Oral proficiency in Mandarin is one of the core language skills targeted by the Chinese program learning outcomes. This skill is primarily assessed through ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI), a nationally recognized language proficiency test. Given the volunteer nature of the test participation, only BA Chinese major students with more confidence have participated in it. Even though the results have shown that seniors from the Chinese B.A. program is performing above expectation, the program is not satisfied with the interview participation rate. These students contributed the reasons of low level of participation to the lack of confidence and practice. To address this need, the program coordinator collaborated with faculty and re-engineered Chinese 411, a speaking capstone course to prepare students for the OPI test in the Fall 2013. A rubric was developed for students to understand the expectations so that they can prepare with guidance. During this course, students were trained with a series of Advanced Level oral performance tasks: self-introduction, description, narration in different time frames in paragraphs, and report of current event as well as various role-plays. After each module, they produced recordings of performance in simulated interviews similar to OPI. Two assistants outside of the class independently evaluated 6 to 7 oral performance recordings and provided feedback. The result of this curricular change is that students have increased confidence in oral performance and willingness to participate in the OPI. By Song Jiang
Jiang, Song. (2014, April). Improving Oral Proficiency in Chinese Using Simulated OPI Assessment. Poster session presented at the Assessment for Curricular Improvement Poster Exhibit at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.