language testing is intended to provide the teacher with information about the learners’ ability to perform in the target language in certain context-specific tasks
language testing is intended to provide the teacher with information about the learners’ ability to perform in the target language in certain context-specific tasks. It is commonly agreed that, “By the mid-80s, the language-testing field had begun to focus on designing communicative language-testing tasks” (Brown, 2003, p. 10). However, there is an overt and manifested mismatch between teaching practices and testing activities. In this very specific context, Inbar-Lourie (2008) notes that
The move from an atomized view of language knowledge to what is known as communicative competence, and to communicative and task-based approaches to language teaching has accentuated the incongruity of existing assessment measures. Calls for matching language learning and evaluation have been repeatedly made since Morrow (1979) urged language testers over three decades ago, to bridge the gap between communicatively focused teaching goals and the testing procedures used to gauge them.
(Inbar-Louri,e 2008, p. 289)
As a case in point, speaking, the most active productive skill and the most common focus of Communicative-oriented language teaching and the hallmark par excellence of Communicative Language Teaching, is not tested at all. That’s a fundamental paradox in the sense that the communicative approach, as its name implies, originates from the theory of language as communication and the main objective of language teaching activities is to develop communicative competence as put forward first by Hymes (1972), then elaborated by Canale and Swain (1980), extended by Canale (1983) and revisited by Bachman (1990) and Bachman and Palmer (1996). Understanding the different components that come into play in the elaborate model of communicative competence is necessary and helpful for developing communicative language test.
Arguably, most teachers claim to teach ‘communicatively’ in one way or another, and it is hardly surprising that no one wishes