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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The National Benchmark Test in Academic Literacy: how might it be used to support teaching in higher education?
Author:Cliff, Alan
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1753-5395)
Geographic term:South Africa
higher education
English language
academic achievement
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10228195.2015.1027505
Abstract:The National Benchmark Test in Academic Literacy is designed to assess the ability of first-year students to cope with the typical language-of-instruction, academic reading and reasoning demands they will face on entry to higher education. Drawing on quantitative data, this paper reports on the overall performance levels of a large-scale (n = 6500) national sample of test-takers who took the test as applicants for the 2013 intake into higher education. Overall test-taker performance is disaggregated by performance on sub-scales of the overall construct of academic literacy. The argument is made that the National Benchmark Test provides a framework for a nuanced and practicable understanding of test-takers' academic literacy 'proficiencies'. The conclusion to the paper evaluates the extent to which the test enables higher education lecturers' greater engagement with students' academic literacy shortcomings and with research-led information aimed at the improvement of teaching and learning. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]