‘Computer-Based Language Testing for GES 100 (Communication Skills in English) in UNIPORT: Is it Appropriate and Effective?’ – Umera-Okeke, Nneka

Abstract

Most tertiary institutions in Nigeria have adopted computer-based testing for their General Studies (GES) courses. Reasons given range from ease of administration, problems of large class, ease of marking as computer does everything, and so on. This can be said to be a step in the right direction as it agrees with the government’s intention to ensure computer literacy among school leavers and university graduates. Computer-assisted language test, however, is still questioned by many especially of its validity. The question is, is it achievable? Is it appropriate? Can it be effectively used in language testing? This paper is a descriptive evaluative one looking into the meaning of computer-based test, the tenets/components of computer language testing especially as used in testing GES 100 the University of Port Harcourt. The paper also evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of computer-based testing vis-a-vis the traditional paper-and-pencil testing. The challenges to its full adoption as a testing technique in the university were also highlighted and suggestions made.

Index Terms: Computer-based testing (CBT), computer-assisted language testing (CALT), paper-based testing (PBT), computer-adaptive language test (CALT)

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‘University Undergraduates’ Functional Language Learning for Sustainable Development: A Shift to English for Specific Purposes’ by Umera-Okeke, Nneka P.

Abstract

The current issue of language teaching is for functional literacy. One of the effects of the growing importance of global English in professional contexts has been the rise of ESP teaching at all levels. Gueye (1990) argues that in developing countries all over the world, ESP teaching through English for development purposes should encourage students to understand their roles in the educational and social development of their nations, so the need for a more specialized foreign language teaching has expanded. What is therefore hypothesized in this paper is that the amount of contribution university graduates may make to local and global educational, social and economic development through their scientific knowledge and academic development will be limited unless radical changes are made in their foreign language training programme. This is because every field of study has its own terminology and requires cognitive skills peculiar to it. This can be achieved through English for specific purposes (ESP) as a modern trend in English Language Teaching. This paper therefore examined the relationship between language and sustainable development, and the concept of ESP. This paper postulated that the goal of English for Specific Purposes is not primarily the teaching of a subject in English as a foreign language, but rather to teach English with a specific content which is normally mixed with general topics. To reach that goal, it was suggested that ways should be paved and trainings organized for English as a Second/Foreign Language teachers to be able to undertake the task of impacting functional language training for sustainable development.

Index Terms: ESP, Functional English

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