Okay, I haven't been to the blog for a while, but I'm shocked not to see any comment on the LPGA's (women's professional golf tour) looming decision to enforce an "English proficiency test" for all tour members. Players that can't pass the test will be "suspended" from the tour! This conjures up ethnic studies images of S.I. Hayakawa and the English Only movement. My favorite line is when the LPGA commissioner claims she is shocked by the negative reaction, saying, " We thought this was pro-international." Who needs globalization when you can have hegemony? Arguments are made that it would help with American sponsors (ever think of getting some Korean sponsors?)
Many commentators note that international players have dominated the tour of late, winning 19 of the last 24 tournaments, particularly Asian players, especially from South Korea that boasts 45 players on tour. As an educator of English Language Learners, I'm fascinated by what this test will look like. Is it simply oral? Is there a written or reading portion? Will they have different versions so players won't just cheat or learn the answers like DMV test? What qualifies for proficiency? Will the vocabulary section be confined simply to golf nomenclature or encompass all sports cliches: "I was seeing the ball well today," "It's anyone's tournament." Or will it be to the level of including must-have Tiger-like idioms like, "I've been waiting for some putts to drop and for the ball to see the hole" or "the course was a monster today, made players make some difficult choices on the risk-reward scale, luckily I was able work my high fade right to left on the tough 17th dogleg?"