Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who died and made you King of all things English?


Excuse me a minute, I'm about to go OFF!

I can't understand US universities that require TOEFL from ALL International students.

(In case you don't know, TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language)

I understand requiring a TOEFL from natives of countries where English is not the first language

Or where a person's first degree isn't from an instution where the language of instruction is English

I can even excuse the institutions who will exempt International students from the TOEFL requirement for having a US undergraduate degree.

BUT to require a Language proficiency exam of ALL International students??? What an insult!

You (America) comes along to find a language already in existence, you take that language and mutate it, and then you make the people who created the language (and those who study in their system) take exams???


Understand where I am coming from. My native language is English. The Queen's English. I've spoken it all my life. I've done O' Levels (the exams Harry Potter takes in his 5th year, except in regular subjects instead of magic) in English Literature and Language, I've done SAT's, I've been accepted into and studied in the hardest college to get into (back in 2000) in the US, I've done an undergraduate degree at an English-speaking university and I am currently A FRIKKING ENGLISH TEACHER!!!!

And you want me to go sit in a room with MY FRIKKING STUDENTS and DO THE SAME DAMN TEST?

Surely, you jest!

If it weren't so utterly ridiculous, it might be funny. The monolinguistic Gods of all things anglophone want to question me. ME- NATIVE speaker of English and speaker of FOUR OTHER LANGUAGES! Yeah, it might just be funny some day.

The weird thing is, I have considered taking the test. My most advanced students are only 16, and I doubt they'd be taking the TOEFL just yet. But as a teacher of English as Foreign Language, I would like to see what the students are up against. So I might take a TOEFL one day. But not as a way of proving that I speak MY OWN LANGUAGE!


So for right now, I'm just striking every school that requires the TOEFL of ALL students from my list. To be sure, a few really good schools will bite the dust. But. as far as I'm concerned, a graduate school is a place that's supposed to foster new contributions to academic thought. If a graduate school isn't internationally-minded enough to realise that America is not the be-all and end-all of anything, ESPECIALLY NOT English language, then they can't foster anything but disdain in me.


Glam,Glitz&Gut said...

Well that just sounds silly to me!

Jennifer Brindley said...

Wow. Ridiculous! Especially considering most Americans barely have an elementary grasp on the English language.