Language Proficiency
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2021 ◽  
pp. 1-19
Krister Schönström ◽  
Peter C. Hauser

Abstract Sign language research is important for our understanding of languages in general and for the impact it has on policy and on the lives of deaf people. There is a need for a sign language proficiency measure, to use as a grouping or continuous variable, both in psycholinguistics and in other sign language research. This article describes the development of a Swedish Sign Language Sentence Repetition Test (STS-SRT) and the evidence that supports the validity of the test’s interpretation and use. The STS-SRT was administered to 44 deaf adults and children, and was shown to have excellent internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.915) and inter-rater reliability (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient [ICC] = 0.900, p < .001). A linear mixed model analysis revealed that adults scored 20.2% higher than children, and delayed sign language acquisition were associated with lower scores. As the sign span of sentences increased, participants relied on their implicit linguistic knowledge to scaffold their sentence repetitions beyond rote memory. The results provide reliability and validity evidence to support the use of STS-SRT in research as a measure of STS proficiency.

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (3) ◽  
pp. 291-305
Önder Çangal ◽  

The Turkology Departments in countries other than Turkey fulfill two functions. First, they aim to equip their students with sufficient Turkish language proficiency. Second, they offer students a university degree from the Language, History and Literature program. Therefore, regarding the students who are studying in these departments, their competence in Turkish language skills on an academic level is significant. Thus, the aim of this study is to determine the reading skills self-efficacy of Turkology students studying in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Algeria. The study explored if the students’ reading self-accicay changed in line with any of the variables of country origin, gender, and student achievement level. The research data were collected by adopting the “Reading self-efficacy scale of those who learn Turkish as a foreign language” prepared by Güngör and Kan (2020), and the data obtained was analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics 25.0 package program. According to the results of the study, it was seen that the reading self-efficacy of Bosnia and Herzegovinian students was higher than the Algerians. Additionally, it was found out that as the achievement scores and language proficiency levels of the students increased their reading self-efficacy scores also increased. Next, the self-efficacy scores of the graduate students were found to be higher than those of the undergraduate students. In addition, there was no significant difference between the self-efficacy level of the students participating in the study according to their gender. Finally, based on the findings, suggestions were given to increase the reading self-efficacy of the students at the end of the study.

2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (2) ◽  
pp. 125
Thaís Maíra Machado de Sá ◽  
Alexandre Alves Santos ◽  
Ricardo Augusto de Souza ◽  
Luiz Amaral ◽  
Victor Nascimento Almeida

Resumo: Dado o aumento de falantes de português como língua adicional, de acolhimento e de herança, é de grande importância ter uma ferramenta padronizada de medida de proficiência que seja de fácil e rápida administração. Neste trabalho, mostramos a criação e validação interna de um Teste de Verificação Lexical do Português Brasileiro (TVLPB). O teste foi criado com cinco bandas de frequência que correspondem à distribuição de frequência lexical encontrada em diferentes corpora. Os resultados com falantes nativos mostram convergência de respostas em relação às rubricas selecionadas e às bandas de frequência utilizadas, indicando uma validade interna. O teste foi aplicado também com falantes de herança, em que também percebemos um aumento da dificuldade em relação às bandas do teste.Palavras-chave: VLT; português como língua adicional; teste de proficiência; avaliação.Abstract: Given the growing number of speakers of Portuguese as a host, second, and heritage language, a proficiency level test that can be easily and reliably administered is necessary. In this work, we show the design and validation of the Brazilian Portuguese Vocabulary Level Test (TVLPB). The test comprises five different frequency bands that correspond to the lexical distribution found in different corpora. The results show that native speakers’ responses tend to follow the same pattern across the different bands of the test which indicates internal validity. The test was also administered with heritage speakers of Portuguese, and the results show that accuracy rates decline as the frequency of words is decreased.Keywords: VLT; Portuguese as a second language; proficiency test; evaluation.

Ute Bohnacker ◽  
Josefin Lindgren ◽  
Buket Öztekin

Abstract The empirical evidence for whether narrative macrostructure skills are shared between a bilingual child’s two languages is inconclusive, and it is not known how macrostructure (overall story structure) is influenced by general language proficiency and amount of exposure. The present study investigates these issues in 100 Turkish-Swedish bilingual 4-to-7-year-old children growing up in Sweden. Oral narratives were elicited in both Turkish and Swedish with two picture-based tasks from the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN) in the telling mode. We investigated to what extent the language of elicitation influences bilingual children’s macrostructure (story structure, episodic complexity), and explored effects of age, narrative task, narrative length, expressive vocabulary and language exposure, both separately and combined, on macrostructure in the respective language. Story structure and episodic complexity were found to increase similarly with age in both Turkish and Swedish from 4 to 7 years. Scores did not differ between the two MAIN storytelling tasks. Expressive vocabulary and narrative length influenced story structure scores positively and similarly in both languages. Daily language exposure and length of exposure to Swedish did not show any significant effect. The results can be interpreted in support of a carry-over of narrative macrostructural skills between the two languages.

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (3) ◽  
Le Xuan Ba ◽  

Viet Nam has been actively participating in the regional and global integration. It has created favorable conditions for Vietnamese workers to work everywhere. However, Vietnamese workers are facing certain limitations including foreign language proficiency, skills and knowledge of cultures of other countries, etc. In order to have Vietnamese people easily find jobs in foreign countries, international organizations and firms, the Government of Viet Nam need to give orientations and solutions to ensure the essential conditions for Vietnamese workers.

PLoS Medicine ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 18 (9) ◽  
pp. e1003758
Akila V. Muthukumar ◽  
Walker Morrell ◽  
Barbara E. Bierer

Background A number of prior studies have demonstrated that research participants with limited English proficiency in the United States are routinely excluded from clinical trial participation. Systematic exclusion through study eligibility criteria that require trial participants to be able to speak, read, and/or understand English affects access to clinical trials and scientific generalizability. We sought to establish the frequency with which English language proficiency is required and, conversely, when non-English languages are affirmatively accommodated in US interventional clinical trials for adult populations. Methods and findings We used the advanced search function on specifying interventional studies for adults with at least 1 site in the US. In addition, we used these search criteria to find studies with an available posted protocol. A computer program was written to search for evidence of English or Spanish language requirements, or the posted protocol, when available, was manually read for these language requirements. Of the 14,367 clinical trials registered on between 1 January 2019 and 1 December 2020 that met baseline search criteria, 18.98% (95% CI 18.34%–19.62%; n = 2,727) required the ability to read, speak, and/or understand English, and 2.71% (95% CI 2.45%–2.98%; n = 390) specifically mentioned accommodation of translation to another language. The remaining trials in this analysis and the following sub-analyses did not mention English language requirements or accommodation of languages other than English. Of 2,585 federally funded clinical trials, 28.86% (95% CI 27.11%–30.61%; n = 746) required English language proficiency and 4.68% (95% CI 3.87%–5.50%; n = 121) specified accommodation of other languages; of the 5,286 industry-funded trials, 5.30% (95% CI 4.69%–5.90%; n = 280) required English and 0.49% (95% CI 0.30%–0.69%; n = 26) accommodated other languages. Trials related to infectious disease were less likely to specify an English requirement than all registered trials (10.07% versus 18.98%; relative risk [RR] = 0.53; 95% CI 0.44–0.64; p < 0.001). Trials related to COVID-19 were also less likely to specify an English requirement than all registered trials (8.18% versus 18.98%; RR = 0.43; 95% CI 0.33–0.56; p < 0.001). Trials with a posted protocol (n = 366) were more likely than all registered clinical trials to specify an English requirement (36.89% versus 18.98%; RR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.69–2.23; p < 0.001). A separate analysis of studies with posted protocols in 4 therapeutic areas (depression, diabetes, breast cancer, and prostate cancer) demonstrated that clinical trials related to depression were the most likely to require English (52.24%; 95% CI 40.28%–64.20%). One limitation of this study is that the computer program only searched for the terms “English” and “Spanish” and may have missed evidence of other language accommodations. Another limitation is that we did not differentiate between requirements to read English, speak English, understand English, and be a native English speaker; we grouped these requirements together in the category of English language requirements. Conclusions A meaningful percentage of US interventional clinical trials for adults exclude individuals who cannot read, speak, and/or understand English, or are not native English speakers. To advance more inclusive and generalizable research, funders, sponsors, institutions, investigators, institutional review boards, and others should prioritize translating study materials and eliminate language requirements unless justified either scientifically or ethically.

Lourdes Martinez-Nieto ◽  
Maria Adelaida Restrepo

Abstract This study examines grammatical gender (GG) production in young Spanish heritage-speakers (HSs) and the potential effect of the children’s language use and their parents’ input. We compared four and eight-year-old HSs to same-age monolingual children on their gender production. We measured GG production in determiners and adjectives via an elicited production task. HSs’ parents reported children’s time in each language and also completed the elicitation task. Results show that HSs’ scored significantly lower than monolinguals in both grammatical structures in which the unmarked masculine default predominates. However, older HSs had higher accuracy than younger HSs. Input from parents is not correlated with HSs’ performance and neither Spanish use nor language proficiency predicts GG performance on HSs. For theories of language acquisition, it is important to consider that although the linguistic knowledge of the HSs may differ from that of monolinguals, their grammar is protracted rather than incomplete.

2021 ◽  
Vol 6 ◽  
Yan Gao ◽  
Bernard Gumah ◽  
Nora B. Kulbo ◽  
Prince Clement Addo ◽  
Dora B. Kulbo ◽  

The study aimed to establish the link between teacher training and “nativeness” on teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching English as a second language. By applying a teacher’s sense of efficacy scale, we measured the self-efficacy of a total of 281 foreign teachers in Chengdu, China. We adopted MANOVA and tested the influence of “nativeness” and teachers’ training on teachers’ self-efficacy. Our analysis shows that while being a native speaker does not necessarily influence a teacher’s self-efficacy, trained teachers have higher self-efficacy than untrained teachers. Thus, the current study lends credence to the view that language proficiency should not be allied with being a language teacher. Instead, educational administrators and policymakers should focus on language teachers’ professional development rather than emphasizing the native/non-native teachers’ distinction.

2021 ◽  
Le Xuan Ba

Viet Nam has been actively participating in the regional and global integration. It has created favorable conditions for Vietnamese workers to work everywhere. However, Vietnamese workers are facing certain limitations including foreign language proficiency, skills and knowledge of cultures of other countries, etc. In order to have Vietnamese people easily find jobs in foreign countries, international organizations and firms, the Government of Viet Nam need to give orientations and solutions to ensure the essential conditions for Vietnamese workers.

2021 ◽  
Vol 6 (9) ◽  
pp. 504-512
Izzuddin Mohd Fadzil ◽  
Nur Ehsan Mohd Said

Feedback is one of the most significant elements in the process of teaching and learning. It serves as a tool to enhance students’ second language proficiency. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate how oral feedback is viewed and how it has been maneuvered to assist second language learner’s linguistic competence from the viewpoint of English teachers. Teachers’ perception of feedback is very important because it will determine the amount of feedback used in the process of teaching and learning. This is a qualitative study employing case study research design. It was conducted to 10 English language teachers from secondary schools in Malaysia The instrument used in this study was a semi-structured interview. Data collected from the interview were analyzed using thematic analysis. Several themes have been found during data analysis such as feedback as tool for motivation, oral feedback and learning from mistakes, students’ acceptance of teachers’ oral feedback and feedback as a medium to develop language proficiency. The result indicated that English teachers in Malaysia generally showed positive perception of oral feedback. Furthermore, teachers also reported to have noticed improvement in students’ language competence by listening to teachers’ feedback. Therefore, appropriate measure should be taken to ensure that teachers can provide effective oral feedback during teaching and learning.

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