A Study of Foreign Language Learning Outcomes Assessment in U.S. Undergraduate Education


  • José G. Ricardo-Osorio

    Assistant Professor
    1. (EdD, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville) is Spanish and Foreign Language Education at Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
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Abstract: This article reports on findings obtained from an online survey answered by 97 foreign language department chairs. The Web survey was pilot tested for validity and reliability and obtained a Cronbach's reliability coefficient of .80. The results suggest that student learning outcomes assessment in American undergraduate foreign language education combines performance-based and traditional assessments. The use of translation as an assessment method supersedes the application of the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and exit exams to gauge language proficiency. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and the National Standards are common in the assessment of oral proficiency, but infrequent in the development of assessment procedures of other skills. The article also reports on obstacles that institutions face in the implementation of standards-based assessments (e.g., OPI and portfolios).