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ERIC Number: EJ789571
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 10
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-0015-718X
Exploring the Uses and Usefulness of ACTFL Oral Proficiency Ratings and Standards in College Foreign Language Departments
Norris, John M.; Pfeiffer, Peter C.
Foreign Language Annals, v36 n4 p572-581 Win 2003
Oral proficiency ratings, based on the ACTFL Guidelines and derived from live or simulated oral proficiency interviews (SOPIs), enjoy widespread use in the United States. In particular, college foreign language departments have increasingly adopted oral proficiency ratings as a way of establishing standards for language or graduation requirements. In the study reported here, the authors explored the intended uses of proficiency-based standards in foreign language departments and reviewed the research on which specific ACTFL-level standards are based. They then examined the results of more than 100 SOPIs administered across all levels of instruction within one German foreign language department. The findings suggest that recommended proficiency standards may underestimate the potential and actual achievements of German language learners and miss other valued learning outcomes. The implications of these findings for the valid use of oral proficiency ratings in collegiate settings are discussed. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. 700 South Washington Street Suite 210, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-894-2900; Fax: 703-894-2905; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview