A pilot study used the Spanish Oral Proficiency Test (SOPT)-a taped oral test to evaluate oral proficiency level of students of Intermediate Spanish. Based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (1986), the Intermediate-Mid was the appropriate level of oral proficiency for students at the end of two years of college- level language study. The study also examined what variables might affect the development of students' oral skills. The results showed that foreign language learning experience in academic settings or outside of class, such as study abroad and travel abroad, might affect students' overall speaking proficiency. In addition, lin- guistic inaccuracy from informal training may keep speakers to lower levels of proficiency. Learners should be more aware of the need to speak correctly to maintain a balance between function, content, and accuracy.


Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

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Johns Hopkins University Press

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Copyright © 2000 American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. This article first appeared in Hispania 83:1 (2000), 127-138. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.