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OPC Leaders

What is the Oral Proficiency Program?

The World Languages and Cultures Department of the College of New Jersey has implemented a program of required Oral Proficiency Classes in elementary and intermediate language courses.

The Oral Proficiency Class adds an hour of language practice every week to TCNJ’s language program. Each language class has two components: The regular class and the Oral Proficiency Class, or the 4th hour component for elementary and intermediate language course.

The Oral Proficiency Class provides a relaxed atmosphere in which students can practice and expand their knowledge of the language they are studying. The classes, led by an Oral Proficiency Leader provides informal opportunities to practice the content of the classroom lesson and use the language they are learning for communication.

Who teaches the Spanish Oral Proficiency Classes?

In general, conversation hours are led by an advanced student under faculty supervision, a language teaching major, a native speaker of the target language, and occasionally some classes are taught by adjuncts and full time faculty members.

All the Oral Proficiency Leaders take a training course to prepare for teaching the Oral Proficiency Class: IDS 293 and 294. These weekly seminars train students in pedagogy, teaching techniques, and lesson planning. There are two coordinators for the Oral Proficiency Program, and both coordinators conduct the Interdisciplinary study training course: IDS 293 and IDS 294.

Some of the leaders also take a teaching methodology class or Advanced Oral Proficiency. The conversation hours give the majors preparing to teach an additional pre-service experience. In languages other than Spanish the Oral Proficiency Hours provide advanced students with an important experience parallel to that offered to Spanish majors and the opportunity to keep up their language skills in semesters when they may not be able to take a language course.

In order to help oral proficiency leaders approach their assignment professionally, the coordinators present a mandatory workshop at the beginning of each semester. Student leaders learn about foreign language pedagogy from members of the department and outside experts. The student leaders participate in various activities that help them develop their skills as leaders.

What are the requirements for the Oral Proficiency Class?

The Oral Proficiency Class is as important to the world language student as a science lab is to a science major. It is a requirement; you need to attend each OP class and actively participate using the target language during the OP class. Also, remember that there are no make-ups for the OP classes. “You cannot participate if you are not in class.”

Please be aware that texting, using a cellular phone, or any other audible/recording device is not allowed in the Oral Proficiency classroom. Please turn them off before you enter the room.

Also, in Spanish, if you are a transfer student, if you are taking Spanish at The College of New Jersey for the first time, or you did not sign a contract for OPC before, please remember that you will have to sign a contract for OP class. Please read it, sign it, and give it to your professor during the first week of classes.

View the Oral Proficiency Hour Contract

How can I apply to become an OPC Leader?

Contact the coordinators:


Tulia Jiménez-Vergara

All Other Languages:

Dr. Timothy O’Neill:
609- 771-2121