The Brigham Young University (computer adaptive) Exam has been used for the Assessment of Objective A, which deals with the basic communication skills at the intermediate level. However, in the future this exam (or an updated version of it) will also probably form part of the assessment for the intermediate-level language courses counted in General Studies under the “Foreign Language” category. Since such an exam assesses primarily a passive understanding of the language in question, the Department of Modern Languages has decided that for General Studies Assessment it is necessary to also include an evaluation of one of the active skills, namely oral understanding and production. An oral interview (somewhat like the one used for Objective C but at a lower level) was proposed, and a pilot project was completed at the end of Spring 2005.
Both Dr. Hart and Professor Arrieta interviewed their SPAN 201 students, whose total number was 31, and they assessed the students for speaking proficiency following a rubric modeled on the one found in V. #3 of the Assessment Plan (which is derived from the scale of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and has the following general levels: 1: Novice, 2: Intermediate, 3: Advanced, etc.). The scores ranged from 1.8 (Intermediate-Low) to 2.5 (Intermediate-High). Their average was 2.12, which seems fine and is what we would expect.