IELTS: the Stipulation of Universal Subject Material

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

In this era of globalization, increasing number of students are going for higher education abroad where the language of instruction is English.

The academics are struggling with developing a international curriculum suitable for all students from different cultural and socio-economic background.

The University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) develops such a testing system that can be applied globally with different country perspective.

It is a unity among diversity to assess the English language competence of students caters for higher education in English speaking countries.

ielts is Universal

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The test is called International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which is a creative add-on with contemporary testing system like TOEFL of ETS, USA.TOEFL TOEFL was used mainly for the admission procedures of North-American Universities whereas IELTS now covers whole English –speaking world in order to show competence to study in the medium of English.

The uniqueness of IELTS, regarding it’s global acceptance compare to other English language test, obviously throws a challenge on the course design.

The obstacle first appears for the difference in ideological and shared value system of Western societies with other parts of the world.

The past history of IELTS was suffering from this cultural divergence which become a hindrance for it’s global acceptance.

Ever since the content of reading, writing and speaking section have been changed according to socio-cultural perspective of respective countries.

The earlier content was criticizes as imperialist which inhibits the worldwide context. One of the good examples of this change could be glimpsed in the recent reading passages of IELTS test “Global warming and rising sea level” or “Industrialization accelerates ozone-layer depletion- to what extend you agree or disagree” in the writing section.

This type of content explicitly brings the universal milieu of the subject matters and ensures the test design much more impartial for students worldwide. But, it is not strictly followed in all tests around the world which brings controversies among candidates.

The sophisticated educational background of western societies helps their students more knowledgeable for preparing IELTS.

Whereas, students from other counties have few background ideas or opinion about the topics in speaking or writing section.

Specially, in countries where traditional education system is based on memorizing texts, students get discouraged in creative thinking.

Cognitive knowledge encourage individuals to use own judgment for developing ideas rather than mimicking other writer`s thought. So, the adaptation with western education system or values is necessary for expecting a very good score in the IELTS test.

As the western culture and interest is intertwined with the subject materials of reading and writing test, the access to standard reading input probably would advantage students.

Acquaintance with current global scenario and important issues excel the know-how capability of candidates.

There is no doubt that IELTS should not deviate from current standard to maintain the requisite of academic English for university studies.

The essentials skills for answering appropriately need to be practiced and developed by students irrespective to cultural diversity. At the same time test format should be blend with more global content to make the international assessment reasonable and trustworthy.