THE MISSING MEASUREMENT

If we consider how language is used and compare that to how we measure language ability it becomes clear that there is a gap between the two. Every day communication succeeds based on the speaker’s ability to be understood by the listener and the listener’s ability to understand the speaker. This is the essence of language power, the ability to apply measurement to the essentials of every day communication.

Students of language are very familiar with the wide array of formal assessments of their language ability. While many of these formal assessments are often divided into sections such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; the net result is that the grades do not reflect one’s actual ability to communicate in the language. To their credit though, these formal assessments are solid indications of one’s knowledge “about” the language. In other words, these tests are heavily weighted to the formal study of the language with emphasis on vocabulary, grammar, syntax and a formal set of rules.

So clearly there is a need for assessing and quantifying the gap between knowing “about” a language and being able to “actually communicate” in the language. This gap is filled by the concept of Language Power.  In this sense, language power is the missing measurement. The Language Power Institute is dedicated to the assessment and improvement of language power around the world.