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ACTFL is seeking “heritage speakers” of Chinese Mandarin

By Jaime Aronson posted 02-13-2012 14:54



ACTFL is seeking “heritage speakers” of Chinese Mandarin to participate in linguistic research that we are currently undertaking in conjunction with UCLA. This project is designed to gather reliable data that does not exist at this time about the range and variety of spoken language profiles of heritage speakers. Heritage speakers who agree to participate in the study will be asked to provide biographical and linguistic data, and a sample of their spoken language proficiency. The information gained through a discourse analysis of the heritage speaker speech samples will be used to produce a report that describes the variety of oral spoken language profiles of heritage speakers.  For the purpose of this project, heritage speakers are defined as:

  • US residents aged 18-29
  • Speakers who first learned Mandarin in the home or community, rather than school (learners who later formally studied Mandarin still qualify)
  • Individuals who received the majority of their education in English

If you are an interested heritage speaker of Mandarin, we invite you to complete the project qualification survey below. If you do indeed qualify, you will be contacted to proceed with the study. The link for the study can be found here:



If you yourself are not interested in this research, but know of an individual or group who would be (i.e. classmates, students, colleagues), we kindly request you forward or post this information to the appropriate parties.  

Please note that all individuals who qualify as heritage speakers will be paid $25 upon completing a second survey, which takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete, and upon taking a telephonic ACTFL OPIc, an internet-based assessment of spoken language proficiency. In addition to the $25 payment, participants will also receive an Official ACTFL OPIc certificate indicating their level of spoken language proficiency in the language according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines – Speaking.

If you have any questions about this project or the surveys, please contact Jeanmarie O’Leary at