.. The sociolinguistic contribution centres on the concept of communicative competence." Clearly, however laudable such conception, it complicates testing. How can one grade a "dynamic, creative, functional" system? Against what standards? With what instruments?
There is also the difficulty of predicting language learning output on the basis of instructional input. Weir (1988:5) believes that "the difference between knowing how to analyse input and knowing how to construct output would seem to outweigh the correspondence between the two processes... Correlational data do not provide evidence about standards."
As far as Oller (1973, 1979) is concerned, the more one contextualizes language (a sine qua non of communicative teaching), the better language perception, processing, and acquisition. Again, communicative contextualization broadens the scope of education, but makes it harder to relate instruction to educational objectives and to testing linguistic proficiency in the social and functional settings of the target-language. It is easy to test for competency-based behavioral objectives, because one is dealing with a closed system; it is quite another matter to test for communicative performance-based goals, because, by definition, they constitute a stage in an open system. No empirical research has clearly established the relationship between the two concepts and methodologies.
Saleemi (1988:3) labelled the two main streams of pedagogical and testing approaches, analytic and synthetic. The analytic approach is form-based, manipulative, atomistic, discrete-point based, quantitative; whereas the synthetic is use-based, communicative, holistic, integrative, subjective, qualitative. It is, of course, essentially the criteria of subjectivity and quality which bother test designers... and school authorities, employers, and traditional parents who need to attach numbers to people to shed a glimmer on alleged intelligence and superficia...
Theoretical Approaches and Pedagogical Concerns. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 19:34, March 02, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304234592.html