ELT in Algeria: The Hegemony of the Teach-to-the-Test Approach

Smail Benmoussat, Nabil Djawad Benmoussat


The late 1970s witnessed the emergence of a widespread movement that expressed its reaction against the approaches and methods which focused too much on the teaching of discrete items. That was clearly stated by applied linguists, teachers and educators who virtually all contended that traditional methods which used translation and systematic grammatical analysis left the language learners little time to practice the spoken language and to enhance their communicative abilities. As a direct outcome of such reaction, a concern developed to make foreign language teaching, not least English “communicative”. Communicative Language Teaching, henceforth CLT, has attracted a worldwide interest. Regrettably, seldom is testing processed “communicatively”; most Algerian EFL teachers prefer to cling tenaciously to the teach-to-the-test approach “principles”. This preference is closely related to the notion of “achievement” which means nothing more than giving the opportunity to the learner to score well on standardized tests and high-stakes exams. This dimension indicates the extent to which the teach-to-the-test approach acts as the “sword of Damocles” hanging over ELT in Algeria converting EFL keep-pace learners into set-the-pace swots.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ells.v8n2p63

Copyright (c) 2018 Benmoussat Smail, Benmoussat Nabil Djawad

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