Using the OPI to Place Heritage Speakers of Russian

Authors

  • Olga Kagan PhD,

    1. UCLA Language Resource Center
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 3

      Olga Kagan (PhD, Pushkin Russian Language Institute, Moscow) is Director of the Language Resource Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Debra Friedman

    1. University of California, Los Angeles
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 4

      Debra Friedman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles.


Abstract

Abstract: This study explored the possibility of using an ACTFL oral proficiency interview (OPI) to assess the spoken proficiency of heritage language speakers of Russian for the purpose of placing them in Russian language classes. The authors also considered whether the norm of an educated native speaker could be used as a valid reference point for Russian heritage speakers. The OPI was administered to a group of college-age Russian heritage speakers with little or no formal instruction in the language. The results indicated that the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines could be used to assess oral proficiency of Russian heritage speakers and that the standard of an educated native speaker of Russian could be used as a norm.

Ancillary