TO TEST OR NOT TO TEST?

Shouldn’t English tests be reliable? How do we gauge a learner’s proficiency in the subject-matter then? If tests are not conducted, how do we know whether the students are really proficient in the language?

A lot of theories have been advanced by proponents of examinations and opponents of examinations. Has anyone come up with a better way of testing a student’s proficiency in a language apart from examinations?

The real test comes for the learner when he is thrown into the practical setting where his proficiency in the English language will be required in a globalised world. By then, he doesn’t have the time and luxury to experiment anymore. He will be judged by the way he carries himself in the public arena. And how do the majority of educated people judge others? Educated people judge others by their proficiency in the English language in the two Transmission Skills, speaking and writing. When somebody opens his mouth or writes a simple e-mail to express his ideas and feelings, we will know how proficient that person really is in the language.

Shouldn’t that person be tested in the English language in his formative years?

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