Next CGE seminar: International English-language university entry tests: are they fit for purpose?


The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 from 5:00-6:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled, ‘International English-language university entry tests: are they fit for purpose?’ and will be led by Professor Jennifer Jenkins from Modern Languages at the University of Southampton. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
My talk will begin by exploring some empirical data in which international students discuss their views of the international English language university entry tests. I will go on to consider what I believe to be lacking in the content of such tests, in particular, evidence of an awareness of the sociolinguistic implications of the global spread of English, and of recent findings in relevant areas of applied- and socio-linguistic research. I will argue that while all these areas point to a need for change, research into English as a lingua franca (ELF) has the greatest relevance for international English language entry tests because international universities are, by definition, sites of ELF use. Having briefly discussed the notion of ELF, I will turn to some of the most prominent international tests currently in use, in order to examine the extent to which they are fit for the purpose of assessing potential (non-native English) international students’ suitability for study in an international university environment. I will conclude by considering what types of changes these tests need to embrace in order to better reflect the international nature of university environments.

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