The Big Issue : Edition 436
18 THebigissue5–18JuL2013 60. What did the band Vampire Weekend controversially set on fire in the video for their single ‘Diane Young’? a. A Saab b. A wizard c. A hotdog d. An Atlantic salmon farm 61. Who played Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby? a. Joel Edgerton b. Tobey Maguire c. Leonardo Dicaprio d. A pregnant golden retriever 62. Who said this? “I’m a pervert, but in a romantic way.” a. Julie Delpy b. Alec Baldwin c. Kate Middleton d. Katy Perry 63. Who celebrated their 10-year anniversary writing columns for The Big Issue in May this year? a. Mic Looby b. Piers Akerman c. Fiona Scott-Norman d. Helen Razer 64. Which of the following is NOT a Baz Luhrmann movie? a. Strictly Ballroom b. The Great Gatsby c. The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert d. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective » For answers, see p44. REcENTLy, I INvIgILATED a listening proficiency test in a classroom of about 12 international students. Besides using the word ‘invigilate’ as many times as I can, I’ve been teaching English as a Second Language for six years, and have coordinated a number of these tests in that time. Now and again, I sit the test along with the students. This was one of those occasions. Thinking I didn’t really need to concentrate, I tuned out for a minute – perhaps planning the next half of the lesson, more likely thinking about lunch – and got three answers wrong. Marking the students’ and my own tests afterwards, I found that my lapse in concentration meant I scored an International English Language Test Score (IELTS, pronounced ‘eye-elts’) of seven. The test declared I was no longer a ‘native’ speaker of English. Scores start at 0 (no attempt made) and then range from 1 to 9 – from ‘non- user’ of the language to ‘expert user’. The test ranks students’ skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking in separate exercises over two-and-a-half hours. getting a seven for listening meant I was a ‘good user’, though I suffer from “inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations”. Maybe it also meant I daydream about food when the pressure’s off. The exam is one of a few English language tests recognised by the Australian Government as a gauge for an immigrant’s grasp of the official language of the country. It was developed by the University of cambridge in 1989, and has been used by the Department of Immigration since 1998. International students must also meet test standards to enrol in university courses, and up to four tests are facilitated each month in 48 test centres across the country. While most people know how the word ‘visa’ relates to the immigration process, few Australian natives have heard of IELTS. But mention IELTS in a conversation with an international student or a cabbie, or even a doctor or engineer, and you’ll be in well-trod territory. One hundred and thirty-five countries have facilities for the exam, with 1.9 million tests taken globally last year. There are other tests, too. The cambridge English Language Assessment – a more widely used test type – had about three million globally last year. Also growing in recognition in Australia is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which was developed in the United States in the 1960s, and has been mostly used in the Believe it or not, the Big issue Quiz is not the toughest exam around. thousands of immigrants and students must take english-language proficiency tests in australia each year. and, as Sam RodgeRS explains, they can Be tricky.