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Policy versus ground reality: secondary English language assessment system in Bangladesh

Das, Sharmistha; Shaheen, Robina; Shrestha, Prithvi; Rahman, Arifa and Khan, Rubina (2014). Policy versus ground reality: secondary English language assessment system in Bangladesh. Curriculum Journal, 25(3) pp. 326–343.

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Any policy reform in education is highly effective when it is planned and implemented ‘holistically’ and yet, it is the most challenging way forward. Many countries in Asia have reformed their English language policies and syllabi in the last two decades due to the increasing value of the language worldwide. Motivated by a ‘communicative approach’ to English language teaching, Bangladesh was one of the countries that launched such a reform in the 1990s. However, this reform has been criticised for imposing the changes on teachers without preparing them sufficiently. More importantly, there is limited evidence as to how much the secondary English language assessment system is aligned with the changes introduced in the curriculum. In order to explore this gap, a medium-scale study was conducted in 38 secondary schools in Bangladesh, following a mixed methods approach. The findings highlighted a ‘mismatch’ between the intended English language learning outcomes and current assessment practices, including the resulting challenges faced by the teachers. This paper argues that language education reform is likely to fail if the assessment system is not aligned with the curriculum.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 British Educational Research Association
ISSN: 1469-3704
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
English in ActionNot SetUKAid
Keywords: English language assessment; communicative approach; classroom-based assessment; school-based assessment; Bangladesh; assessment literacy
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Language & Literacies
Item ID: 40410
Depositing User: Prithvi Shrestha
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2014 12:56
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 15:02
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