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Language Ability Assessment

Table 5 shows the breakdown of programs that reported using various types of assessment procedures to assess language ability in contexts other than placement situations. As can be seen from the table, programs reported using a rather wide range of assessment tools. As with all of the tables in this section, participants often marked more than one response while others left responses blank, thus the totals may be considerably more or less than the total number of programs responding.

Table 5: Language ability assessment activities used in programs
Assessment Activity Number of programs
Constructed-response tests 145
Oral proficiency interviews 131
Student presentations 131
Selected-response tests 120
Authentic activities 112
Translation exercises 80
Student portfolios 65
Student self-assessment 44
Extended writing or report* 5
Poems* 1
Debate* 1
Dictation* 1
*Write-in response

Almost three-quarters of the respondents indicated that the teachers in their program were aware of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning when asked (Yes = 121, No = 42), but considerable fewer indicated that assessment practices in their program had changed because of this awareness (Yes = 77, No = 79). Use of proficiency scales was reported by a majority of programs (Yes = 105, No = 58) with the majority of scales being developed within the program either originally through discussions among program faculty (n = 34) or with reference to scales used in similar programs (n = 53). Other programs reported developing proficiency scales jointly with outside organizations (n = 15) or using completely externally developed scales (n = 13).

next up previous
Next: Placement test administration Up: Results Previous: Results
Martyn Clark 2004-12-21