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 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.
- links to proficiency tests developed by various testing agencies.
Developing World Language Assessments
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, emailing and using apps to demonstrate language ability. AAPPL is available in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai and assesses the following modes of communication: interpersonal listening/speaking, presentational writing, interpretive reading and writing.
- National Examinations in World Language (NEWL) This online proficiency exam was developed in collaboration with ACTFL and is for language learners of Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. The exams measure functional language proficiency across four skills: reading and listening comprehension, speaking, and writing. NEWL exams produce AP-style score reports which can be used to apply for college credit and/or placement.
- STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) This assessment engages students with real-world content that is leveled according to the topics commonly taught at each level of instruction. STAMP's adaptive test design adjusts to a student's level so s/he is challenged but not overwhelmed. This assessment tests reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the following languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (simplified and traditional), Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish.