Arabic Proficiency Improvement Through a Culture of Assessment

  • Katrien VanpeeEmail author
  • Dan Soneson
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 37)


In this chapter, we demonstrate how systematic implementation of proficiency testing, student self-assessment, and instructor professional development contributed to large gains in student proficiency in Arabic within two years. ACTFL assessments of speaking and reading in Arabic at three levels of the curriculum conducted over the course of two years showed dramatic improvements at each level between testing sessions. Results are interpreted within the context of systemic changes introduced in a post-secondary Arabic Program at all levels. These changes included
  • Incorporating external, proficiency-based assessments at all program levels and creating a culture of student resilience around proficiency testing to establish a culture of assessment;

  • Supporting this assessment culture with student self-assessment and reflection on the learning process;

  • Establishing and maintaining a culture of continual instructor professional development and teamwork to reinforce and support student proficiency development;

  • Close collaboration with support units dedicated to excellence in foreign language teaching, such as the Language Center.


Proficiency Assessment Arabic Resilience Self-assessment Collaboration Curriculum design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Asian Languages & LiteraturesUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.University of Minnesota Language CenterMinneapolisUSA

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