Show What You Know!

The example learning scenarios on this page cover a variety of situations involving proficiency-based approaches to assessment in post-secondary world language programs. Click on the boxes to read about and respond to these situations.

Scenario A

Louis is a French teacher at a large public university. He teaches a French for business course, and most of his students are preparing for a career that requires them to have advanced proficiency in French. He uses a proficiency-based approach to assessment in his course, and his course objective is for students to present a business plan for a product or service that will be marketed in a French-speaking country.

Imagine you were in Louis’ position. What type of assessment might you use? How would you develop this assessment and why? After considering your own response, click here to view the sample response.

Scenario B

Ania is a Polish instructor at an adult education center that serves local community members. Many of her students are heritage language learners who have a personal interest in the language and hope to strengthen their existing connections to the Polish language through their studies. They have different levels of proficiency, different degrees of exposure to Polish, and different levels of involvement in the heritage language community.

Imagine you were in Ania’s position. Why is a proficiency-based approach to assessment helpful in this situation? After considering your own response, click here to view the sample response.

Scenario C

Sita is a Hindi lead teacher at a small private college. The Hindi program at her college is not very big, and students typically enroll in only one or two Hindi language courses to fulfill the language requirements set by the college for graduation. Although students are clearly making gains in their language proficiency, each of the teachers in the program uses a different system for determining final grades, and most students do not score highly based on the university’s grading scale. For these reasons, the administration is considering discontinuing the Hindi program.

Imagine you were in Sita’s position. What might you do to solve this problem? After considering your own response, click here to view the sample response.