Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 2. June 2019                                                     Pp. 225-241

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 Teaching to Test or Communicate  

   Mohammad Al Ghafri
      English Department-Ibri College of Applied Sciences-Oman
Sultanate of Oman

Younes Audeh
English Department -Ibri College of Applied Sciences-Oman
Sultanate of Oman

Muhieddin Al-Gadallah
English Department- Buraimi University- Oman
P.O.Box 890, PC 512, Sultanate of Oman




This study addresses the controversial question of which is more effective; teaching to the test, or teaching to communicate. It also highlights the viewpoints of some scholars about tests in different regions of the world; the Middle East and the West. The content of the research embedded in this article shows that there are a number of teachers who still believe in teaching to test following the traditional method, while some others think tests -especially in the elementary phase- cause anxiety, chaos and disappointment, and should be ruled out as a means of assessing students. In the Arab World, tests are still considered the main criterion by which students prove eligible to move to upper classes and get admitted to university programs. To provide the readers with a more concrete grasp of the discussed viewpoints, a questionnaire has been distributed among sixty-five male and female students taking English courses in the Foundation Program at Ibri College of Applied Sciences- the Sultanate of Oman. The results, implications, and applications will be discussed throughout this article while tackling the two major controversial issues: teaching to test or communicate.
Keywords: administration, anxiety, cloze test, communicative approach, curriculum, hinder, impose, old-fashioned, promote, reformation, stimulating

Cite as: Al Ghafri, M., Audeh, Y., Al-Gadallah, M. (2019) Teaching to Test or Communicate   . Arab World English Journal10 (2). 225-241.


Dr Mohammed Al Ghafri is a full-time lecturer, and currently is the head of the English
Department at Ibri College of Applied Sciences- Oman. He holds a PhD in (TESOL) / University
of Leeds, where he also got his MA in Education. He has had different positions: an assistant dean,
English supervisor and head of follow -up and training.