Creating a Unified Scale of Language Ability in China

[Author(s)]:Fang Xujun, Yang Huizhong, Zhu Zhengcai 

  Journal: Modern Foreign Languages, November 2008, Vol. 31, No. 4

  Authors: Fang Xujun, Yang Huizhong, Zhu Zhengcai

  Institutions: ShangHai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Normal University

  Abstract: In China, current practice in foreign language teaching and testing has given rise to diversified measures of L2 proficiency as manifested in a great variety of English test based on different teaching and learning syllabuses. The status quo has caused considerable inconvenience in proficiency. An attempt is thus made to create such a scale, guided by the following procedure. In keeping with the theory of communicative competence, abilities are specified of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the form of Can-do statements. Necessity for elaboration of these statements depends on social needs and ease for use and interpretation. Feasibility of this procedure rests on a specification of the language ability parameters involved, an establishment of a detailed descriptor pool, and operationalization L2 proficiency in quantitative and qualitative terms.

  Key Words: language teaching, language testing, language ability, unified scale