Linking Proficiency Test Scores to Classroom Instruction

  • Charlene PolioEmail author
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 37)


This study relates scores on listening, reading, and speaking proficiency tests in a Chinese program to what happens in the classroom. Data were collected as part of the Flagship Proficiency Grant to document progress on the ACTFL scale. Qualitative data in the form of classroom observations and focus group interviews with a subset of students and teachers were also collected. Information from the observations was put into activity charts that documented the focus of lesson segments as well as the type of interaction and the amount of Chinese spoken. Comments from Chinese students and teachers were coded to determine what themes emerged and whether or not there was consistency in views of the program among the students and teachers. These themes were then related to test scores and progress. In some cases, such as speaking scores, we can see that the type of speaking activities may not have pushed to students to the higher levels. Throughout the chapter, I discuss what data were collected and contrast them with data that would have been helpful to collect so that an ideal mixed methods study could have been conducted.


Program evaluation Chinese language teaching Mixed methods Classroom research Proficiency testing 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Second Language StudiesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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