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Language Testing to Remain Remote Fall 2020

August 11, 2020

Like many university services, the Language Testing Program is still online. The program will continue to administer its suite of proficiency tests for certification and placement remotely through Fall 2020, using their internally developed protocols.

The advantage of remote testing is flexibility. Since physical spaces are not required, the program is able to offer more time options and longer breaks for students between tests. The disadvantage is that secure remote proctoring is significantly more labor intensive than in-person proctoring. In a computer classroom, one proctor can monitor up to 30 students simultaneously. In a virtual environment, one proctor typically monitors only one to three students. Because of this complication, please expect the following changes:

  • More opportunities to take the Language Proficiency Exams (LPEs) throughout summer. Students who require this test to register for their third-year course should sign up as soon as possible. The program will not be able to accommodate students in significant numbers over welcome week and the first week of class.
  • LPEs for fourth-semester courses to begin earlier. Programs that incorporate tests into the curriculum will start administration earlier than usual to accommodate all students. Instructors and coordinators can email langtest@umn.edu to discuss the schedule.
  • ACTFL Testing for students pursuing the Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in Chinese, French, German and Spanish will begin earlier than usual, and students will have the option of taking the tests over a longer period of time. The Language Center will sponsor some test administration costs for eligible students.

Advisors and instructors can help by referring students to the Testing Updates, encouraging them to register for tests as soon as possible, and to submit questions via the Contact Testing form. Students who require disability accommodation are especially encouraged to contact the program as soon as possible to discuss their needs.

Monica Frahm, Joanne Peltonen, Mary Gilchrist, Anna Hubbard and the rest of the Testing team greatly appreciate the support and flexibility they have received from their colleagues at the university as they quickly transitioned operations from mostly in-person to entirely online.