International English Language Testing System
International English Language Testing System
Most children in primary education in the United Kingdom have been exposed to the IQ Test phenomenon, which requires them to complete a few simple questions to ascertain what intelligence quotient the test preparers have decided to apportion to what they conceive of as the correct answer. After the passing of the British Nationality Act in 1948, which made any citizen of the former colonies of the British Empire, and its more liberal incarnation as the British Commonwealth of politically and socio-economically co-operating nations, eligible to receive citizenship of the United Kingdom. When West Indies` immigrants arrived as cheap labor to work in public service jobs that no one wanted, their children were required to take IQ Tests. Their intelligent quotient was assessed as being at a lower level than native English speakers because they checked the box marked `tomato` when invited to select the odd word out in a question that also included `ugly` and `orange`. When required to explain the curious phenomenon, the West Indian children explained that `ugly` in the West Indies was a hybrid fruit created from oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. The native English speakers believed that they had a higher level of education because they knew that tomatoes were vegetables while oranges were fruit whereas `ugly` was an adjective. Consequently, for the English the knowledge that oranges and tomatoes were fruit and vegetables was the deciding factor, whereas for the West Indians the deciding factor was that oranges and ugly were fruits while tomatoes were vegetables, which meant that their IQ was higher because they`d know that ugly fruits were an oranges, grapefruit and tangerine hybrid. As a result the primary education IQ Test system experienced a hiatus in which the basis for testing was examined. The conclusion was that, although the examination couldn`t be viewed as racist, the questions were culture bound and so a faultless score was indicative of cultural understanding rather than higher intelligence.
English Language Teaching (ELT) was the response of the United Kingdom`s education system to the European Union where French and English were adopted as the two `official` languages of the EU, which was founded as the European Economic Community (EEC) by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The EU, which the UK joined in 1973, had developed from an economic co-operative into a geo-political bloc by the early 21st century and the beginnings of the inclusion of those newly independent states in Eastern Europe that had endured socio-economic control under the auspices of the former Soviet Union, which had been invaded by an elected National Socialist (Nazi) Germany that fought the Second World War (1939-45) to impose slavery on Eastern Europe. When WWII was over the Russians refused to leave the nations they`d passed through to get to Germany and Germany itself was partitioned into East, that is, Russian, and West, which was British, American and French, because the Western allies had invaded Germany from Western Europe. Consequently, 2004 saw the inclusion of many of the nations of Eastern Europe that had been a part of the Soviet Union before Mikhail Gorbachev`s (1985-91) policy of `glasnost`, that is, Russian `openness`, resulted in the creation of the Russian Federation and the cessation from the former Russian Union of those states that preferred independence, that is, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, while Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007, and Croatia in 2013. Providing English Language Teaching (ELT) employment for professional educators was a business opportunity for the UK and so passing the ELT tests devised by the examiners was a new intelligence standard where employment in the EU depended on employees being able to speak either English or French.
Because West Indians coming to the UK in the 1950s had challenged the IQ Test devised by Western culture, the onus on ELT was to provide testing that wasn`t culturally biased, otherwise allegations of racism would surface as a response to intelligent individuals being downgraded for being unable to comprehend English propaganda rather than English language. Most English tests are standard from the point of view of Grammar, that is, reading, listening, speaking and writing. Examiners can mark comprehension; hearing, speech and the written word: but interpretation remains the bugbear. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) was established in 1989 as an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers jointly managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment; the British Council; and Australia`s IDP Education. IELTS is a system designed to test the student`s English language proficiency and consists of 0 to 9 bands, where 0 is represented as `No accessible information provided`, that is, the student couldn`t or didn`t take the test, while 9 is `Expert user`. Although IELTS is `banded` so that students can be assessed and graded to fulfil the IELTS band requirements of the University or College to which they seek admittance; for example, Essex University in the United Kingdom requires that students achieve a 5.5 (18-22) IELTS banding for admittance, while Oxford University requires 7.0 (30-1/40). The IELTS examination is based largely on comprehension questions; for which it is often impossible for the students to select the correct answer: because there seem to be several acceptable answers where only one is admissible.
`Most economists in the United states seem captivated by spell of the free market. Consequently, nothing seems good or normal that does not accord with the requirements of the free market. A price that is determined by the seller or for that matter, established by anyone other than the aggregate of consumers seems pernicious, Accordingly, it requires a major act of will to think of price – fixing (the determination of prices by the seller) as both `normal` and having a valuable economic function. In fact, price-fixing is normal in all industrialized societies because the industrial system itself provides, as an effortless consequence of its own development, the price-fixing that requires, Modern industrial planning requires and rewards great size. Hence a comparatively small number of large firms will be competing for the same group of consumers. That each large firm will act with consideration of its own needs and thus avoid selling its products for more than its competitors charge is commonly recognized by advocates of free-markets economic theories. But each large firms will also act with full consideration of the needs that it has in common with the other large firms competing for the same customers. Each large firm will thus avoid significant price cutting, because price cutting would be prejudicial to the common interest in a stable demand for products. Most economists do not see price-fixing when it occurs because they expect it to be brought about by a number of explicit agreements among large firms; it is not. More over those economists who argue that allowing the free market to operate without interference is the most efficient method of establishing prices have not considered the economies of non-socialist countries other than the United States. These economies employ intentional price-fixing usually in an overt fashion. Formal price fixing by cartel and informal price fixing by agreements covering the members of an industry are common place. Were there something peculiarly efficient about the free market and inefficient about price fixing, the countries that have avoided the first and used the second would have suffered drastically in their economic development. There is no indication that they have. Socialist industry also works within a frame work of controlled prices. In early 1970’s, the Soviet Union began to give firms and industries some of the flexibility in adjusting prices that a more informal evolution has accorded the capitalist system. Economists in the United States have hailed the change as a return to the free market. But Soviet firms are no more subject to prices established by free market over which they exercise little influenced than are capitalist firms.`
The primary purpose of the passage is to:
1 refute the theory that the free market plays a useful role in the development of industrialized societies.
2 suggest methods by which economist and members of the government of the United States can recognize and combat price-fixing by large firms.
3 explain the various ways in which industrialized societies can fix in order to stabilized the free market
4 argue that price-fixing, in one form or another, is an inevitable part of and benefit to the economy of any industrialized society.
5 Analysis of free markets in different economies
Correct Answer E
Ignoring the obvious grammatically incomprehensible device of constructing sentences without capital letters apart from the final sentence, which doesn`t have a full stop, the average person reading the text would suppose any or all of the answers offered as possible solutions were correct, because it depends on the opinion of the person or persons who wrote the test. Examiners have no power to do anything other than indicate whether the answer is correct or incorrect on the examination paper, that is, they know nothing at all except what the answers are according to the rubric, for example, `Correct Answer E`1 is all the examiner possesses in terms of the ability to grade the paper because that`s all they need. No understanding of English language is required to mark IELTS comprehension questions. Spanish or Italian speakers, or any speaker of any other language could, without knowledge of English at all. Consequently, students` lives are in the hands of examiners who don`t have to know English and, because the questions are impossible to understand, the students can`t pass unless they`re given the correct answers before the IELTS exam takes place; or they guess correctly. Just as the IQ Test of the 1950s was criticized for latent racism, because West Indies` students were marked down for indicating that `ugly` was a fruit along with oranges, while tomato was a vegetable, and the native English speakers indicated that `ugly` was an adjective, which the devisers of the IQ Test wrongly identified as `correct`, so IELTS students have become the victims of that latent racism.
IELTS` teaching is a preparation system, which means that the teachers prepare the students for the exam rather than teach them English. Consequently, the English Language Teaching (ELT) profession isn`t served well by IELTS either. The teacher is blamed by the students for not preparing them for an examination that it isn`t possible to understand because the deviser of the examination is targeting the competent professional English language teacher also. The teacher is doomed as incompetent, and the student is doomed to failure, because the deviser of the examination is a racist, which is definable as everybody races to the finish line, and no prize for guessing who`s the winner. The theory is that the expert knows the answer, but there`s no evidence to suggest that the teacher or the student are capable of answering the questions based on expertise. The teacher may know the answer from the rubric provided in the teacher`s answer book, or may be able to communicate to the student enough information about the text for the student to gain enough expertise to be able to answer the question correctly. But the teacher isn`t being asked to take the examination. Consequently, although IELTS isn`t a test of the teacher`s inadequate knowledge, rather than his/her ability to teach, the students` ability to answer is tested. In other words, IELTS is devised to assassinate the teacher, who may or may not have enough expertise to pass the IELTS exam as an expert, that is, he/she isn`t required to be, because IELTS` teaching is an exam preparation system that doesn`t require the teacher to have enough knowledge to pass the exam, even though the teacher is required to prepare the students to take the exam. In short, the teacher isn`t required to be expert enough to pass the exam, because he/she doesn`t have to take it:
`I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!`2
The students can either guess or answer correctly, according to their understanding of the text, which the teacher may or may not understand, although he/she is able to prepare the students for the IELTS exam. The IELTS test seems designed to stymie both teachers and students, that is, teachers don`t know the answers from their understanding of the text, while students have to rely on their own expertise or otherwise when taking the test, but the system is perfectly adequate. Teachers are required to prepare the students for the test with the answer book to help them, while the students must take the test with the knowledge they`ve gleaned from English Language Teaching (ELT) professionals prior to the IELTS` preparation program, which may or may not be administered and carried out by ELT professionals. Consequently, the IELTS test is designed to be fair to the students. Teachers may or may not be experts, but ELT professionals can be trained to provide IELTS` test preparation. What IELTS means is that teachers prepare students to take exams for experts to pass if the student is expert, not the teacher, who doesn`t have to take the exam, although the students` preparation isn`t handicapped by the IELTS` professional. However, the answers to the IELTS exam remain unanswerable to a large portion of teachers and students, and the test can be manipulated by those with better guesswork than advanced English skills. What IELTS tells ELT is that the teachers can`t teach, and the students have to guess, because it`s unlikely that either of them will know. It`s the opinion of the test devisers that they`re the experts, because they can run the race.
Although the student has to be an expert to attain the IELTS band 9, the ELT professional doesn`t have to be an expert at either ELT or IELTS preparation, that is, it`s the students` responsibility to learn in order to become an expert, which it isn`t the responsibility of the ELT professional to achieve. In short, teacher and student correspond to the slave stereotype in which one is bound to the other, while each tries to master the other with the whip of Righteous Consequence, because it`s a racist system in which the human is the runner but not the winner. The teacher is taxed by the student, who taxes the teacher, and the harder tax are the heart attacks that follow from teacher and student whipping each other on to ever more Herculean efforts, which is unreasoning, because the teacher only has to be an expert to teach in the classroom, while the student has to do a lot more work outside of the classroom in order to be an expert, that is, if the student wants expertise at the `Advanced` level, following success at `Upper-Intermediate`, the student has to learn independently of the teacher, which is what University students are required to do. In simple terms, ELT professionals need to teach what is required for the level of the students, but the students are required to submit material to be graded as classwork and perform homework tasks commensurate with their purported desire to learn. If they don`t learn, there`s very little the teacher can do to improve the student; although the onus is always on the teacher to improve beyond all recognition.
Unfortunately, the all singing, all dancing, juggling and saxophone playing teacher, with his toes on the computer console, and his fingers alive at the Smart Board, won`t learn for the student, who needs to read the designated preparatory book, for example, Cambridge English, and answer the prepared questions in order to prepare for the exam level, which the book is preparing the student for. The teacher`s responsibility is to direct the student as to what they need to study, whereas supposed ELT experts, administrators, etc., perceive it as the teacher`s role to learn, which is false. It`s the teacher`s task to direct the students as to what they must learn in order to pass the exam. The students` objective is to train the teacher to give the answers to the exam or test, rather than learn to pass, while the teacher`s task is conceived by almost everyone concerned as a learner`s, and the teacher believes so, because they`re educated in wage slavery, which calculates that the teacher can never run fast enough to win the race for the human students, whereas it`s obvious to any ELT teacher that they can win for the students everyday if the enriched learners want to learn, rather than whip the poor teacher on with the threat of a decrease in salary as a deterrent to the teacher`s refusing to give them the answers to the exam and make it easier. ELT isn`t like the average Comprehensive School in England, where students have to be there. Students of English language must learn English for their career, or they want to, which leaves them no excuse as learners. They`re not in the ELT professional`s classroom as `deadweight`, which means that they`re there to embrace the teacher`s directing them to study what they need to pass the exam. If they don`t, they`ll fail, and it isn`t the teacher`s responsibility to do other than direct them to what they need to learn, and correct their guided efforts so that they can rectify their mistakes. That there are very few failures is a measure of the students` performance and not the teacher`s, although the teacher is blamed for the failures, whereas the directed student, who fails amongst those who pass after the same direction, is blameable to themselves, unless the teacher is accused of the students` ability to learn.
1 https://www.testpreppractice.net/practice-tests/reading-comprehension/rc1.html .
2 Finch, Peter as Howard Beale in Network, MGM, 1976.