I’ve had to write this exam called Test of English as a Foreign Language once upon a time, and my continued response to it was a big “WHY”! When Americans come to study in Nigeria, we never make them take UME or WAEC or even a simple test of Nigerian English proficiency, even though we probably should ;). Why then do we need to take a standardized test verifying our ability to speak like Americans? I got one of the highest score of the test, but I still don’t think I would ever learn to speak good enough for America, except for occasional comments of “You speak very well.” Neither do I intend to speak like Americans.

The class discussion on standardized test has brought the issues back to my mind. I doubt that British students get to take TOEFL so I don’t think that students from former British colonies should. I don’t know whether American students get to take German or Spanish proficiency examinations before studying in German or Spanish universities in Europe, but it would be fun to research that.

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