Deviance analysis of english language test data to explicate world english varieties

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Asian Englishes


As yet, there has been little evidence of major testing organizations pursuing research that takes account of the World Englishes research paradigm as propounded by Braj B. Kachru (1985 and ff.). Drawing on the synchronic, etic approach to the study of diverse corpora developed in Hassall (1998) and Hassall and Ganesh (1996, 1999), this paper proposes that a deviance analysis should be undertaken of data from international English language tests. It is proposed that the statistical technique of correspondence analysis (CA) should be applied to the frequency of orthographic forms across discrete groups of individuals from diverse geographical and linguistic regions, whilst undertaking a language task identified as meaningful by the major testing organizations. Once correlated with readily available data regarding the participants’ regional background and first language, it is suggested that valuable profiles may be assembled and comparisons be made of the selection of formal features of the candidates’ English language performance. It is hoped that the present empirical approach may encourage further studies that support pedagogical innovation developing a world Englishes perspective, as depicted in Hassall, 1996a (1996b, 1996c and forthcoming, 2000). © 2000 ALC Press, Inc.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Peter John Hassall, Zayed University