The direction of the Central Board of Secondary Education to conduct language proficiency test as part of the summative test being held this month has caused confusion among the schools in the city who said they were not given correct guidelines on conducting the test.

A circular from CBSE dated September 12 on Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) Skills, had asked the schools to include formal test on speaking and listening skills of students in summative assessment in English for classes IX and X. The test was to be given 10 per cent of the total marks for summative assessments (SA) I and II.

The circular said schools could adopt the samples given or frame their won question papers based on guidelines given for SA I. While a pilot project for SA II would be carried out in 120 schools in the National Capital Region, schools in other regions could conduct the test as per the specification given for SA I. The communication skills of the students were to be tested based on their response to visual and verbal stimulus. According to president of Coimbatore Sahodaya Schools Complex and principal of Angappa Senior Secondary School K. Navamani, the test was conducted for Standard IX students at the school. “We had conducted a test to assess listening and speaking skills of students as per the guidelines given by the board. But, we did not include viva voce, which was also included in the boards’ guidelines. Seventy per cent of the students performed well in the test as Communicative English is already part of their syllabus,” she said. Ms. Navamani, who said that the CBSE had given guidelines about the test last month, added that “those who were closely following the notifications from CBSE had a better idea about the new test.” Principal of National Model CBSE School Geetha Laxman and principal of Western Ghats International School Vijayalakshmi Menon said they were waiting for clear guidelines from the board to conduct the test. “The question paper for English that we received from the board was for 80 marks and we had conducted the written test accordingly. However, we were told that the exam is for 90 marks. We do not know whether the extra 10 marks is for the proficiency test.” The principals said that though the implementation of the test was announced in the beginning of the academic year itself, there was no information from the board on implementing it so far.

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