ERIC Number: ED350854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The Proficiency Movement: Where Do We Go from Here?
The proficiency movement in second language teaching has had a wide impact because it represents not only an attempt to introduce a national metric but also an attempt to modify the nature of the second language curriculum. The curriculum has been pointed in the direction of instruction in the functional use of language. The list of languages affected by the proficiency movement includes both commonly and less commonly taught languages. This paper suggests that the impact of the proficiency movement will be more difficult to attain in Russian language teaching because the field has not yet moved far enough from the traditional grammar-translation approach. It is noted that the organization of language teaching in America mitigates against the acquisition of usable skills by imposing severe limitations on time allotted to the study of foreign languages as well as by adopting a non-use orientation. A brief history of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) generic guidelines is presented, followed by a description of the Russian proficiency guidelines and a review of proficiency testing. Proficiency is further discussed in terms of the four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking) and proficiency-based textbooks. Suggestions for improving the instructional system are offered. Contains 18 references. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Langs
Note: In: Dabars, Zita, D., Ed. Selected Papers Delivered at the NEH Symposium in Russian Language and Culture (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, May 1990); see FL 020 670.