Assessment in the World Language Classroom: Translating Research into Practice for K-12 Educators

Presented at: ECOLT 2021

Although interest in performance-based world language assessment has grown in recent years, standards- and proficiency-based assessment practices may be unfamiliar to K-12 language educators. This audience of teachers with varied previous assessment training and knowledge can therefore benefit from practical guidance on effective approaches to designing and implementing assessment for different types of learners and classrooms.

This poster presents research on trends in and best practices for assessment in K-12 world language programs that resulted in a two-page Quick Reference Guide (QRG) to support teachers’ use and implementation of the new 2021 Massachusetts World Languages Framework. Information was gathered from a literature review and multiple focus groups with 27 educators working in less common world language programs, including elementary programs and programs teaching languages with diverse written representations, classical languages, and American Sign Language, as well as diverse populations, including heritage speakers and students with disabilities. Presenters will discuss how findings from this study informed the development of a QRG focused on performance-based assessment, strategies and considerations for assessing the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards, and best practices for using technology to enhance world language assessment.

Information presented in this poster will demonstrate how research on effective language assessment can be translated into comprehensible and actionable recommendations for educators in traditional K-12 language classrooms. Participants will learn about gaps identified by world language educators in their own language assessment literacy, and resources that support using assessment in their classrooms to meet the needs of diverse learners and different instructional settings. The poster will finally discuss implications for language testers in the design of assessments, scoring and training materials, and additional resources to categorize and build the assessment knowledge and skills K-12 educators need to support and enhance language learning for all students.