SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT This summary of two dissertations done at the University of Minnesota in 1973 involves a comparison of two procedures for measuring speaking and writing proficiency in French and German. Both studies used the MLA Cooperative Foreign Language Proficiency Tests (Form HA) and rating scales for speaking and writing devised for use by native speakers to rate the performance of prospective French and German teachers. The data were compared on the basis of correlation coefficients generated. There were twenty subjects in the French study, twelve in the German. Major findings indicated a strong relationship between native-rater speaking scores (based on three videotaped microteaching sessions in the target language) and scores on the MLA speaking test and its three parts. However, in terms of writing skills (three compositions rated by native speakers vs. the MLA writing test and its two parts), the relationship was stronger in French than in German. One interesting correlation indicated a stronger relationship between native ratings on three written compositions and the MLA writing test. The studies suggest that no one instrument is totally effective in measuring proficiency in language use, that the studies be extended into actual French and German classrooms to determine the kinds of language used by teachers in real teaching situations, that the scorers of such tests (preferably native speakers) be carefully trained and rigorously controlled, and that work should continue on developing other tests of productive proficiency.