Rethinking Validity of the L2 Proficiency Concept: Lessons for EIL

| March 28, 2007
Rethinking Validity of the L2 Proficiency Concept: Lessons for EIL

Keywords: Proficiency; Communicative Competence; Proficiency Tests; Native Speaker; EIL

Leila B. Iyldyz
East Kazakhstan State University

Bio Data
Leila has completed an Education Undergraduate Course in Foreign Language Teaching and Translations at East Kazakhstan State University. She participated in the successful ESL/EFL curriculum development, IGCSE and IB MYP implementation and CIS/NEASC accreditation for the first Kazakhstani international school from 2001 to 2004. Leila has recently obtained an MPhil Researching Second Language Education from the University of Cambridge which she attended as an FCO/OSI scholar. Her dissertation focused on trilingual/quadrilingual education policies, immersion programmes and plurilingual competence.

There might be considerable consensus on the models of proficiency among L2 education specialists but there is currently no empirically validated description. The more fundamental concept of communicative competence and an ongoing debate towards a more detailed analysis of communicative activities have overshadowed the concept of proficiency. The concept seems to be understood and be a useful reference point in the discourse of L2 professionals until it is questioned and further explored. Defining proficiency is a more complex topic than is generally assumed. In this article, the author attempts to explore the validity of the concept of proficiency in L2 education and indicate some aspects useful for careful consideration when constructing the EIL competence framework.

See page 39-64

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