Elementary Immersion Sample Response

Based on this information, what heritage language learner characteristics should Jinhai consider in this situation?

Because Jinhai’s students come from different communities and regions, he should consider:

  • Different varieties or dialects of Mandarin
  • Amount and type of exposure to the language
  • Parent and community connections to the language
  • Different cultural identities

What implications might this have for assessment?

  • Jinhai will need to make sure that the assessment he selects is inclusive of the different types of learners in his classroom.
  • As his students may also have varying proficiency levels and different types of experience with the language, it is important to select an assessment that can be differentiated and personalized based on each students’ individual profile. For this reason, Jinhai might want to consider developing his own assessment plan and tasks (role play exercises, partner dialogues) for measuring students’ proficiency gains. We will discuss some considerations for developing assessment tasks later in the module.
  • If Jinhai decides to use an existing assessment, he should think about how students’ differences might affect the validity – that the test is measuring what it’s supposed to be measuring – of the assessment. If the test results vary based mainly on students’ language varieties and cultural differences, Jinhai won’t have a good understanding of what the students have learned or what they can truly do with the language.

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