Assessing Student Oral Language Proficiency

Cost-Conscious Tools, Practices & Outcomes

  • Peter B. Swanson
  • Patricia R. Nolde


Second language teachers have an ever increasing abundance of
technology choices for assessment of student oral proficiency through the
adaption of consumer electronics and multimedia devices. The purpose of
this article is two-fold: (1) to address the benefits and ease of using
different multimedia tools to assess students' oral language proficiency
regardless of grade level and (2) to report the findings of an oral
language assessment study. Results from the empirical study (N = 128)
show that there are manifold benefits of using technology for oral
proficiency assessment for both students and instructors. Additionally, this
research emphasizes the importance of maximum use of the target
language in the classroom and the importance of aligning assessment
rubrics to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language's
speaking proficiency guidelines.