BERLIN — Complaining that your final school exams are too tough is a rite of passage — almost a tradition.
But German students in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg who hunkered down in April to take pivotal final secondary-school exams have gone a step further in their protests about the English-language portion of the test, which they said was absurd, with obscure and outdated references.
Nearly 36,000 people — over 2,000 more than the number of students who took the exam, called the Abitur — have signed an online petition demanding that officials adapt the scoring system in light of what they describe as “unfair” questions, even before the results have been released.
The test required the students to show comprehension of current issues like Britain’s pending exit from the European Union, or Brexit, and to comment on two contrasting cartoons about the process, titled “Project Fantasy” and “The Realities.” Click here to continue reading
by Christopher F. Schuetze
May 5, 2018
Teaching English Language Learners Worldwide
It is estimated that over 1 billion people are currently learning English world wide. According to the British Council, as of the year 2,000 there were 750 million English as a Foreign language speakers. In addition, there were 375 million English as a Second Language speakers. The difference between the two groups amounts to English as a Foreign Language speakers using English occasionally for business or pleasure, while English as a Second Language speakers use English on a daily basis.
These impressive numbers are driven by adult speakers around the world who use English to communicate in the workplace. It is a commonly held misconception that these speakers need English to communicate with native speakers. While ESL is required for those living and working in English speaking cultures such as the UK and USA, it is equally true that English is used as the lingua franca between nations where English is not the primary language. In a globalized world, the number of English learners around the world is only expected to further grow as the global trend to begin teaching English to young learners at increasingly younger and younger ages continues.