Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
Beginning the second half of the last century, language education has witnessed remarkable advancements and reforms that have profoundly influenced the principles and procedures of both teaching and testing. Different disciplines including applied linguistics, psychometrics, and edumetrics have combined to influence the conceptualization, procedures, and prospects of language teaching and language testing. In fact, it is rightly assumed that language education is a multidimensional phenomenon influenced by many fields which at the same time influences other fields. This multidirectional interaction of the disciplines makes language education a complex and a complicated issue. Complex because it is so vast in scope, and complicated because it includes so many unresolved issues. The purpose of this paper, then, is threefold. First, I will attempt to provide an overview of the global trends in both language teaching and language assessment and compare the theoretical advancements with their practical realizations in the profession. Second, I will venture a comparison between the trend in language teaching and assessment in international communities and those in Iran. Third, I will attempt to demonstrate the dilemmas in language education in the world in general, and in Iran in particular, and make suggestions to bridge the gap between theory and practice on the one hand and global communities with local ones on the other hand.