Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What do the visuals on standardized English test companys' sites tell us?

Just doing a little digging and preparation on what to tell my students about standardized English tests that are available. I've been looking at five products that are available in Japan, and am interested in the visuals that each of the sites use to advertise their product. Give these top pages a look first.
Cambridge ESOL
TOEFL
TOEIC
IELTS
EIKEN

In all of the sites, other than EIKEN, the images of people show happy people of different ethnicities, well attired. In the EIKEN images you get people of one racial group, bent over desks, heads down, not smiling. Does that make you want to take the test? Granted, IELTS hardly shows any people other than the small thumb of a woman on the left margin, but her head isn't bowed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eiken is the only one that's Japan-specific, isn't it? Hmm.

Daniel said...

That is right, but given the choice, I think the students who would consider taking one of these tests would want to consider her or himself "international" and "genki," neither of which the EIKEN site advertises.