Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Critical Literacy in ELT Classroom Testing

Lílian Aparecida Vimieiro Pascoal, Andrea Machado de Almeida Mattos



Critical Literacy (CL) has lately influenced English Language Teaching (ELT) in Brazil, mainly after the publication of the National Guidelines for High School Teaching, and several practitioners have started to use CL perspectives in their ELT contexts. Besides, CL and Critical Language Education have been the focus of much research in Brazil. Nonetheless, these alternative approaches have not yet made their way into testing and assessment. This paper focuses on the relationship of CL and English Language testing. First, we present an overview of important concepts in the area of testing and assessment in ELT. We also discuss important concepts of CL and other critical approaches to ELT. Then, we briefly discuss the possibility of using CL together with CA in English teaching. To illustrate, we summarize a course in ELT, which has used CL and CA at university level. Finally, considering tests as part of the social practices in educational contexts, we demonstrate that, just as CL may be used for Citizenship Education and Social Justice in English classes, the same approach should be used when testing, particularly due to the use of language as a tool for social reconstruction and critique for the exposure of inequalities. Principles for developing critical practices in testing and assessment are discussed along the paper.


Language Teaching; Evaluation; Critical Literacy; Teacher Education

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