ACTFL Establishes Center for Assessment, Research & Development

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) announces the establishment of the ACTFL Center for Assessment, Research and Development. The ACTFL Board of Directors approved the proposal for the Center during its May 13-15 annual meeting.

The mission of the Center is to support PK-12 schools and institutions of higher education in areas of assessment and articulation; to develop and maintain high-quality language proficiency assessments; to train, certify and maintain highly reliable testers and raters; to conduct research on proficiency and performance outcomes; and to collaborate with other language organizations and government agencies to support and promote research in the areas of high quality language teaching and learning, including examining implications for teacher education.

“The ACTFL Board enthusiastically supported the establishment of this new Center so that we can more fully engage in language research and serve the language community by bridging the divide between language research and classroom practice,” ACTFL President Pete Swanson said. “This initiative sends a clear signal to our membership and beyond that ACTFL is committed to serving the needs of those who strive daily to bring high quality language instruction to students across all levels and languages.”

Dr. Margaret Malone will be leading the Center as Director. Dr. Malone is currently Associate Vice-President of World Languages and International Programs at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). The author of numerous publications on assessment, she brings extensive experience in language test development, data collection, survey research, and program evaluation to this position. She is also Co-Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center (AELRC) at Georgetown University, a position in which she will continue. Dr. Malone will join ACTFL on August 1.

Dr. Leah Graham will serve as the Center’s Associate Director. Dr. Graham will join ACTFL on July 5, coming from the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Broward College and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center prior to that. She has extensive background in language teaching, as well as program evaluation and the use of technology in language instruction. Dr. Elvira Swender, currently Director of Professional Programs for ACTFL, will continue in the position of Senior Consultant.

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