Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery - American Education
A complex group of measuring devices of the 1960s and 1970s to determine whether a student had sufficient aptitude in foreign languages to warrant enrolling or continuing such studies. The battery consisted of six elements whose scores were combined to provide a total final score: a grade point average of a student’s grades in English, social studies, mathematics and science; a vocabulary test requiring translation of 24 English words into the foreign language; a language analysis test requiring translation of English sentences into the foreign language; a sound discrimination test; a sound-symbol association test; and an interest assessment test.
Like most aptitude tests, Pimsleur was often proved invalid in that, instead of measuring aptitude, it simply reflected the economic and cultural development of a student and, by preventing the student’s enrollment in foreignlanguage courses, became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Virtually all academically progressive public and private schools now routinely enroll all fourth-grade students in foreign language instruction, while middle schools, high schools and colleges rely on achievement tests to determine the placement of students in slower or more advanced sections of foreign language courses.