Module 5: Impact
Scenario - Elementary Education

Crystal is the chair of the combined foreign language departments of three elementary schools in her town. The goal of the language programs in the elementary schools is for students to successfully move into the intermediate levels of the language in middle school, rather than starting at a novice level in 7th grade. Recently, teachers have become concerned about whether 6th graders have high enough levels of language proficiency to move into the intermediate levels the following year.  At the most recent meeting of the departments, Crystal and the other teachers discussed instituting a test that the 6th graders will have to pass to place into the intermediate level of their language in 7th grade.  Teachers brought up a variety of concerns about the impact of a possible exam.


Get out a sheet of paper.  Brainstorm a list of concerns that you would have in Crystal’s position.  Then click here to see a summary of the major points discussed.





Positive Washback

Do you know the criteria on which students will be assessed on a standardized test?  Make a rubric ahead of time and have students assess their peers and give feedback.  This will promote interaction in the target language and also allow students to become familiar with the criteria on which they’ll be assessed.