Journal article

The political dimension of english language testing in Australia

L Hawthorne

Language Testing | Published : 1997


The past decade has coincided with the increasing use of English language testing in Australia for nonlinguistic purposes, frequently in contexts governed by signifi cant political pressures. This article explores two recent examples: the access: test (Australian Assessment of Communicative English Skills), a form of ESL testing designed actively to regulate the flow of skilled migrants to Australia; and the step test (Special Test of English Proficiency), a test ostensibly designed to assess linguistic competence, but in fact structured to play a central role in the determi nation of asylum seekers' residential status. This article explores the pragmatic considerations which can give rise t..

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