Teaching for Communication or Teaching to Tests? — the Voices of the European Language Teachers
The paper drawing on the information from an online survey for European language teachers
attempts to answer the question whether foreign language teaching still serves communication or rather it aims at preparing students for passing final multiple language tests. In view of the fact that the value of language communication has been stressed in the language curricula and at the same time the value of final language exams is emphasised, the question posed in the paper seems to be valid.
The first part of the article sheds some light on the problem in question and discusses the place of communication in foreign language teaching and learning. Next, language teachers’ reflections on teaching for communication and teaching to test are discussed. From the survey data emerges a general trend in language teaching, namely teaching to language test prevails over teaching to communicate.
From the qualitative data several issues appear to give cause for concern such as insufficient amount of in-class communication, attaching too much importance to the results of final language tests, testing students’ language competence primarily by focus-on-forms tests, and students’ poor communicative skills.