Grammar error strike hard: Language proficiency testing of Hong Kong teachers and the four "noes"

Philip Douglas Lane GLENWRIGHT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article first reviews important issues of language, power, and testing. It then examines in critical fashion a particular instance of the use of language testing by the Hong Kong government, namely, the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (LPAT). Treating the LPAT developments as a form of narrative rather than debate, it presents analysis through a context-events-problem-solution-evaluation discourse sequence that perpetuates nonresolution. This procedure permits ongoing reference to and evaluation of the political, educational, and language setting, the schizophrenic position of English, government language policy documentation, the test itself, and media coverage of the results. It indicates the detrimental effects of the LPAT for test-takers, for learning, and for the community at large, advancing and justifying some alternatives and explaining why such lines of resistance lie beyond the purview of most teacher victims. It concludes that the LPAT examination should be heeded both as an early sign of increasingly illiberal political tendencies and as a warning example of bad educational practice. Copyright © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-226
JournalJournal of Language, Identity and Education
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005

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grammar
Hong Kong
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language policy
educational practice
evaluation
documentation
coverage
narrative
examination
event
discourse
learning
community
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Citation

Glenwright, P. (2005). Grammar error strike hard: Language proficiency testing of Hong Kong teachers and the four "noes". Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 4(3), 201-226.

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Language and power
  • Discourse of crisis
  • Falling standards
  • Teacher language proficiency
  • Benchmarking
  • Teacher education