O Poder dos Testes

Vivemos em um mundo onde as pessoas têm opiniões diferentes sobre a sociedade. Isto é especialmente verdadeiro quando se trata de entender onde está o poder e quem o exerce.

Leia os dois extratos seguintes dos livros que abordam a questão do uso social e político dos testes de linguagem.

Extrato 1. De Elana Shohamy (2000). O poder dos testes. Longman: Harlow, pp. 15-17.

“Os usos dos resultados dos testes têm efeitos prejudiciais para os participantes, já que tais usos podem criar vencedores e perdedores, sucessos e fracassos, rejeições e aceitações. As pontuações dos testes são muitas vezes os únicos indicadores para colocar pessoas em níveis de classe, para conceder certificados e prêmios, para determinar se uma pessoa será autorizada a continuar em estudos futuros, para decidir sobre uma profissão, para participar de aulas de educação especial, para participar de honra. aulas, para ser aceito no ensino superior e para obter empregos … Os testes são usados como um método de impor certos comportamentos sobre aqueles que estão sujeitos a eles. Os testes são capazes de ditar aos participantes o que eles precisam saber, o que aprenderão e o que aprenderão. Os candidatos estão dispostos a fazê-lo, a fim de maximizar suas pontuações, tendo em conta os efeitos prejudiciais que os resultados podem ter sobre suas vidas ”

Extrato 2: Glenn Fulcher (2015). Reexaminar os testes de linguagem: uma pesquisa filosófica e social. Londres e Nova York: Routledge, p. 155.

“Embora testes e avaliações pressupor desigualdade, é uma desigualdade de resultados, não de oportunidades. Kariya e Dore (2006) fazem uma distinção entre os ‘igualitaristas comunais’ revolucionários que distribuem a renda, o prestígio e o poder igualmente entre todos os membros da sociedade, e ‘igualitaristas meritocráticos que estão interessados principalmente na igualdade de oportunidades para competir por resultados que possam ser Embora o qualificador “vastamente” possa ser questionável em uma democracia moderna, é o que hoje chamamos de igualitarismo meritocrático que motivou a compreensão vitoriana da igualdade. Significava a remoção do privilégio, a provisão de tal educação que levaria ao sufrágio universal e oportunidade para todos na sala de exame, sujeita ao impacto inevitável do background socioeconômico (como a capacidade de pagar por aulas particulares). Em suma, essas foram as características críticas de uma sociedade democrática, e o teste é uma parte essencial do mecanismo que faz com que funcione. ”(Fulcher, 2015, p. 155).

In English

The power of tests

We live in a world where people hold different views about society. This is especially true when it comes to understanding where power lies and who exercises it.

Read the following two extracts from books that address the question of the social and political use of language tests.

Extract 1. From Elana Shohamy (2000). The Power of Tests. Longman: Harlow, pp. 15 – 17.

“The uses of test results have detrimental effects for test takers since such uses can create winners and losers, successes and failures, rejections and acceptances. Test scores are often the sole indicators for placing people in class levels, for granting certificates and prizes, for determing whether a person will be allowed to continue in future studies, for deciding on a profession, for entering special education classes, for participating in honour classes, for getting accepted into higher education and for obtaining jobs….Tests are used as a method of imposing certain behaviours on those who are subject to them. Tests are capable of dictating to test takers what they need to know, what they will learn and what they will be taught. Test takers are willing to do so in order to maximize their scores, given the detrimental effects the results may have on their lives”

Extract 2: Glenn Fulcher (2015). Re-examining Language Testing: A Philosophical and Social Inquiry. London & New York: Routledge, p. 155.

“Although testing and assessment presupposes inequality, it is an inequality of outcomes, not of opportunities. Kariya and Dore (2006) make a distinction between the revolutionary ‘communal egalitarians’ who would distribute income, prestige and power equally among all members of society, and ‘meritocratic egalitarians who are interested primarily in equality of opportunity to compete for outcomes that may be vastly unequal.’ While the qualifier ‘vastly’ may be objectionable in a modern democracy, it is nevertheless what we now call meritocratic egalitarianism that motivated the Victorian understanding of equality. It meant the removal of privilege, the provision of such education as would lead to universal suffrage and opportunity for all in the examination hall, subject to the inevitable impact of socioeconomic background (such as the ability to pay for private tuition). In short, these were the critical features of a democratic society, and testing is an essential part of the mechanism that makes it work.” (Fulcher, 2015, p. 155).

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How do you feel during a test?

Don’t panic!

by Bethan Morgan

It has suddenly hit me that this year I will sit my last ever exams. I don’t know if that has helped with the stress, or just made it worse.

I have always struggled with the stress of exams, and the horrible nervousness that happens on the day itself. Even if I have revised as much as possible, my nerves still take over. And I know I’m not the only one. So I’ve made a list of a few of my personal tips for dealing with exam stress.

1 Keep Calm and drink tea

Or coffee. Or water. Or whatever it is you like to drink. It provides a quick break, so you can just stop for a second while the kettle is boiling and think about something different for a couple of minutes. Although perhaps I should cut down on the amount of tea I make, otherwise my whole day will be one big revision break!

2 Socialize

I find that it’s really easy to shut yourself away for hours on end, going over your notes by yourself and not see anyone all day. That’s fine for a short amount of time, especially if that’s how you revise best, but I think it’s equally as important to make sure you spend time with other people too, whether you revise together or simply meet up for a chat. I’ve realised this year that when we all graduate, it is unlikely that we will see each other much, so I’m definitely making the most of seeing as many friends as possible now!

3 Exercise

I love running. I find that it makes a perfect revision break, because you can focus on something else for an hour or so, you can listen to some great music, or even socialise, if you prefer exercising with someone else. You get to spend time outside in the fresh air, which helps your brain recover from all those hours of studying. Plus it’s good for you, which is always a bonus!

4 Sharing is Caring

Sometimes it helps to get together with other people taking the same exams as you to share ideas and talk things over, especially if there is a certain aspect you are struggling with. You can make sure that you understand everything properly, as well as picking up new ideas that maybe you hadn’t thought of before. And it means you get to spend extra time with your friends, too!

Everyone has their own ways of coping with exam time, or maybe you don’t suffer from stress (in which case I am very jealous!) I’ll definitely be sticking to the tips above this year, and perhaps you could share your advice with us all too. If any of you are sitting exams this year, I wish you the best of luck!

Have you ever suffered from exam stress? What advice would you offer to someone who is preparing for an exam?https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-ielts/2/steps/41186