Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Modern Languages

First Advisor

Maria Fionda

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

In this study I investigated students’ perceptions of being assessed with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) before and after studying abroad. This study aimed to determine if students’ study abroad experiences might affect their perceptions of being assessed by means of this exam and, if so, how. The participants were 96 college juniors and seniors who were International Studies majors at the University of Mississippi. Students in this program take a foreign language course every semester, study abroad for at least one semester, and take the ACTFL OPI before graduation. The participants completed an online survey that assessed their perceptions of being assessed by means of the ACTFL OPI. The results showed that post-study abroad students have negative opinions of being assessed by means of the OPI, and additionally, that these students feel that other aspects of their language acquisition like reading, listening, and culture would be important to highlight. Conversely, pre-study abroad students had more positive opinions on being assessed with the OPI. These important findings demonstrate that students recognize other improvements in the L2 they have developed while abroad and desire that what they have learned abroad is shown.

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