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Assessing Writing Skills in a Communicative Paradigm: an Evaluation of the Ssc English Examinations in Bangladesh

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  • Feb. 15, 2013
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Assessing writing skills in a communicative paradigm: An evaluation of the SSC English Examinations in Bangladesh

Md. Zulfeqar Haider
Teacher Trainer, ELTIP

Communicative Language Testing is intended to assess learners’ ability to using the target language in real life situations. Its now ten years since Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has been introduced in secondary English curriculum of Bangladesh. Therefore, the test of English at the SSC level is now facing the challenges of assessing learners’ communicative skills. This study looks at the existing model of the SSC English test and explores the possibilities of incorporating a more communicatively based test format. The study is carried out on the basis of an evaluation of the test items on writing skills set in the SSC test papers. It also explores the views of Bangladeshi secondary English teachers and internationally renowned Language Testing Experts. In this paper, it is argued that, though secondary English education in Bangladesh has stepped into a communicative era ten years back, the current SSC test is not in accordance with the curriculum objectives. It is found that the test items on writing lack both validity and reliability. Suggestions made for improving the current SSC test include: defining the purpose of communication in English for SSC level learners, drafting test specifications, setting test items which are more relevant to a communicative purpose, and developing a marking scheme to mark the subjective items.

Assessing writing skills in a communicative paradigm: An evaluation of the SSC English Examinations in Bangladesh

Md. Zulfeqar Haider Teacher Trainer ELTIP...