"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 Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and the design of language tests: A matter of effect
Language test development proceeds best when the test's effect is borne in mind, throughout the test development process. The authors discuss the flexible language of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and explore the pragmatic utility of such language to guide language test development. They select service encounters (e.g. airline ticket sales, open-air markets) as a sample language use domain to illustrate demonstrable weaknesses in the Framework. Using the CEFR Level A1 service encounter descriptor, suggested testing materials are shown in a versioned evolution of a proposed test specification. Provided that effect is kept in mind, the authors argue, the CEFR is actually a valuable – even an optimistic – starting point for language test development.