Speaking Strategies: Meeting NCATE Oral Proficiency Standards



Abstract: The teaming of ACTFL and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education resulted in the requirement that teacher candidates speak at the Advanced Low (AL) or higher level on the Oral Proficiency scale. Providing the means to help candidates meet that minimum standard for certification is a fundamental consideration. This article outlines the design of a course, Speaking Strategies, that was implemented to address the specific issue of increasing students' oral proficiency. Inspired by Schmidt's (1990, 1993, 1995, 2001) noticing hypothesis, Speaking Strategies focuses students' attention on the tasks of the next proficiency level, resulting in an increase in proficiency of at least one sublevel in 71% of the cases. Most important for teacher candidates, more than one-third of those who did not reach the minimum AL rating prior to the course did so upon its completion.