FAH-DENG Guest Lecture: “World Englishes and International Standardized English Proficiency Tests?”


Prof. James Dean Brown


22 Nov 2018




E21-G016 (FSS Lecture Hall)



Brown (2012) considered how World Englishes (WEs), English as a lingua franca (ELF), and locally-defined English as an international language (EIL) interact with curriculum design, and Brown (2014) addressed several areas that the WEs community feels need attention in language testing including linguistic norms, testing cultures, test design, testing processes, and testing in various contexts. Another issue that needs to be addressed is that “There is a well-established and legitimate concern that large, powerful English language tests are fundamentally disconnected from the insights in analysis of English in the world context. These exams set linguistic norms that do not necessarily represent the rich body of English varieties spoken and used in contact situations all over the world” (Davidson, 2006, p. 709). Here, I will focus on the relationship between WEs and English language proficiency (ELP) as it is represented by the international standardized English language proficiency tests

(ISELPTs) by addressing six questions:

  1. How do the TOEFL iBT, TOEIC, and IELTS present themselves?
  2. What is English language proficiency?
  3. Why are persons important in testing ELP?
  4. How can we move forward in changing the ISELPTs?
  5. What are some alternative approaches to ELP?
  6. How can alternative ELP approaches be assessed?



James Dean Brown (“JD”) is currently Professor of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has spoken and taught in many places ranging from Australia to Venezuela. He also has published numerous articles and books on language testing, curriculum design, research methods, and connected speech. His most recent books are: Developing, using, and analyzing rubrics in language assessment with case studies in Asian and Pacific languages (2012 from NFLRC); New ways in teaching connected speech (2012 from TESOL); Practical assessment tools for college Japanese (2013 with K. Kondo-Brown & Tominaga from NFLRC); New ways of classroom assessment, revised  (2013 from TESOL); Mixed methods research for TESOL (2014 from Edinburgh University Press); Cambridge guide to research in language teaching and learning (2015 with C. Coombe from Cambridge University Press); Teaching and assessing EIL in local contexts around the world (2015 with S. L. McKay from Routledge); Developing courses in languages for specific purposes (2015 with J. Trace & T. Hudson from NFLRC); Introducing needs analysis and English for specific purposes (2016 from Routledge); and two others that are currently in the works.


All are welcome




FAH - Department of English
Tel: 88224063
Email: fah.english@um.edu.mo