ERIC Number: ED347840
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Expert-Novice Differences in Oral Foreign Language Proficiency.
Discussion of oral communication between native and non-native speakers focuses on proficiency-related differences in interactions where the non-native speaker is experienced and those in which he is a novice. Research in oral proficiency development, discourse domains, and communication strategies is reviewed. It is argued that the ways in which oral proficiency is described in two of the most widely used testing instruments are unsatisfactory because: (1) the guidelines recommended by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) ignore the modularity of linguistic competence; and (2) the ACTFL and University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) rating scales assume a linear monotonic increase in competence in all components of proficiency. It is proposed that oral proficiency is a function of discourse domain as much as of lexical and syntactic knowledge, and that some components of oral proficiency such as communications strategies develop in a highly non-linear fashion, as learners learn to adapt their limited linguistic resources to overcoming the difficulties they face in communication. Therefore, learners who become experts at interacting with native speakers do not simply have more of what novices lack; factors underlying their proficiency are different and interact in different ways. A 42-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines; University of Cambridge Local Exam Synd (England)
Note: Paper presented at a Colloquium on Non-Native Speaker Interactional Discourse at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (14th, Seattle, WA, February 28-March 2, 1992).