ABS024 - The bearing of cultural elements on digital activity: EFL teachers’ perception of computer-based matriculation oral language test reform

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
3:50 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table D
Among the worldwide trend of the application of Activity theory in the educational arena, there have been few attempts to examine the interaction between the teachers’ perception and the historical-cultural elements in the face-to-computer high-stakes matriculation language testing, although college acceptance issues have been one of the top priorities all around the world. This article reports a case study on the face-to-computer matriculation EFL oral proficiency test reform in Guangdong (Canton), China. The goal of this research is to investigate the interaction between historical-cultural elements and high school EFL teachers’ perception of the testing reform on teaching and learning to provide the face-to-computer language testing designers some practical implications and suggestions for future development. Two hundred and twenty-three high school teachers in twelve high schools took a survey with closed and open-ended questions. It is found that the testing reform received a major acknowledgment for its necessity and impacts on teaching. Six principal obstacles to this reform are identified. Furthermore, change in tools alone will not suffice in our educational reforms assisted by computers. This article also discusses the often-overlooked construct---cultural elements in the testing context in this case study for a possible further expansion of AT theoretical framework.
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
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