• Adair-Hauck, B., Glisan, E. W., & Troyan, F. J. (2013). Implementing Integrated Performance Assessment. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
  • Adair‐Hauck, B., & Troyan, F. J. (2013). A descriptive and co‐constructive approach to integrated performance assessment feedback. Foreign Language Annals46(1), 23-44.
  • Cox, T. L., Malone, M. E., & Winke, P. (2018). Future directions in assessment: Influences of standards and implications for language learning. Foreign Language Annals51(1), 104-115.
  • Deardorff, D. K. (2009). Implementing intercultural competence assessment. In D. K. Deardorff (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence (pp. 477-491). SAGE.
  • Fairclough, M. (2012). A working model for assessing Spanish heritage language learners’ proficiency through a placement exam. Heritage Language Journal, 9(1), 121-138.
  • Gaillard, S. (2014). The Elicited Imitation Task as a method for French proficiency assessment in institutional and research settings. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.] IDEALS.
  • Green, A. (2012). Placement testing. In C. Coombe, Davidson, P., O’Sullivan, B., & Stoynoff, S. (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to second language assessment, 164-170. Cambridge University Press.
  • Griffith, R. L., Wolfeld, L., Armon, B. K., Rios, J., & Liu, O. L. (2016). Assessing intercultural competence in higher education: Existing research and future directions. ETS research report series2016(2), 1-44.
  • Hudson, T., & Clark, M. (2008). Case studies in foreign language placement: Practices and possibilities. National Foreign Language Resource Center.
  • Long, A. Y., Shin, S. Y., Geeslin, K., & Willis, E. W. (2018). Does the test work? Evaluating a web-based language placement test. Language Learning & Technology22(1), 137-156.
  • Mathews, T. J., & Hansen, C. M. (2004). Ongoing assessment of a university foreign language program. Foreign Language Annals37(4), 630-640.
  • Mozgalina, A., & Ryshina–Pankova, M. (2015). Meeting the challenges of curriculum construction and change: Revision and validity evaluation of a placement test. The Modern Language Journal99(2), 346-370.
  • Norris, J. M., Brown, J. D., Hudson, T., & Yoshioka, J. (1998). Designing second language performance assessments(No. 18). National Foreign Language Resource Center.
  • Schulz, R. A. (2007). The challenge of assessing cultural understanding in the context of foreign language instruction. Foreign Language Annals40(1), 9-26.
  • Toker, Ş., McKay, T., & Kim, A. (2019). C-test research brief. Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center.
  • Van Houten, J. B., & Shelton, K. (2018). Leading with culture. The Language Educator13(1).
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (expanded 2nd ed.). ASCD.
  • Winke, P., & Gass, S. M. (Eds.). (2019). Foreign language proficiency in higher education. Springer.
Online Resources

Understanding by Design

  • Teaching guide on using backward design from the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Proficiency-Oriented Language Instruction and Assessment

  • Curriculum handbook for teachers on the principles and practices of standard-based and proficiency-oriented language instruction and assessment, including sample tasks and units, from the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

World Languages Framework through the Lens of Proficiency

  • Learning module on the importance and benefits of proficiency-based language teaching from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Virtual Assessment Center

  • Learning modules about language assessment, including creating performance assessments and developing rubrics, from the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements

  • Statements of what learners can do independently, organized according to the modes of communication including Intercultural Communication and aligned to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines

Georgetown University Department of German Assessment Plan

  • Website with documents used in one language department’s revision of assessment policies and practices aligned with a shift to a task-based curriculum

Integrated Performance Assessment Series

  • Series of 7 episodes on performance assessments that can be accessed as podcasts or TED-ED lessons with videos, additional links, and questions for discussion, from the National Foreign Language Resource Center

Language Proficiency Flagship Initiative

  • List of publications from research funded by the National Security Education Program to examine how the introduction of proficiency assessments improves teaching and learning within university language programs


This resource page is designed to provide convenient access to resources from a wide range of organizations dedicated to the promotion of bilingual and dual language education. We seek to include resources available from many organizations in the coming months, so check back for updates.

Email CAL if you would like to recommend a resource to be added to this page.

Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism: Beyond Heritage Languages in a Global City

Bilingualism in Schools and Society

CARLA Immersion Projects Bibliographies

CARLA Immersion Projects: Research-to-Action Briefs

CARLA Immersion Projects: Immersion Teaching Strategies Observation Checklist

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Immersion Resources

Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 6th Edition

Dual Immersion Planning Guide

Dual Language Education: Answers to Questions from the Field
A CAL Practitioner Brief

Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education – Third Edition

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, Policy, and Educational Practice

Immersion Education: Practices, Policies, Possibilities

Introduction to Dual Language Education: Key Features and Best Practices

Language Immersion Education: A Research Agenda for 2015 and Beyond
A Special issue of Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education

Language Immersion Education in Minnesota Video

Leadership in Dual Language Bilingual Education
An NDLF White Paper

Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative: Global Literacy through Mandarin Immersion and STEM Project

Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy

National Research Summit on the Early Care and Education of Dual Language Learners

Pathways to Multilingualism: Evolving Perspectives on Immersion Education

Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures

Santillana USA Dual Language Resources K-6

Seal of Biliteracy

Teaching Emergent Bilingual Students: Flexible Approaches in an Era of New Standards

Urgent Research Questions and Issues in Dual Language Education

What the Research Says About Immersion

Words Were All We Had: Becoming Biliterate Against the Odds



Definitions: Further Reading
  • Beaudrie, S. M., Ducar, C., & Potowski, K. (2014). Heritage language teaching: Research and practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education Create.
  • Leeman, J. (2015). Heritage language education and identity in the United States. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 100-119.
  • Polinsky, M., & Kagan, O. (2007). Heritage languages: In the ‘wild’ and in the classroom. Language and Linguistics Compass, 1(5), 368-395.
  • Valdés, G. (2000). Teaching heritage languages: An introduction for Slavic language-teaching professionals. In O. Kagan & B. Rifkin (Eds.), Learning and teaching of Slavic languages and cultures: Toward the 21st century, 375-403. Bloomington, IN: Slavica.
  • Wiley, T. G. (2014). The problem of defining heritage and community languages and their speakers: On the utility and limitations of definitional constructs. In Handbook of heritage, community, and Native American languages in the United States (pp. 33-40). Routledge.
  • Zyzik, E. (2016). Toward a prototype model of the heritage language learner. In M. Fairclough & S. M. Beaudrie (Eds.), Innovative Strategies for Heritage Language Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Classroom, 19-38.

Back to module

  • Beaudrie, S.M. (2016). Advances in Spanish heritage language assessment: Research and instructional considerations. In D. Pascual y Cabo. (Ed.), Advances in Spanish as a heritage Language, (pp. 143-155). John Benjamins.
  • Beaudrie, S., Ducar, C., & Potowski, K. (2014). Heritage language teaching: Research and practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education Create.
  • Beaudrie, S., Amezcua, A., & Loza, S. (2020). Critical language awareness in the heritage language classroom: Design, implementation, and evaluation of a curricular intervention. International Multilingual Research Journal15(1), 61-81.
  • Carreira, M. (2012). Formative assessment in HL teaching: Purposes, procedures, and practices. Heritage Language Journal, 9(1), 100-120.
  • Carreira, M., & Chik, C. H. (2018). A primer for heritage and mixed classes. In K. Potowski (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Spanish as a Heritage Language, (pp. 359-374).
  • Carreira, M. & Kagan, O. (2011). The results of the National Heritage Language Survey: Implications for teaching, curriculum design, and professional development. Foreign Language Annals, 44(1), 40-64.
  • Correa, M. (2011). Advocating for critical pedagogical approaches to teaching Spanish as a heritage language: Some considerations. Foreign Language Annals, 44 (2), 308-320.
  • Fishman, J. A. (2014). Three hundred-plus years of heritage language education in the United States. In T. G. Wiley,J. K. Peyton, D. Christian, S. C. K. Moore, & Liu, N. (Eds.),Handbook of heritage, community, and Native American languages in the United States: Research, policy, and educational practice (pp. 36-44). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Flores, C. M. M. (2015). Understanding heritage language acquisition. Some contributions from the research on heritage speakers of European Portuguese. Lingua, 164, 251-265.
  • Iturbe-LaGrave, V. (2020). Pedagogo s2-e3, trauma-informed pedagogy – podcast. ExamSoft.
  • Kagan, O., & Dillon, K. (2008). Issues in heritage language learning in the United States. In N. V. Deusen-Scholl & N. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Volume 4: Second and Foreign Language Education, (pp. 143-156). Springer.
  • Lacorte, M. (2016). Teacher development in heritage language education. Innovative strategies for heritage language teaching: A practical guide for the classroom (pp. 99-122).
  • Leeman, J. (2015). Heritage language education and identity in the United States. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 100-119.
  • Leeman, J. & Serafini, E. (2016). Sociolinguistics and heritage language education: A model for promoting critical translingual competence. In Marta Fairclough and Sara Beaudrie (Ed.s) Innovative Strategies for Heritage Language Teaching. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 56-79.
  • Leeman, J., Rabin, L., & Román-Mendoza, E. (2011). Identity and activism in heritage language education. The Modern Language Journal, 95(4), 481-495.
  • MacGregor-Mendoza, P. (2012). Spanish as a heritage language assessment: Successes, failures, lessons learned. Heritage Language Journal, 9(1), 1-26.
  • Magaña, D. (2015). From pedagogy to communities: Issues within and beyond the Spanish heritage language classroom. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics8(2), 375-388.
  • Makarova, V., Terekhova, N., & Mousavi, A. (2019). Children’s language exposure and parental language attitudes in Russian-as-a-heritage-language acquisition by bilingual and multilingual children in Canada. International Journal of Bilingualism23(2), 457-485.
  • Malone, M. E., Peyton J. K., & Kim, K. (2014). Assessment of heritage language learners: Issues and directions. In T. G. Wiley, J. K. Peyton, D. Christian, S. C. K. Moore, & Liu, N. (Eds.), Handbook of heritage, community and Native American Languages in the United States: Research, policy, and educational practice(pp. 349-357). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Martin, C., Swender, E., & Rivera-Martinez, M. (2013). Assessing the oral proficiency of heritage speakers according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines 2012–speaking. Heritage Language Journal10(2), 211-225.
  • Montrul, S. (2010). Current issues in heritage language acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics30, 3-23.
  • Montrul, S. A. (2012). Is the heritage language like a second language?. Eurosla Yearbook, 12(1), 1-29.
  • Polinsky, M. (2015). Heritage languages and their speakers: State of the field, challenges, perspectives for future work, and methodologies. Zeitschrift fuer Fremdsprachwissenschaft, 26, 7-27.
  • Polinsky, M., & Kagan, O. (2007). Heritage languages: In the ‘wild’ and in the classroom. Language and Linguistics Compass1(5), 368-395.
  • Potowski, K., Parada, M., & Morgan-Short, K. (2012). Developing an online placement exam for Spanish heritage speakers and L2 students. Heritage Language Journal9(1), 51-76.
  • Schwartz, A. M. (2001). Preparing teachers to work with heritage language learners. In Peyton, J. K., Ranard, D. A., & McGinnis, S. (Eds.), Heritage languages in America: Preserving a national resource (pp. 229-252).
  • Showstack, R. E. (2017). Stancetaking and language ideologies in heritage language learner classroom discourse. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 16(5), 271-284.
  • Son, Y. (2017). Toward useful assessment and evaluation of heritage language learning. Foreign Language Annals, 50(2), 367-386.
  • Tseng, A. (2020). ‘Qué barbaridad, son latinos y deberían saber español primero’: Language Ideology, Agency, and Heritage Language Insecurity across Immigrant Generations. Applied Linguisticsamaa004.
  • Valdés, G. (2000). Teaching heritage languages: An introduction for Slavic language-teaching professionals. In O. Kagan & B. Rifkin (Eds.), Learning and teaching of Slavic languages and cultures: Toward the 21st century, 375-403. Bloomington, IN: Slavica.
  • Valdés, G. (2016). Afterword: Curricularizing language: Implications for heritage language instruction. In M. Fairclough & S. M. Beaudrie (Eds.), Innovative strategies for heritage language teaching: A practical guide for the classroom (pp. 255-270). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Venturin, B. (2019). Words from the heart: Emotional expression from Russian-Australian 1. 5ers.
  • Xiao, Y., & Wong, K. F. (2014). Exploring heritage language anxiety: A study of Chinese heritage language learners. The Modern Language Journal98(2), 589-611.
Online Resources

National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA

  • The NHLRC at UCLA is a language resource center specifically dedicated to heritage language learners, with research on heritage language history and profiles, news on conferences and professional development for HL teachers, and example language-specific curricula.

Heritage Language Journal

  • Published by UCLA’s NHLRC three times a year, the Heritage Language Journal is a research publication about issues related to the learning and teaching of heritage and/or community languages. 

Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

  • The Coalition of Community-Based Schools is a nationwide organization dedicated to sharing information and supporting cooperation between community-based heritage language schools.

Teaching Heritage Language Learners: an Online Workshop

  • Developed by the NHLRC and hosted by the Coalition of Community-Based Schools, this module addresses strategies for working with HLLs, including language-specific issues and testimonials from HL teachers. 

National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages

  • The NCOLCTL is an organization that represents teachers and learners of less commonly taught languages, and seeks to bridge informational gaps between overseas, heritage, private, and governmental sectors of these language communities. 

Heritage Learners: Ohio Department of Education 

  • This brief provides an overview of practical considerations for heritage language programs, including concrete examples of curricular or assessment activities for heritage or mixed classrooms. 


Key Assessment Terms
AccountabilityResponsibility for educational outcomes;  these outcomes are often measured through standardized testing.
Achievement testA test that measures how well a student has reached the objectives of a specific course or program
ACTFL proficiency levelsGuidelines developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) that describe language performance
Alternative assessmentNon-traditional forms of assessment;  may include portfolios, observations, work samples, or group projects
Analytic scoringMethod of scoring or rating that assigns separate scores for different aspects of a student’s performance
Aptitude testTest which measures a student’s talent for learning language;  predicts future performance
AssessmentAn ongoing process of setting clear goals for student learning and measuring progress towards these goals
Assessment literacyKnowledge about and a thorough understanding of myriad assessment practices, especially by educators
AuthenticityHow well a test reflects real-life situations
Cloze testTest that measures comprehension by asking students to fill in missing words from a passage
Computer-adaptive testComputer-based test that adapts to the test-taker’s performance and presents easier or more difficult tasks based on previous answers
ConstructWhat a test measures
Construct validityHow well a test measures what it is supposed to measure
Content validityHow well the content of a test reflects the construct that the test is measuring
Criterion-referencedScores interpreted with respect to standards or a theory of language;  everyone can get a high score.
Cutoff scoreOn a criterion-referenced test, the minimum score a student must receive to demonstrate a determined level
Direct testingTesting method that closely matches the construct being measured
Discrete testTest focused on specific language skills
Diagnostic testTest that identifies a student’s strengths and weaknesses
EvaluationMaking decisions based on the results of assessment
Face validityNon-technical term that refers to how fair, reasonable, and authentic people perceive a test to be
Formative assessmentAn assessment used during the course of instruction to provide feedback to the teacher and learner about the learner’s progress toward desired educational outcomes;  the results of formative assessments are often used in planning subsequent instruction.
High-stakes testAssessment that is used to make critical decisions with consequences for one or more stakeholders in the assessment process;  an admissions test that determines the course of a student’s academic future and a test used for accountability and linked to funding are both examples of high-stakes tests.
Holistic scoringMethod of rating an assessment based on general descriptions of performance at specified levels;  while a holistic scoring rubric may take into account performance along several dimensions (e.g., fluency, grammatical accuracy, and word choice for oral language), one overall score which best represents the examinee’s performance is assigned.
ImpactThe positive or negative effects of testing
Indirect testingA method of testing that measures abilities related to the construct being tested, rather than the construct itself
InputThe materials (presented aurally and visually) that an examinee receives as part of the test tasks
Integrative testTest that addresses multiple language skills, sometimes in the same task
Multiple choice testTest in which examinees demonstrate knowledge, skill, or ability by selecting a response from a list of possible answers
Needs assessmentInquiry into the current state of knowledge, resources, or practice with the intent of taking action, making a decision, or providing a service with the results
Norm-referencedScores interpreted with respect to other examinees; some must score high, some low.
Off-the-shelfCommercially-available test which can be purchased by an educational institution or individual user and administered at the discretion of the individual user
Parallel formsTwo or more tests with different questions that measure the same underlying skill and whose difficulty levels have been determined to be equivalent;  scores from parallel versions of a test can be compared with one another.
PercentileRange of measures from 1-99 used to compare examinees with one another;  an examinee who scored in the 80th percentile placed higher than 80% of test takers.
Performance assessmentAssessment which requires the examinee to demonstrate knowledge or skill through activities that are often direct, active, and hands-on, such as giving a speech, performing a skit, or producing an artistic product
Placement testTest whose results are used to assign students to classes designed for learners at a particular level
PracticalityFeasibility of test given materials, funding, time, expertise, and staff
Proficiency testTest of ability in a defined area of language;  the area may be narrowly-defined (e.g., English for airline pilots) or more broad (e.g., social and academic language).  Proficiency tests are not tied to a specific curriculum or course and are often contrasted with achievement tests.
Program evaluationProcess of collecting data from multiple sources about an instructional program or intervention and making a decision about the success of the program based on this information;  the evaluation could target both the process and outcomes of the program.
Raw scoreStudent’s total number of correct responses on a test
ReliabilityConsistency of scores/results
Scale scoreScore that allows test results to be compared across students;  in standardized testing, raw scores are often converted to scale scores.
Scoring methodDescribes how scoring is accomplished (e.g., machine-scored, hand-scored, centrally scored, locally scored)
Scoring processDescribes the procedures used to obtain a test score, e.g., counting the number correct, scoring holistically or analytically according to established guidelines, a scale, or a rubric
Self-assessmentPersonal rating of language ability according to specified criteria
Skills testTest focusing on a specific domain of language use, e.g., listening, reading, writing or speaking (interactive or presentational)
StakeholdersPersons involved with or invested in the testing process, e.g. test takers, administrators, parents, and teachers/instructors
Standardized testTest with fixed content, equivalent parallel forms, standard administration and scoring, field-tested, valid, and reliable
SubscoreScore that represents student performance in a particular domain or part of a test
Summative assessmentOutcome-based use of assessments, often for decisions such as grading, program evaluation, tracking, or accountability
Test accommodation“Any change to a test or testing situation that addresses a unique need of the student but does not alter the construct being measured” (Center for Equity and Excellence in Education, 2006)
Test administrationDelivery of the test items/directions to the test-takers
Test development

Process of creating a test;  steps of test development (Hughes, 2003):

1. State the goals of the test.

2. Write test specifications.

3. Write and revise items.

4. Try items with native speakers and accept/reject items.

5. Pilot with non-native speakers with similar backgrounds as the intended test-takers.

6. Analyze the trials and make necessary revisions.

7. Calibrate scales.

8. Validate.

9. Write test administrator handbook, test materials.

10. Train staff as appropriate.

Test formatMode and organization of test, test structure (e.g., multiple choice, short answer)
Test itemsTasks, questions, or prompts to which test-takers respond
Test materialsItems used for the test administration/taking
Test purposeWhat you want to learn from the test results
TestingValid and reliable practice of language measurement for context-specific purposes
ValidityValidity is a judgment about whether a test is appropriate for a specific group and purpose and includes considerations such as whether the test really measures what you think it is measuring, whether the results are similar to examinees’ performance on other tests or in class or real-world activities, and whether the use of test results have the intended effects.
WashbackEffects of test on teachers’ and students’ actions;  washback can be positive (expected) or negative (unexpected, harmful).
Online & Print Resources

Online Resources 


Print Resources 

Book with in-depth information on measurement, language test uses and methods, reliability, and validity

  • Bachman, L. & Palmer, A. (2010). Language Assessment in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

A practical guide to developing your own classroom assessments

  • Brown, H. D., & Abeywickrama, P. (2010). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices (Vol. 10). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.

A book which provides a thorough but accessible overview of foundational concepts in language testing

  • Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Handbook which explains the principles of backward design for classroom assessment

  • McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.