World Languages Assessment
CAL has a long history of developing operational tests in foreign languages, particularly the less commonly taught languages.
CAL developed the Foreign Language Assessment Directory (FLAD), which is a free, searchable directory of nearly 200 tests in over 90 languages. The FLAD serves as a starting point for teachers and educators to search for foreign language assessments. Educators can search by name of test, grade, proficiency level, language, skills targeted by the test, and intended test use.
CAL has also developed an online tutorial to serve as a companion resource to the FLAD. This online tutorial introduces key concepts in language testing to help with selecting tests and using test results appropriately and efficiently. Topics include practical considerations when selecting a test, reliability and validity, the use of results, and the impact of testing in the classroom. A list of resources and a glossary of assessment terms are included.
STARTALK was created in 2006 to provide learning opportunities in the critical languages for students (K-16) and professional development for teachers of the critical languages, mainly through programs offered during the summer.
The COPI is a comprehensive oral proficiency assessment that provides reliable, valid results to help inform instruction and gauge student progress. The COPI is available in Mandarin Chinese, Modern Standard Arabic, and Spanish.
The Multimedia Rater Training Program (MRTP) is a hands-on introduction to oral proficiency assessment that teaches rating skills via CD-ROM. This computer assisted professional development program was modeled after live rater training workshops and CAL's self-instructional Rater Training Kits.
BEST Literacy and BEST Plus 2.0 address the needs of adult English language learners by providing assessment options that reliably demonstrate student progress. With BEST Plus 2.0 to measure speaking and listening skills and BEST Literacy to measure reading and writing skills, programs can test all of the four skill areas.
News & Events
This commentary aims to provide insight into the program evaluation process through a concrete example of how CAL conducts evaluation for the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate program.
Language classes at a school in Chicago have transitioned from a traditional grade-level-based approach to a proficiency-based learning model that groups students according to their abilities.
Educators in Washington, DC, have developed an open-source curriculum for teaching world languages focusing on project-based learning and communicative proficiency rather than grammar.
The recent article, Oral Language Development Among Mandarin Learners in Chinese Homestays (in Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition), focuses on a mixed-method study describing the oral Mandarin development of American students living in Chinese homestays.