The Oral Proficiency Interview: Discrete Point Test or a Measure of Communicative Language Ability?


  • Gene B. Halleck Ph.D

    1. Oklahoma State University
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      (Ph.D., Penn State University) is Assistant Professor of TESL/Linguistics at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.


ABSTRACT  This article1 reports the results of a study that investigated the relative contribution of discrete points of sentence level grammar and communicative factors on determination of proficiency level. Raters' responses on questionnaires concerning their choice of rating reveal that communicative factors rather than features of discrete-point sentence level grammar were most influential in determining a subject's proficiency level. These data provide support for the ACTFL Guidelines and suggest that the concerns of some critics with respect to the Guidelines' failure to mention communicative competence are unwarranted.