Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

De la compétence linguistique au répertoire plurilingue

Lüdi, Georges

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 2006, vol. 84, p. 173-189

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    Standards and forms of evaluation used in European educational systems for communicative competences progressively rely on unambiguous, transparent and internationally recognised criteria. There is, however, a risk of reification, of restriction to what is easily measurable and of lack of specificity that can lead to abuse in selection processes. In addition, the correlation between language tests based on monolingual ideologies and the communicative success in multilingual situations is far from optimal. A case study will help us to understand that social actors do not mobilise stable sets of variants and varieties, but reconfigure and modify their competences during the practical activity. The validity of language exams and certificates must thus be questioned as long as they isolate the competences in each of the languages of a plurilingual repertoire. The paper addresses also the ethical problems related to language testing.