ERIC Number: ED336932
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
The Symposium on the Evaluation of Foreign Language Proficiency: Challenges to the Profession.
This paper presents a report of a 1987 symposium on the Evaluation of Foreign Language Proficiency held in Bloomington, Indiana. Although much has been accomplished in language testing, much remains to be done before the language teaching profession has at its disposal a common means of measuring proficiency in the functional use of language in its various modalities that meets generally recognized standards of face validity, reliability, and fairness and that is, at the same time, relatively easy and economical to administer on a large scale. Even more remains to be done before the profession can substantiate any claims about direct links between the attainment of various proficiency levels and inventories of discrete linguistic, discourse, or sociolinguistic features that need to be mastered. Collaboration is needed in three areas: (1) development of operational definitions of basic terms; (2) proactive research for validation of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency guidelines; and (3) wider sharing of information, both domestically and internationally. Concerns about the direction taken by development of the OPI include overemphasis on evaluation of communicative interaction, risks in developing the OPI to measure low-level proficiency, and potential backlash against oral skill development. Valid and reliable tests for languages for specific purposes are needed. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ACTFL ETS Oral Proficiency Interview
Note: In: New Challenges and Opportunities. Dimension: Languages 87. Report of the Southern Conference on Language Teaching, p1-14, 1988. For the proceedings, see FL 019 352.