The Power of Tests

Author: Elana Shohamy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317875486
Format: PDF
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Language in Social Life is a major series which highlights the importance of language to an understanding of issues of social and professional concern. It will be of practical relevance to all those wanting to understand how the ways we communicate both influence and are influenced by the structures and forces of contemporary social institutions. In all modern societies individuals are subject to tests, whether to enter educational programs, to pass from one level to the next or to grant certificates to practice. Yet, tests are powerful tools which are often introduced in undemocratic and unethical ways as disciplinary tools for carrying out various policy agendas. Tests can be detrimental to people's lives as they are capable of affecting and defining the knowledge and behaviour of those who are being tested. The Power of Tests applies a critical perspective of language tests by examining their uses and consequences in education and society and by viewing tests not as isolated events but rather as embedded in social, educational and political contexts. The book is divided into four parts: the first part establishes the power of tests through echoing the voices of test takers, describing the features of the power of tests, and the temptations that tests offer to bureaucrats who use them for power and control. The second part reports on studies that provide empirical evidence about intentions and effects of a number of large scale language tests. The third part interprets the results by examining their consequences on education and society, arriving at a model of tests' use. The final section of the book offers strategies for controlling and minimising the misuses of tests by introducing the notion of Critical Language Testing which calls for the examination of the consequences and misuses of tests, monitoring of power and pointing to their unethical uses. It also provides a comprehensive discussion of the responsibilities of language testers, including a new Code of Ethics, as well as strategies for guarding and protecting the rights of test takers.

Misunderstanding in Social Life

Author: Juliane House
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317877543
Format: PDF, ePub
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Misunderstanding is a pervasive phenomenon in social life, sometimes with serious consequences for people's life chances. Misunderstandings are especially hazardous in high-stakes events such as job interviews or in the legal system. In unequal power encounters, unsuccessful communication is regularly attributed to the less powerful participant, especially when those participants are members of an ethnic minority group. But even when communicative events are not prestructured by participants' differential positions in social hierarchies, misunderstandings occur at different levels of interactional and social engagement. Misunderstanding in Social Life examines such problematic talk in ordinary conversation and different institutional settings, including socializing events and story tellings, education and assessment activities, and interviews in TV news broadcasts, employment agencies, legal settings, and language testing. The analyzed interactions are located in a variety of sociocultural environments and conducted in a range of languages, including English, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, such language varieties as Aboriginal Australian English and Maori New Zealand English, and nonnative varieties. The original studies included in this volume adopt a variety of theoretical perspectives, including discourse-pragmatic approaches, conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, social constructionism, tropological and narrative analysis. They represent multiple views of misunderstanding as a multilayered discourse event.

Critical Perspectives on Language and Discourse in the New World Order

Author: Faiz Sathi Abdullah
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443808105
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The papers in this book explore language use in a broad range of discourse fields. They provide theoretical perspectives on global orientations to social, political and economic transformations in the “New World Order” (NWO), and extend these with studies on the impacts of such transformations at the local, national, regional and global levels. The discussions highlight current concerns among academics and political commentators about the potential social impact of representations of the NWO in language and discourse. The present work is important in raising social consciousness towards the central role that language and discourse play in the construction of shifting/multiple identities. In this way, the roles of critical discourse analysis and indeed that of the analysts themselves are emancipative and socially transformative. The value of such consciousness-raising for potential social action in language user empowerment terms cannot be overstressed, particularly given the ascendant position of the English language in the NWO. This collection is a significant contribution to the ongoing critical discussion on global order discourse.

Language and Power

Author: Norman Fairclough
Publisher: Pearson Education
Format: PDF, Docs
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Language and Power is about how language works to maintain and change power relations in contemporary society, and how understanding these processes can enable people to resist and change them. Substantial changes in social life have taken place in the decade since the original publication, which have changed the nature of unequal power relations, and therefore the agenda for the critical study of language. In this second edition, Norman Fairclough brings the discussion completely up-to-date with the inclusion of a new chapter covering the 'globalisation' of power relations and the development of the internet in relation to language and power.

Language identity and social division

Author: Eliezer Ben Rafael
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The shift to Hebrew as a national language is at the root of the creation of Israel, yet many Jewish immigrants still use the language of their country of origin. Ultra-orthodox communities retain their own codes, and the use of Arabic remains a clear marker of the Israeli-Arab town and village. At the same time Israel's position in international affairs has encouraged a wide penetration of the society, along class lines, by languages of world-wide communication. These very same languages, for example English and French, have different values in their local context, and play active and different roles in the formation of social boundaries. In his analysis, Ben-Rafael focuses on linguistic resources and symbols which reflect and reveal the complex structure of class, ethnic, religious, and national identities and cleavages in Israeli society. More generally, he uses the Israeli case to show how sociolinguistic ideas may be related to sociological approaches to test some general sociological propositions about social aspects of language use.

Strategies for Teaching English Learners

Author: Lynne T. Díaz-Rico
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
ISBN: 9780205566754
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Thoroughly updated, the second edition includes a description of the unique contributions of non-native-English-speaking teachers make to the teaching of English, up-to-date information on the demographics of English learners and the demand for English teachers worldwide, a profile of an elementary school with an innovative social-justice curriculum approach, suggestions about the use of learning centers in English-as-a-foreign-language elementary classrooms, an expanded definition of culture to include a contemporary emphasis on identity, a critical view about the study of gender and race in the classroom, new ways to incorporate volunteers into classroom instruction, ways to encourage "virtual volunteering," and finally project-based learning and service learning are combined in Chapter 15 as ways to link English learners with the larger community. --From publisher's description.