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ERIC Number: ED359788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Testing the Limits of Proficiency: The ACTFL OPI and FL Departments.
Grosse, Christine Uber; And Others
A study investigated: (1) the average language proficiency level as determined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) attained by 271 college seniors majoring in 6 languages (Spanish, French, Russian, German, Japanese, Italian); (2) current and projected uses of the ACTFL OPI by college foreign language departments; and (3) implications for teaching, testing, and curriculum development. Data for the first question were obtained from a national survey of certified OPI testers. Results showed the average rating to be advanced (2 on the ACTFL rating scale). Data for the second research issue were taken from the same survey, and revealed that the most common uses for the OPI were as a departmental requirement or an option for undergraduate language majors. In addition, in some departments specific OPI ratings are required for undergraduates, graduate students, and teaching majors. Additional uses of the test were for teaching assistant training, setting curricular objectives, goal-setting for majors, ongoing progress assessment, departmental evaluation of instructional success, faculty research, training faculty to assess oral proficiency, and incorporation of test elements into instruction. Respondents felt demand for the OPI has increased in recent years. Over half had future plans for OPI use. In regard to the third issue, the results of this study indicated that departments can set realistic curricular goals for undergraduate and graduate majors, and state departments of education may develop oral proficiency requirements for teachers seeking certification in FLs. However, research documents the critical need for effective language teacher education that takes teachers' belief systems into consideration and ends confusion over what constitutes communicative language teaching. Recommendations for instructional development are offered. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview