Time-on-task as an index of situated language proficiency in academic performance
CITATION: Faurie, M., Ridge, E. & Van Der Walt, C. 2004. Time-on-task as an index of situated language proficiency in academic performance. Per Linguam : a Journal of Language Learning, 20(2):13-27, doi:10.5785/20-2-82.
Transforming higher education in South Africa involves, among other things, finding ways of enabling a broader group of students to perform successfully in high-stake assessment. This paper recounts work in progress to that end. The focus is on the effect of time constraints on the performance of physiotherapy students whose first language is other than the one in which the classes and the assessments are presented. The concept of working memory is investigated by using C-tests based on physiotherapy material and the results are correlated with students’ home languages and their performance in other academic subjects. The paper concludes by reflecting on C-tests as a trustworthy instrument to measure situated language proficiency and the implications of the results for higher education.