Additional Considerations

What are some additional considerations to make when selecting a placement test?

You may also want to think about the different types of students that need to be placed.

Depending on your context, you may be primarily placing students from high school who have studied the language in a way that does not align with your program’s approaches to instruction or sequencing, making it difficult to use previous language study to make placement decisions. This may also occur when placing students who have completed prerequisite language courses at another institution. Although placement testing typically occurs at the beginning of the academic year, you may need to place students who transfer to your institution mid-year or conduct additional placement testing at different points in the year with students who were initially placed into the wrong courses.

Finally, you may be placing students who have extensive exposure to the language, such as heritage language learners, and need to consider if alternative methods of placement testing are needed to accurately capture their abilities and determine what course will be most appropriate to meet their needs. This applies not only to their heritage language, but also if they are studying similar languages, such as a Spanish heritage speaker who is enrolling in a Portuguese program. More information about assessing heritage language learners can be found in the Heritage Language Assessment module of this tutorial.