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Summer Institute: Assessing Language Learners’ Communication Skills via Authentic Communicative ...
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The CARLA summer institutes listed below are primarily targeted at elementary through postsecondary foreign/world language educators and language teacher educators. Most of the institutes are not appropriate for the special needs of immersion educators, nor are they suitable for teachers of very young children.

7/13/2020 to 7/17/2020
When: July 13 - 17, 2020
Where: University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota 
United States

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Assessing Language Learners’ Communication Skills via Authentic Communicative Performance Tasks
July 13–17, 2020


“Performance is effectively assessed within tasks that test learners’ knowledge and skills in real-world situations, that is, in 'authentic' contexts in which students use the language in their lives both within and outside of the classroom.” (Shrum & Glisan)

This institute opens with a discussion of the phrase “performance towards proficiency” to highlight the connection between classroom performance and proficiency in real world contexts. Working together, participants will create a list of characteristics of classroom activities and tasks that build learners’ proficiency in the target language and will use the list to identify the purpose, effectiveness, and practicality of a variety of sample activities and tasks. With this background, participants will design receptive and productive communicative tasks for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of proficiency.

The institute will then focus on the evaluation of the learners’ performance on the tasks they create. Drawing on the performance descriptors identified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA), participants will identify the domains (vocabulary, language control, text type, etc.) to evaluate learner performance on various tasks. Using model rubric scales and scoring guides, they will evaluate examples of learner performances on various tasks. Participants will then create rubrics for the tasks they designed earlier in the institute. The role and choice of formative assessments used in daily lessons to monitor learner progress towards greater proficiency will also be considered. As a capstone to the week, participants will apply their learning about task design and evaluation in the development of a standards-based Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) to share with colleagues within this institute and also with a broader audience via the CARLA Assessment website.

Visit the event website at https://carla.umn.edu/institutes/2020/assess.html

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