chapter  8
33 Pages

Global, Local, or “Glocal”

Alternative Pathways in English Language Test Provision
WithCyril J. Weir

This chapter seeks to contextualize the tests presented in this volume in relation to the different pathways of language test provision. In particular, it argues that the approach of the global-local dichotomy for language testing can no longer accommodate the current trend or need of English language test provision. This chapter supports this claim by critically examining some global tests (TOEFL iBT, Cambridge English Qualifications, and IELTS) and pointing out their limitations in addressing country- or context-specific needs. The chapter further draws on the examples of the tests in this volume to demonstrate how these localized tests, while catering to local needs, simultaneously make efforts to comply with global standards, aiming at meeting the expectation of fitness for purpose (i.e., quality management, validation research, innovation, and impact and washback). To account for the endeavor of a blend of globalization and localization in language testing, this chapter identifies the “glocal” approach, which characterizes the localization of global tests (i.e., Glocalization Test Type 1) and the globalization of local tests (i.e., Glocalization Test Type 2), and further suggests that the Type 2 tests may serve as the more satisfactory model.