Language Assessment of Slavic Majors


All majors in Slavic languages will complete degree-level assessment in the final semester of their Slavic major at KU (or somewhat earlier if desired) to demonstrate and document their attainment of the SELL learning outcomes for undergraduate students.

Downloadable Copy of Language Assessment of Slavic Majors (pdf)


Learning Outcomes for Graduating Majors in Slavic Languages

  1. Communicate orally in the target language at the ACTFL proficiency level of Intermediate Mid or better.
  2. Be able to perform key functions in target language writing (describe, narrate, explain, summarize, and compare), with sufficient control of grammar and mechanics that a sympathetic native speaker will be able to follow the student’s train of thought.
  3. Be able to read/listen/view and interpret the main ideas in a variety of straightforward authentic media texts in the target language.
  4. Demonstrate broad knowledge of the target culture, including its similarities to and differences from one’s own cultural framework(s).

The assessment will consist of two parts:

  1. For Outcome 1: Taking the official ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview in the language of your major—Russian, Polish, or BCS (the testing fee will be paid by the Slavic department);
  2. For Outcomes 2, 3 & 4: Compiling a portfolio of sample work in the language of your major. You will submit work for Outcomes 2 & 3 on the Blackboard site “Slavic Majors Degree-Level Assessment.” Your project in the capstone seminar will count as evidence of your knowledge of the target culture (Outcome 4).

Taking the ACTFL OPI

You should plan to complete the OPI either in the final semester of your target language coursework at KU (preferred) or in the final semester of your Slavic major at KU. It should be taken at a time when you think you will have the best chance of performing at your peak.

You will take a computerized version of this test (for Russian) or a phone version (for Polish and BCS) in the language lab at EGARC on the fourth floor of Wescoe Hall. The test lasts about 30 minutes. The Slavic department will get you registered for this test and will pay the testing fee. You will receive the rating of your proficiency level based on this test by email. Put your score on your CV to give yourself an additional advantage on the job market!

How to Prepare for the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

  1. Become familiar with the ACFTL proficiency guidelines for speaking and especially for the minimum target level of Intermediate Mid. A general explanation of the guidelines by each skill and level is available for download (be sure to select the 2012 edition). NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements offer a more practical guide to what you should be able to do at each proficiency level and sub-level.
  2. As you continue to develop your speaking proficiency, perform a periodic self-assessment using the Can-Do Statements mentioned above. Check to see if there are any obvious gaps in your ability to handle common social situations or simple communicative tasks.
  3. Complete the mock OPI offered by the Slavic department for extra credit and use it as a guide to your further preparation.

How to Put Together a Language Assessment Portfolio

Your portfolio should consist of the following:

  • at least two samples of your best writing in the target language that demonstrate your ability to describe, narrate, explain, summarize, and compare in this language. These should be final drafts, with your instructor’s corrections and comments incorporated into them (Outcome 2);
  • copies of or links to at least three different authentic media texts in the target language, with which you have worked while studying in the program, with a substantial English summary of each text (Outcome 3);
  • your capstone project (Outcome 4).

The easiest way to compile a portfolio is to save the samples of your best written work as well as copies of the most interesting and difficult media texts on which you have worked in your target language classes. Your language instructor will suggest which written assignments from class would be most suitable for the portfolio.

You should plan to complete the portfolio part of your assessment in the final semester of your target language coursework.

Please upload your work for Outcomes 2 & 3 to the corresponding folder on the Blackboard site “Slavic Majors Degree-Level Assessment.”

Questions about the OPI or portfolio?

Oleksandra Wallo
  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Graduate Studies (on leave Fall 2022)
  • Director of the KU Summer Language Institute in Lviv, Ukraine
  • 20th- and 21st- c. Ukrainian Women’s Writing | Nationalism Studies | Women’s Studies | Post-Colonial Approaches in Post-Soviet Studies | Second Language Studies (Slavic Languages Pedagogy, Acquisition of The Ukrainian Case Systems, Processing Instruction
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