Communicative Language Testing: Implications for Computer Based Language Testing in French for Specific Purposes

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Language Teaching and Research (Online)


Current evolutions of language testing have led to integrating computers in FSP assessments both in oral and written communicative tasks. This paper deals with two main issues: learners¿ expectations about the types of questions in FSP computer based assessments and the relation with their own experience. This paper describes the experience of 23 freshmen French students enrolled in the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia who took a computer based version of a FSP test. Their attitudes were observed and annotated. The learners expressed their difficulties in taking a FSP computer delivered test. The paper suggests that the dramatic change between general French and French for Specific Purposes may imply significant differences in the students to the new computer context due to the changes in vocabulary, register and language use as well as computer ergonomics. The paper concludes: firstly, that basic notions of certain specialized forms and vocabulary should be introduced in high school; secondly, that FSP should tend to be more communicative and that FSP teaching should be more reflective and communicative than it may be in colleges at the moment; thirdly, that if computer based tests may be a valuable tool in FSP testing (Garcia Laborda et al, 2010), item choice and prompts should be carefully considered. The analysis hereby presented is contextualized in computer based language testing and is a relevant part of the OPENPAU (MINECO FFI2011-22442) project.