Validity of IELTS results
IELTS result is valid for two years from the date of issue of the test result. The IELTS system automatically deactivates the test result when it reaches its 2nd year. It is not possible to extend the validity of IELTS results.
The 2-year validity of IELTS is based upon the phenomenon of second language loss or ‘attrition’.
The phenomenon of second language attrition
Second-language attrition is the steady decrease of second-language skills in an individual, which occurs whenever the learner uses the second language to a lesser degree. The language use may be limited due to various reasons and thus, another language becomes dominant.
Theories of forgetting
It is important to know about the various research activities conducted on memory to understand second language attrition in detail.
Decay theory says that if something new is learned, a memory trace is created. This trace will decay, if not used in the course of time, and by this process, forgetting occurs.
Based on the recent studies scientists report that it is evident that all the four competence areas are affected. Some of them tend to be more affected than others. Examples could be:
- Lexical resource
There are various ways in which it can be observed. They are:
- Speech tempo decreases
- Longer and frequent speech pauses
- Fluency suffers
- reduced accessibility in vocabulary retrieval ( Both in familiar and unfamiliar situations)
- A gap in grammar (especially tenses and conjunction of verbs)
All these factors contribute to the loss of language over a period of time.