELC Signature Event – Can a language test measure integration. The discussion is interesting with loads of great quotes. I do recommend you watching it. One of the lines I liked most was by someone called Horatio Clare who abhors the notion of borders, at 25:31 mark he says:

A lot of Brits don’t eat Turkey on Christmas day, most Brits can’t tell you when women got the vote. Knowing these things doesn’t tell you that most women in Britain don’t vote and that the government was elected with 24 percent of the electorate. These things are the real Britain to which they are coming to.

Horatio Clare

All the participants recognised the deep political aspects of this issue that is beyond any simple debate on test validity.

Video – TELC Signature Event – Can a language test measure integration


8 thoughts on “#IATEFL 2016 – Can a language test measure integration

      1. In my opinion it was a really lack lustre affair. No spark, no sense of occasion; no attention to their audience, no attempt to generate interest. It was like some mid-week university department meeting about vending machines in the staff room. Look at the way they’re all huddled up together on one side of the stage; look at their body language; listen to the flat, low delivery; note the lack of any kind of buzz or sizzle or dynamic tension. Ughhh!

      2. In a conference event like this, surely the aim should be to stimulate discussion and interest. it’s as much about HOW things are said as WHAT things are said.

        Of course, somewhere in this morass of mumbling something of value was said, but I’ll leave it to you, Mura, to helpfully summarise just what it was.

      3. hi Geoff, i had a very different take, a lot of the discussion was understated yes but also challenged the dominant drive to put up barriers to immigrants

        a number of interesting examples were used:
        – in the Paris uprising of 2005 politicians clamied this was evidence of failure of “integration”, yet of those organising the uprising they were 2nd/3rd gen French young men who spoke the language perfectly

        – many migrants in Brussels pass language tests but they are not able to get a job.

        – European doctors have less conditions put on them compared to doctors from outside Europe.

        – in the Netherlands policies are designed to reduce immigration e.g. tests prior to entry used to prevent marriages in Turkish community; if too many people pass test the level is raised

        An important question raised was whether our responsibility as language professionals end at testing or should it go beyond?

        Oh and if you catch another session where the lack of mandate of the current UK government is noted let me know : )

      4. It is, of course, an important issue, and you’re quite right to draw everybody’s attention to the political motivation behind the new language tests. Thanks for the brief summary.

Penny for your thoughts

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