Testing / Assessment
Oral Proficiency Assessment
How well can you speak a language? CAL has spearheaded a number of research and test development projects that focus on how well individuals speak a language, including technology-mediated tests and analyses of the kinds of test tasks that best show an individual's speaking ability. We also develop products for language professionals who want to learn to rate their students’ proficiency on our tests. In addition, we provide professional development activities on oral proficiency for language instructors.
Assessment for Language Instructors: The Basics
Online Course Now Available
CAL is offering a free online training course that teaches world language instructors about the fundamentals of assessment. Learn more.
the next generation of the SOPI
Now available in Arabic and Spanish, the Computerized Oral Proficiency Instrument (COPI) is a computer-based, semi-adaptive test of Arabic and Spanish oral proficiency. Learn more.
Multimedia Rater Training Program (MRTP)
German • French • Spanish
The Multimedia Rater Training Program (MRTP) is an interactive
software program designed to teach professionals to rate oral language
proficiency. This computer-assisted professional development program
was modeled after live rater training workshops and CAL's
self-instructional Rater Training Kits. Learn more about the MRTP.
Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI)
The Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) is a type of tape-mediated test of speaking proficiency. All SOPI items are based on the speaking proficiency guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The test is presented to examinees via a test booklet and a master tape. It can be administered individually by anyone using two tape recorders. It can also be used in a language laboratory setting to test groups. Learn more about the SOPI.
SOPI Rater Training Kits & Live Rater Training
The Self-Instructional Rater Training Kits teach professionals to use the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines-Speaking to rate oral proficiency using the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview. The kits consist of four parts in addition to the SOPI itself: Rater Training Kit Manual, Rater Training Kit Tapes, Rater Training Kit Workbook, and the Rater Training Kit Reference Guide. CAL also offers live rater training workshops. For more information about ordering the SOPI Rater Training Kits, visit the CAL Store. For more information about live rater training workshops, contact CAL at email@example.com.
Resources Focus on Language Proficiency Assessment in Grades K-8
CAL offers innovative language proficiency assessment instruments designed to allow young students to demonstrate their highest level of performance in oral fluency, grammar, vocabulary and listening comprehension. Professional development workshops for the SOPA, ELLOPA, and COPE provide training for educators on the effective use of these assessments. SOPA Online Training courses teach participants how to administer and rate students’ oral language using the SOPA. Learn more.
Adult ESL Assessments
BEST Plus: Oral English Proficiency Assessment for Adults
BEST Plus is a powerful computer-adaptive test
for the assessment of oral proficiency of adult English language
learners. BEST Plus gives test administrators the capability
of delivering the assessment via computer, allowing each test to
be adapted to individual examinees based on the answers they give
throughout the test. BEST Plus is also available in a semi-adaptive,
print-based version with three parallel forms. Learn
BEST Literacy is an update of the
literacy skills section of the Basic English
Skills Test (BEST). BEST Literacy is the reading and writing proficiency assessment
companion to BEST Plus and was launched in October 2006. Learn
more about this updated assessment.
related to assessment
Effects of Instructional Hours and Intensity of Instruction on NRS Level Gain in Listening and Speaking
This digest reports on a study examining the relationship between the number of ESL instructional hours and intensity of ESL instruction with the progress of adult English language learners in listening and speaking in English, as measured by the oral proficiency assessment BEST Plus.
Oral Proficiency Assessment: The Use of Technology
in Test Development and Rater Training
Since 1986, CAL has investigated and initiated a number of approaches to oral proficiency assessment that rely on semi-direct measures and new technologies. This digest describes ways to use technology to improve test development and administration and to improve the training of raters.
Testing Project Archive
Computer Assisted Screening Tool (CAST) Framework
In collaboration with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), under U.S. Department of Education and the International Research and Studies Grant (P017A020032), CAL developed a replicable framework describing the delivery of level-specific oral proficiency assessments via the World Wide Web. The research undertaken to produce the framework and task specifications involved analysis of the characteristics of tasks used in oral proficiency assessments, including telephonic and technology-mediated oral proficiency instruments. This analysis determined the optimal task characteristics so that specifications can be written for the production of test questions that most efficiently obtain ratable speech samples and recommendations for the best ways to use a Web-delivered format for this test, including hardware, software, and data storage and coding issues.