ERIC Number: ED253075
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Oral Proficiency Interview and the Junior Year Abroad: Some Unexpected Results.
It was found that the seemingly greatly increased oral fluency of Middlebury College seniors who had studied in college-sponsored junior year abroad programs did not carry over to written skills or to comprehensive grammatical knowledge. In the oral proficiency interview for Spanish, many returning students had no control of the subjunctive, a key to attaining successive proficiency levels, and had developed elaborate strategies for avoiding using those constructions. The foreign experience, rather than promoting true language proficiency, was found to be manufacturing "terminal 2+" students, or expensively trained street speakers of the language. Precautions taken at Middlebury to avoid this situation in the future include redesigning Spanish courses taught beyond the normal language sequence at the undergraduate level, both at home and in the foreign country, to include more work in the subjunctive and other structures of similar difficulty. Increased writing assignments in the grammar course and all other courses while abroad are also recommended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Course Development; Middlebury College VT
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (New York, NY, April 12-15, 1984).