Performance tests are an effective way of assessing examinees' ability to perform specific job-related tasks. This thesis details the development and validation of a performance test designed to measure LDS missionaries' ability to perform missionary tasks in a foreign language, the Missionary Language Performance Test (MLPT).

The development of the test involved identifying a set of relevant missionary tasks, specifying the criteria to be evaluated, designing test items, devising a procedure for sampling tasks and for administering and rating the test, and training raters to administer the test. Three separate studies were conducted to validate the test: (a) both the MLPTand the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview were administered to a set of missionaries to determine the degree of correlation between the two tests; (b) the MLPT was administered to a group of MTC teachers, a group of missionaries in their last week of training, and a group in their first week of training, and the scores of the three groups were compared; and (c) the MLPT was administered twice to a group of missionaries, each time by a different pair of raters, to assess test-retest reliability and to validate the procedure used for sampling tasks. The results of these studies provided evidence that the test is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing missionaries' second language speaking skills.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



Date Submitted


Document Type





Missionary Language Performance Test, Evaluation, Mormon missionaries, Training of