The College of Humanities’ Second Language Teaching and Research Center (L2TReC) has just been awarded the prestigious, and highly competitive, Language Flagship Proficiency Assessment grant that is administered by the Institute of International Education. For this grant L2TReC has partnered with the University of Utah’s Department of Languages and Literature and with Salt Lake Community College in a collaborative effort to improve language proficiency assessment across the two campuses. Over the course of three years this initiative will assess the speaking, reading and listening proficiency of students at all levels of instruction in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian. The Language Flagship is a national initiative that seeks to change the way Americans learn languages through a groundbreaking approach to language education for students from kindergarten through college. Through an innovative partnership between the federal government and higher education, The Language Flagship seeks to graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of proficiency in one of many languages critical to U.S. competitiveness and security.
The goal of the 3-year project is to measure proficiency at different levels of instruction in a variety of languages, establish common proficiency objectives within and across institutions, and finally normalize and institutionalize sustainable proficiency assessment practices. The University of Utah was one of only three institutions to receive this prestigious grant. The other two awardees were The University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.