Oral Proficiency Project

December 4-day ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) workshop and 1-day Oral Proficiency Guidelines (OPG) workshop

Where:  Pyle Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus

When: 14-18 December 2019

What: This four-day workshop introduced the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and techniques of administering and rating the OPI, including its applications in the language classroom. Participants observed and conducted  live practice interviews across all proficiency levels (Novice through Superior). Participation in a 4-day OPI Assessment Workshop is the first step toward becoming an ACTFL Certified OPI Tester with Full Certification. Following the 4-day ACTFL workshop, the 1-day OPG workshop addressed the significance of the OPG project for the design of the curriculum, the process for writing OPG, and the tasks of of the language team leaders and participants in collecting  interview data.

A detailed agenda can be found here

Some photos can be found here


2-day OPG working group meeting 

Where: Hosted virtually

When: September 26, 2020 and December 19, 2020

What: This workshop is a follow-up to the 2019 OPI and OPG workshops at UW-Madison.

Sept. 26th, 2020 OPG Meeting

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the September 2020 two-day OPG working meeting was split into two virtual sessions, one was held on September 26th and the second is scheduled for December 19th.  In preparation for the September  session, all five language groups participating in the OPG project (Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, and Burmese) met with ACTFL trainer, Dr. Cynthia  Martin to discuss the implications of the different protocols used by the Inter-language Roundtable (ILR) and ACTFL for conducting the oral proficiency interviews (OPIs).  These sessions offered the groups guidance and support as the groups proceeded to collect interview data at the various proficiency levels.  On September 26th, 2020 with the facilitation of Erlin Barnard and Ellen Rafferty, each of the five language groups reported on the current status of their work, outlining the interviewing and rating processes accomplished and planned, as well as challenges encountered and overcome to date. All the groups engaged in meaningful reflection on their positive learning experiences throughout the project, despite the obstacles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Groups also discussed at length their takeaways from the Q+A sessions with Dr. Cynthia Martin. Concluding the meeting, groups outlined a final schedule for their project completion and delegated tasks.

Dec. 19th, 2020 OPG Meeting 

The OPG Project is nearing its completion as language groups wrap up their final draft descriptors for each of the ten levels of proficiency and prepare to meet virtually for the last time on December 19th, 2020. Prior to this final meeting, each language groups will convene a final meeting, inviting certified testers of that language who have not participated in the OPG project to seek  their feedback on the proposed OPG draft and to reach consensus for the final descriptors of each proficiency level.  At the December 19th meeting, each group will present the highlights of their OPG language specific features for the following levels: Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. In addition, each group will reflect on 1) how this project has impacted their teaching methods and 2) what related professional development goals the group would like to prioritize next. Examples of future goals may include curriculum standardization, materials development projects, the development of placement assessment and procedures, a journal article relating to the OPG development, and more.

Following the December meeting, the final version of each language group’s oral proficiency guidelines (OPG) will be reviewed and posted to the SEALC website. These guidelines will describe ten levels of proficiency for Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese and three major levels for Burmese.