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Bullets in their (heads) CV: The construction of the ‘subject’ by English language examination boards and Greek private language schools Bullets in their (heads) CV: The constructiBullets in their (heads) CV: The construction of the ‘subject’ by English language examination boards and Greek private language schools

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Author(s): Vanda Papafilippou

Journal: Research Papers in Language Teaching and Learning
ISSN 1792-1244

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Critical language testing | impact | subjectivity | knowledge economy | discourse | neoliberalism

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the ways that the subjectivity of the Greek test-taker is constructed through the discourses employed by examination boards and private language schools. By employing Critical Discourse Analysis I examine the online texts uploaded on the websites of the examination boards that administer exams in Greece recognised by ASEP and advertising material of these examination boards and private language schools. The analysis illuminates that the dominant discourse operating is this of knowledge economy and English language tests appear to be dressed with neoliberal ideology. Therefore, these tests form and promote certain subject positions not only regarding ourselves as learners but also as citizens. The subjects seem to be constituted by their ‘achievements’ and their main aspiration appears to become successful employees, who have all the skills and qualifications employers need. Hence, this paper is an attempt to encourage all stake-holders to develop a critical view of tests as well as to question and critique the values that are inherent in them.
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