Irene Wherritt (Ph. D., University of New Mexico) is Associate Professor of Portuguese at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
A National Survey of Spanish Language Testing for Placement or Outcome Assessment at B.A.-granting Institutions in the United States1
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1990 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 157–165, April 1990
How to Cite
Wherritt, I. and Cleary, T. A. (1990), A National Survey of Spanish Language Testing for Placement or Outcome Assessment at B.A.-granting Institutions in the United States. Foreign Language Annals, 23: 157–165. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1990.tb00356.x
T. Anne Cleary (Ph. D., University of Illinois) is a professor of Educational Measurement and Statistics at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
The authors are grateful to Criss Gilbert for typing and formatting the manuscript and the questionnaires.
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT Currently, very little is known about foreign language testing for placement or outcome assessment at B.A.-granting institutions in the United States. This research project is part of a newly instituted unit at the University of Iowa called the Foreign Language Assessment Project (FLAP). FLAP has two principal goals for its test development: the first is to improve articulation of foreign language study between feeder high schools and The University of Iowa; the second is to create instruments to assess language competency outcomes necessary to meet the language requirement, completion of the major, and teacher certification. It was necessary to know what had been done in foreign language assessment in the United States in order not to duplicate other efforts. Information on procedures for placement or outcome assessment was difficult to find, and literature reviews and professional contacts did not locate tests that were both appropriate and affordable. A survey was undertaken on departments of Spanish language B.A.-granting institutions in the United States. Spanish language was chosen because most B.A.-granting institutions offer Spanish. Furthermore, Spanish language presents the biggest challenge in placement and assessment since large numbers of students study Spanish at both the secondary and college level. The results of the survey include information on special first-year courses, purposes for test use, tests used for freshmen placement, skills assessed, incentives and penalties for incoming freshmen, instructional activities, and class size.