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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Gov't supervision of TOEFL Junior exam urged

By Zhao Enuo, Tan Zhuo (People's Daily)

15:44, November 21, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.21--On Nov. 20, the TOEFL Junior, designed by the U.S. Educational Testing Service (ETS) for students aged between 11 and 16, held its first exam at an exam site of Guangzhou. As a newly-imported member of the "TOEFL family," the exam aims to test students' academic and social English in the English environment.

Insiders believe that the introduction of TOEFL Junior is closely connected with students studying abroad whose ages are increasingly younger. Although the TOEFL Junior is still not widely recognized among U.S. senior high schools and it emphasizes only testing and currently cannot help apply for a school, many parents still have enrolled their children to take the test as some kind of preparation for the child to study abroad.

At present, there is no authoritative third-party organization in China to evaluate various English language examinations. Some parents said that given their own limited English knowledge and lack of information about English exams, they want their children to take these exams, regardless of whether or not they are useful. Some parents even asked their children, who were just junior high school students, to take the TOELF test.

The Chinese government is not involved in introducing the TOEFL Junior, which was brought in by a private education institution. Why is the government not involved? Will its absence produce any risks? Who will evaluate the scientific aspects of English exams on behalf of students and parents? Who will ensure that the amount of examination fees charged is reasonable?

These questions need urgent answers.

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