Part 2 Overview

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Introduction to Oral Proficiency Levels  Spanish

Part 2


Part 2 of Introduction to Oral Proficiency Levels is designed to help Spanish language teachers:

1. Reflect on the construct of language proficiency as it is understood and assessed by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking and the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).

2. Develop and reflect on their own skills for conducting an interview in order to determine Spanish learners’ proficiency levels.

This training uses a modified version of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. The ACTFL levels characterize speakers in terms of the linguistic features they are able to perform at each level.

Part 2 requires you to work in pairs or small groups and involves engagement in and reflection upon interviews amongst yourselves, in which you act both as interviewer and as speaker. You will need to record these interviews; we suggest video recordings, but audio recordings are also an option.

In the interviews, you will be asked to simulate language at lower proficiency levels in order to consider the linguistic resources and limitations of learners at each level. Also, you may need to adjust the interview topic according to your particular educational setting. For example, the interview topic “College Majors” could change to “Favorite Subject” for high school settings. In making these changes, be careful not to change the linguistic features that speakers will have to demonstrate in their responses.  

Organization of Modules

Part 2 contains nine modules and covers ACTFL Levels Intermediate Low to Superior.   Each module focuses on one ACTFL proficiency level and a number of linguistic features associated with that level.

Each module includes two video sample interviews with Spanish learners and guides you in reflecting on the videos as preparation for creating your own oral interview with a partner or small group. One person acts as the interviewer and another person as the speaker. Each module guides you through four phases:

1. Prepare Interview Questions

First, you and your partner or small group will watch the sample interviews and consider the speaker’s performance in demonstrating proficiency as well as the interviewer’s performance in eliciting language that demonstrates proficiency. Your goal will be to consider how interview questions can impact the speaker’s language features/proficiency, and to prepare questions for your own interview.

2. Produce the Interview

You and your partner/group will take turns assuming the roles of interviewer and speaker

3. Evaluate the Speaker

Guiding questions will prompt you and your partner or group to discuss the speaker’s performance based on the proficiency level of the module.

4. Analyze the Interviewer

Guiding questions will prompt you and your partner or group to focus on how the interviewer’s questions may have affected the speaker’s performance.