Assessment

Currently there are no state-required student assessments at any grade level for world languages. The assessment resources described below provide teachers and school administrators with guidance and recommendations for the development of world language assessments that may be implemented at the local level to determine a student’s level of performance and/or proficiency in a language other than English. These resources may prove particularly helpful as publicly-supported Maine schools move toward implementing the proficiency-based high school diploma requirement in all content areas.

  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). This assessment addresses the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning and uses today’s communication media in which test takers perform tasks such as participating in a virtual video chat, creating wikis and emailing and using apps to demonstrate language ability. The AAPPL Measure is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish and assesses the following modes of communication: interpersonal listening/speaking, presentational writing, interpretive reading and writing.
  • Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). Located at the University of Minnesota, CARLA has a number of second language assessment initiatives and online materials, including a Virtual Assessment Center, a Virtual Item Bank, the Minnesota Language Proficiency Assessments and resources for second language assessment development. Also see Proficiency-Oriented Language Instruction and Assessment: A Curriculum Handbook for Teachers.
  • Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) Manual. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has developed a prototype for assessing the progress language students are making in achieving the K-16 foreign language standards as well as in developing their language proficiency. The IPA is a cluster assessment featuring three tasks, each of which reflects one of the three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal and presentational. IPAs are designed for students at the novice, intermediate and pre-advanced levels of proficiency.
  • The Keys to Assessing Language Performance: A Teacher’s Manual for Measuring Student Progress. This ACTFL manual addresses various aspects of assessment: determining appropriate standards-based evidence, designing authentic language tasks and accompanying rubrics and using performance assessments to engage learners and focus instruction.
  • LinguaFolio. Developed by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, LinguaFolio is a portfolio assessment instrument designed to support individuals in setting and achieving their goals for learning languages.
  • Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom. Developed by the National Capital Language Resource Center, this free, web-based tutorial is designed to guide educators in creating and implementing a standards-based, foreign language portfolio assessment tied to their own curricula. The assessment includes teacher and student questionnaires, foreign language standards checklists, planning worksheets, sample rating scales, self-assessment activities and sample lessons.
  • Thematically Organized Assessment Tasks. This collection of assessment tasks is the product of three years of work by teachers in four New Jersey school districts. All work for this project was funded by a Foreign Language Assistance Program grant. Courtesy of the Consortium for Assessing Performance Standards.
  • Understanding Assessment: A Guide for Foreign Language Educators. Created by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C., this online tutorial is a companion resource to CAL’s Foreign Language Assessment Directory. In seven modules, the tutorial introduces concepts in language testing to help with selecting tests and using test results appropriately and efficiently. The Resource Module includes a glossary of Key Assessment Terms.
  • World Language Assessment: Get in the Mode! This video series and accompanying teacher resources support and empower world language educators to improve student proficiency through a variety of assessment strategies. Focusing on the three modes of communication (interpretive, presentational and interpersonal), this comprehensive resource provides a framework of formative, interim and summative assessments for use at any grade level.