Students entering an English language based curriculum for higher studies are often challenged by how their actual language skills compare to their self-perception of skills. Tests are usually drawn upon to help students get through higher education. Some of the training available for language testing are focused on the basic scores needed for the students to make it into universities. Are they really effective in serving as a predictor for student proficiency? Does a good test score ensure that the student is ready for the language demands made by academic study in a foreign country? These are some questions that do not have consistent answers in existing research.
The aim of this research is to critically analyse the notion that IELTS Speaking and Listening Scores can serve as predictors for understanding Taiwanese Student’s Ability to Interact in an English Speaking Higher Education Environment.
The objectives of this research are:
To understand the range of perspectives that exist in the students’ mind when they take up the IELTS
To understand the long and short term goals that student might pursue.
To understand how cram schools or pre-sessional training will be helpful for the students and how this form of training could alter their social perspective on language.
To understand how to make changes in the language learning context, so as to enable the students to get the best out of their IELTS training.
1.2. Research questions
1. Do high IELTS speaking and listening scores signify that a student is adequately prepared for the demands of higher education study in an English speaking environment?
2. What factors impact on the development of the speaking and listening skills of Taiwanese students studying in an English speaking higher education environment?
3. What courses are available for improving English speaking and listening skills in the context of a Taiwanese student studying in an English speaking higher education environment