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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Language Assessment in Education: Tests, Curricula, and Teaching
Author: Alister Cumming
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: Over the past decade, many concerted policy efforts have aimed to change the status and functions of language assessment in school systems or higher education, redefining relationships among language tests, curriculum policies, and classroom teaching practices. Conventionally, formal language tests describe individual proficiency levels in reference to normative standards for purposes of certifying abilities; screening applicants for higher education, employment, or immigration decisions; or monitoring the results of educational systems. Recently, many curriculum policies have been reconceptualized in reference to attainment or benchmark standards that specify (usually functional, communicative) goals for language education, learners' achievements, and program accountability. These innovations have adopted principles of criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced assessment, creating new relations (as well as dilemmas) between language assessment and new curriculum policies, highlighting the nature of language assessment practices in programs, classrooms, or other learning contexts, particularly the foundation bases for defining language proficiency, alignment between assessments and curricula, the formative purposes of assessment in pedagogy, and the situations and interests of particular learner populations.


This article appears IN Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 29, Issue 1.

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