Power Relations among Different Test Parties from the Perspective of Critical Language Assessment

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, TEFL Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University

2 Assistant Professor, TEFL Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University


Critical Language Assessment (CLA) argues that language testing is a form of social practice and an agent of cultural, social, educational as well as ideological agendas. As such this article scrutinized the power that different groups of people including, teachers, students and their parents own at the levels of developing, administrating and interpreting Iranian University Entrance Examinations (IUEE). The study revealed that tests could be tools of power that serve the empowered parties’ policies and manipulate individual lives. Supported by the findings, the article (1) could be conducive to developing critical thinking among students to see behind the tests, and (2) suggests more democratic testing methods to moderate high-stakes tests consequences so that individual rights get protected.


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