Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 15 July 2021
A Critique on Discourse of Language Tests
Tuçe Öztürk Karataş
Mersin University, Turkey
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Keywords: Discourse of Tests, Functions of Tests, Power Relations
In the 21st century, with the rise of the popularity of standardized or large-scale tests, their high-stakes have started to be apparent. High-stake tests are not new, but in most cases, their current use as social practice tends to shape individuals’ futures. Currently the new trend for their quality discussion aims to critically evaluate tests through the focus on their functions, use and power in their testing discourse, whereas traditionally what was included in this discussion was only their psychometric features. Regarding those tests as social practices, examining the functions, consequences and use of tests in their own discourses is at the heart of this new perspective. Driven by the tenet of such a critical perspective, this study aims to first provide a better understanding of ‘discourse of test’, and then describe the social dimensions comprising discourse of language tests. Finally, this study concludes with some suggestions for adapting a critical perspective to improve the discourse of tests and enhance their quality.
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