"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
The Power of Tests: A Critical Perspective on The Uses of Language Tests
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.