عنوان مقاله [English]
There is an urgent need for Persian proficiency tests in Iran and in the world. However, standardized proficiency tests have not yet been developed for this language. There are two main types of proficiency tests. Proficiency tests for academic purposes are used to determine the level of proficiency in the language which is used in specific domains such as humanities or experimental sciences. General proficiency tests do not deal with language for specific purposes and thus measure proficiency in the target language in general. Compared to other language tests, the design and implementation of proficiency tests is more difficult since there is not an easy definition for the concept of “language proficiency”. Despite this fact, proficiency in Persian language could be defined as the learners’ competence in Persian language independent of specific courses or curricula. Such a definition makes the measurement of Persian proficiency all the more complicated, since the term "competence" refers to various linguistic and social abilities associated with language skills and identification, comprehension and production of linguistic elements in a variety of written and spoken discourses. A Persian proficiency test could draw on the linguistic knowledge of Persian-speaking people and may measure knowledge of language forms, knowledge of denotative, connotative, and sociocultural senses, capacity to use language for communication, and creativity in the use of Persian.
For a particular language, there may be an abundance of proficiency tests which usually vary in terms of structure and form. In English, there are various proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and Michigan Test which measure the ability of nonnative English speakers to communicate in English. In French, there are DELF, DALF, TEF, and TCF tests. Based on these tests, language proficiency certificates are issued which indicate the level of ability and fluency in the language.
In the Internet, a search for proficiency tests of world languages would return a long list of tests for many languages. For Persian language, two proficiency tests could be spotted in the list, one developed by Georgetown University and the other by Ankara University. In a Persian Wikipedia essay, the author reprimanded that Iranians have developed a proficiency test for the English language called TOLLIMO, but unfortunately, have not done so for Persian language yet. Though several Persian placement tests have been developed in Persian language learning centers, there is a dire need for standardized measurement of Persian language proficiency. One or possibly more proficiency tests could be developed for Persian language. Various rival organizations within the country should set aside their differences and cooperatively develop Persian proficiency tests. The availability of such tests in the country could have a very direct positive washback effect upon Persian language teaching/learning methods and Persian language education context. It will also promote Persian language didactics.