ERIC Number: ED318222
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Diagnostic Testing: One Faculty's Experience.
Marshall, Grover E.
When student placement in French classes by achievement test scores and number of years of previous study became unreliable, the faculty of a university constructed a placement test of grammar and vocabulary for four intermediate courses. The test has been revised twice, with oral comprehension and reading items added, other items subtracted, and a section on student background inserted. The background questions yielded surprising results, revealing that most students had more than 2 years of previous language training. Half of those students registering for the intermediate course had had the prerequisite years of study but were often still underprepared. Most students were not taking the courses to fulfill requirements but because they expected to enjoy them, and expected to take more than one. Test administration before and after the semester provided valuable information on student progress, with achievement level at the end of some courses matching exactly the entry level needed for the next course, causing concern about teaching "to the test." Addition of oral and reading comprehension items apparently did not contribute to the test's predictive ability, however. Analysis of eight items shows the potential for confusion in responding. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Perspectives in Foreign Language Teaching. Proceedings of the Annual Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and Literatures (12th, Youngstown, OH, October 21-22, 1988); see FL 018 244.