CNN.com – Testing hurdle for international students – Sep 23, 2005

There is a story in the CNN Education Section dealing with the new testing requirements for the TOEFL. They make an interesting assertion that “Asian” students feel that they will be at a disadvantage do to the way that English is taught in those countries.

Wow, amazingly insightful for CNN. I usually find them a little behind the curve on issues in ESL/EFL.

This will be interesting to see how/if teaching does change to reflect the test. Could this be a good instance of teaching to the test?? I doubt it.

However, it may make it easier for teachers to more inventive and, dare I use the C-word, communicative in the classroom. I have a feeling that drilling will still be a large part of the curriculum. The only difference being that the drills will be listening comprehension, prompt writing (highly structured), and, of course, grammar.

I would love to see some of the prompts that are offered. I’ll have to go to the ETS website and see if they have some samples. I want to know what kind of audio/text prompts will be used. Are they authentic or contrived? We’ll see.

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