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2003 Foreign Language Specification

2003 Foreign Language Specification

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) has targeted the year 2003 for the first foreign language NAEP (FL NAEP). In May 1999, NAGB awarded a contract to the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) to conduct a national consensus building project. CAL worked in collaboration with the American Council on the Teaching ofForeign Languages (ACTFL) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to develop recommendations for the Governing Board on the framework and specifications for the FL NAEP.

The FL NAEP will provide information to the nation on how well students in the United States can communicate in languages other than English. Specifically, results from the 2003 assessment will report on how well representative samples of 121 h grade students who have learned Spanish in a variety of ways and for different lengths of time can communicate in Spanish.

The Spanish NAEP will be based on the consensus building committees' general framework for assessing communicative ability in languages other than English. In this framework, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are assessed within three modes of communication. The interpersonal mode involves two-way, interactive communication, such as conversing face-toface or exchanging e-mail messages. The interpretive mode relates to the one-way understanding of spoken or written language, such as listening to a broadcast or reading a magazine. The presentational mode involves creating one-way spoken or written communication, such as giving a speech or writing a story.

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