An Empirical Study on Problems Involved in CET-4 Communicative Listening Test and Teaching

By Min, Lei | Canadian Social Science, November 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

An Empirical Study on Problems Involved in CET-4 Communicative Listening Test and Teaching


Min, Lei, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

Due to testing and teaching are indivisible partners in language education, effective interface of each other will do a good contribution to their common progress and development. This article enlists two representative classes of sophomores coming from Hubei University of Education as the sample to conduct the empirical research on what are the potential problems involved in CET-4 communicative listening test and teaching in the methods of comparison and analysis with the help of the instrument SPSS (Statistics Planning of Social Science). The research findings demonstrate that some problems eager for reformation do exist; furthermore, most of subjects suggest that current comprehension-oriented CET-4 listening test and teaching and passing-exam-centered teaching activities should be transferred into communication-oriented one in purpose of promoting students' authentic English communicative competence.

Key Words: Problems; CET-4 (College English Test Band 4); Communicative listening test and teaching; Empirical study

INTRODUCTION

As Arthur Hughes states, "the proper relationship between teaching and testing is surely that of partnership" (SUN, 2007). Testing and teaching are indivisible partners but not subordinate to each other; only by effective interaction of each other and promoting their active strengths, will productive fruits come into reality in walks of education. However, it is true that the significance of mutual washback effects of testing and teaching has being neglected so far, most scholars and instructors treat them as two separate activities which attributes to a series of potential problems in course of testing and teaching such as "teaching to test", "learning to test", "having students acquired higher scores but lower capability" and etc..

Taking CET-4 Test and teaching for instance, they are not well interfaced with each other in current college English education. In terms of the relevant theoretical realm, as yet, quite a few scholars have done the microscopic researches either on CET-4 listening test or on CET-4 listening teaching only from one side point of view; few of them can take their partnership into consideration. Likewise, in respect of practice, even though students can mark out the correct choices on their test paper, most of them are unable to reorganize, reproduce and then output what they have heard on the tape. Among those students who have got high scores in listening section, only a few of them can express their idea fluently in actual situational communication. The phenomenon of having higher scores but lower English communicative competence is fairly popular in present college English test and teaching, which leaves us some notable questions: whether the present CET-4 listening test can really assess students' authentic communicative competence in English; may present listening teaching upon CET-4 effectively improve students' English communicative competence rather than instill skills just for successfully passing the test; what potential problems are involved in CET-4 testing and teaching.

To explore and find out the answer to above questions, an empirical study of questionnaire has been conducted in the subject college - Hubei University of Education.

1. QUESTIONNAIRE

In order to get first hand information about college students' attitude towards current CET-4 Listening test and teaching, I devote myself to college English teaching especially focus on CET-4 listening test and teaching. In the course of my teaching activities, I get to find that there are many problems both in CET-4 testing and teaching waiting for proper improvement and reformation, which draw up my attention to conduct a critical investigation upon it. I adopt the statistic method of Questionnaire as the instrument due to reach for the authentic ideas and constructive suggestions from college students who plunge themselves into struggling for CET-4. This Questionnaire was conducted after the student audiences finished their exam of CET-4 for the sake of obtaining the most updated and valuable ideas. …

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