ELF and critical language testing

Elana Shohamy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides a critical perspective on the uses of language assessment practices in relation to English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), pointing to the gap that exists between the ELF construct and testing theory, ideology and practices. This gap leads to inaccurate scores and negative consequences of test-takers’ lives and present and future opportunities. Critical language testing (CLT) refers to multiple questions about language tests intended to evaluate the quality of tests in terms of whether they measure the language construct, which they are meant to measure as well as the values, consequences, intentions and impact of the tests on its users. The different criteria of English language performance imply that the types of tests suffer from lack of validity, defined as the extent to which the tests possess evidence that demonstrate that they reflect the construct that is being assessed. The chapter concludes with preliminary proposals of alternative types of ELF assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781317509202
ISBN (Print)9781138855328
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


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