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Title:An appraisal of how register (oral communication) has been tested in Zimbabwe: a case study of the June and October/November examinations (1122/2) set for the period 1990 to 1996
Author:Nyota, Muchadei A.
Periodical:Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research (ISSN 1013-3445)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:language instruction
English language
secondary education
Abstract:Register refers to the type of language most appropriate to a particular context as determined by the subject matter or area being discussed, the relationship between the people speaking to one another, and the situation or occasion, including the time, place, and atmosphere. In Zimbabwe, the appropriate use of registers in English is tested in the 'O' level English language syllabus for 1990, amended in 1996. By analysing examination papers and reports on examinations for the period 1990-1996 and by interviewing teachers and lecturers in teachers colleges responsible for marking the question concerned with register, the author discusses the skills that this question purports to test and how it tests them. He concludes that there is a significant mismatch between the syllabus assessment objectives and the skills that are actually tested and that many of the current test items have some shortcomings. Thus in a multilingual situation like Zimbabwe, the contexts chosen for the test items should be ones in which the use of English is realistic. Moreover, the context should be fully described in terms of locus and participants and reveal, as far as possible, gender, age, and race differences. App., bibliogr., sum.