Ppi Tech Rules

The points outlined in this article with regard to the language learning and testing journeys of Korean learners of English reveal several important tensions: between the public provision of English language teaching, versus the perceived need of families to complement this provision with private measures; the role of English within a high-stakes national standardised test and its washback, versus the government’s drive to avoid negative washback and ensure that speaking and writing receive adequate attention in the language classroom; projected lack of success, versus actual success in internationally benchmarked tests.

 

Explanatory theories abound regarding the role of English language testing in Korea; for instance, as mentioned earlier, that the predilection for selective testing is simply the ancient and time-honoured Korean way of allowing citizens to become members of the social elite. International language proficiency tests in Japanese and Chinese also have high uptakes, not just English language tests. Choi (2008, p. 41), in an analysis of the impact of tests on Korean English language learning, describes how, ‘Given that it has been the test that provides equal opportunities for the entire population to climb up the ladder of social status, Koreans in general have tended to have an implicit faith in the potential usefulness of testing.