Who is to blame for poor test results? Is it always, ultimately, the teacher? Read this book for a different answer to this enigma. Read this book for a different perspective as to the ultimate responsibility of the teacher, the learner, or the system.
Still you might ask: “Why this book?” This book is written by a teacher, for teachers and learners of languages, not only English, worldwide. It deals implicitly and explicitly with questions of interpreting test results, washback, and the inevitable, preparing for international exams, regardless of type.
Yet beyond these considerations, there is the historical aspect. In today’s globalized world, it seems we forget things that happened only a decade ago. Thus, we repeat the mistakes of the past, unnecessarily. This book plays a role in remembering what we have done in the past, especially in English Language Teaching, Testing & Learning.
Yet, is this book able to make a contribution? Does it provide new knowledge, new insights? Despite the hasty conceived generalization that socioeconomic factors explain everything, I believe this book has something new to say, the ability to shed a fresh light, from a different, closer perspective than what we have been provided thus far. I am talking about the view from the classroom, the teacher’s “unheard voice” to what has been left unsaid…
Yes, the public, worldwide, is often led to believe that poor children can’t learn. They go to poor schools, with weak teachers, with low hopes and low self-esteem, hopeless and helpless. Yes, we know, this is what worldwide is often the case for the underprivileged masses.
To exemplify, Carolina Schmidt, the current Minister of Education, here in Chile, said, (I paraphrase in my own words): The situation here in Chile is that learning English is a socioeconomic privilege. Reading this book will provide you with a different way to view the teaching, learning and testing of any foreign language…