As a professional development opportunity for Notre Dame language faculty, the CSLC hosted a 4-and-a-half-day workshop on the ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) Assessment. The OPI is an internationally recognized assessment for determining speaking abilities using natural conversation and is used by government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and NASA; academic institutions, such as Rutgers University and Yale University; and private entities, such as Coca-Cola and Samsung.
The workshop was led by ACTFL trainer Mildred Rivera-Martinez, Ph.D., who has been a language testing and training specialist with ACTFL for 29 years. Participants in this workshop included Ghada Bualuan from Program in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies; Weibing Ye, Congcong Ma, and Chengxu Yin from the Chinese Language Program; Azeb Haileselassie from the French Language Program; Tiziana Serafini from the Italian Language Program; Elena Mangione-Lora, Maria Jose Fernandez Moreno, and Maria Coloma from the Spanish Language Program; and Erin Moira Lemrow from First Year Studies.
During the workshop, participants were introduced to the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the OPI, and techniques of administering and rating the OPI. The participants also observed and conducted live practice interviews across all proficiency levels. The completion of this workshop allows all participants to become ACTFL Certified OPI Testers. This certification acknowledges a tester’s ability to rate oral proficiency interviews with a high degree of reliability.
Going forward, the participating faculty will continue to discuss and research the implications and applications of the OPI with their departments. The CSLC plans to offer another OPI Assessment Workshop in 2018 subject to faculty demand.