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Past CAL Presentations

ACTFL-CEFR Alignment Conference Leipzig 2010

June 30 July 3, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Visit the ACTFL-CEFR Alignment Conference Leipzig Web site.

The Necessity of Triangulation in Creating Correspondences between Verbally-Defined Levels of Language Proficiency
This talk focuses on technical issues related to developing a crosswalk between the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Building on the Assessment Use Argument (Bachman and Palmer 2010), I will present a conceptual framework for linking specific assessments to verbally-defined levels of language proficiency (such as in ACTFL and CEFR) and through those links, the potential of linking the levels defined in each of the two scales to each other.

Building on the work of Toulim (1958), the Assessment Use Argument presents a principled way of linking data to claims about an assessment (such as that performances on the assessment may be linked to verbally-defined proficiency levels) through the collection of evidences to back warrants in support of the claim and rebuttal evidence to refute alternative explains that would weaken the claim. Because of necessity to strengthen the Assessment Use Argument, I will stress the necessity of the triangulation of common methods for making such links, such as (1) standard setting study methodologies commonly required in the United States for demonstrating links between verbally-defined levels of student performance and performances on specific tests, (2) conducting empirical studies in which common sets of examinees take assessments already linked to each scale, and (3) internal evidence from content analyses of assessments. This triangulation applies both to establishing links from individual assessments to verbally-defined levels of language proficiency, as well as between two different conceptualizations of levels of language proficiency.

Presenter: Dorry Kenyon
July 1, 2010, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Investigating CEFR and ACTFL Tasks through Prompt and Elicitation Research
This talk proposes a design for a research study to investigate similarities and differences in elicitation of and responses to tasks aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Based on a research study conducted with ACTFL OPIs (N=47), as well as tasks from semi-direct tests, the proposed study suggests ways to examine, analyze and compare the types of tasks elicited by the two scales.

From 2002-05, CAL and ACTFL collaborated with San Diego State and Brigham Young Universities as well as the Defense Language Institute to investigate the structure of the ACTFL OPI as well as the characteristics of tasks, prompts and responses at the major ACTFL levels. I will outline the major components of the proposed research study, including developing an online database for review of prompts and responses by testers, as well as lessons learned and suggested approaches to conduct such research to compare ACTFL and CEFR oral proficiency tests.

Presenter: Margaret E. Malone
July 2, 2010, 2:00 3:30 pm


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