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Resources for Assessment-Related Topics

Annotated Bibliographies from CARLA

Search CARLA annotated bibliographies for the following areas:

Assessment –Topics include classroom-based, performance based, alternative, portfolio, theory, research, and standards.

Content-Based Instruction – Developed as part of the Content-Based Language Teaching with Technology (CoBaLTT) program at CARLA, this annotated bibliography is organized by teaching contexts including ESL, immersion, FLES, bilingual education, foreign language K-12 and postsecondary.

National Standards – Features articles, books, and online resources on the National Standards.


Assessment-Related Resources on the Web

ACTFL Alignment of the National Standards for Learning Languages with the Common Core State Standards

ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL).  The AAPPL Measure addresses the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning and uses today's communication media in which test takers perform tasks such as participating in a virtual video chat, creating wikis, e-mailing, and using apps to demonstrate language ability.

ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment - ALIRA

ACTFL performance descriptors for language learners, 2012 Edition. Alexandria, VA: ACTFL.

ACTFL proficiency guidelines 2012: Speaking, writing, listening, and reading. Alexandria, VA: ACTFL.

ACTFL Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines  

ACTFL world languages 21st century skills map

Articulation of Language Instruction – Information about the Minnesota Articulation Project and the Proficiency-Oriented Language instruction and Assessment: A Curriculum Handbook for Teachers that is filled with proficiency-based language lessons and accompanying assessment rubrics.

Avant:  Delivers assessments that measure real-world language, that allow students to show their abilities independent of curriculum, and that provide actionable information to improve teaching and learning. 

CALPER has Language Assessment in the Classroom website with concise information on alternative assessment tools, including portfolios, interviews, self-assessment, observation, projects, group-based assessment, and dialogic assessment.

CASLS supports LinguaFolio, an e-portfolio system that provides a record of students' self-evaluations, goals, reflections, assessment scores, and work samples.

CLEAR has launched a website focused on Assessment Resources for Less-Commonly-Taught Languages. This CLEAR website brings together guidelines and resources for meeting the most important, specialized assessment requirements of LCTL programs. These assessment needs include placement testing, diagnostic assessment, formative assessment (feedback), and summative proficiency assessment for programs large and small. teachers and language coordinators will find templates and practical testing methods for a variety of LCTLs, most of which can easily be adapted for use with other languages.

COERLL has Introduction to Oral Proficiency Levels, a proficiency training website to help teachers of Spanish assess learners' proficiency outcomes.

Common Core State Standards - The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit bearing entry courses in two or four year college programs or enter the workforce. The standards are clear and concise to ensure that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of the expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics in school.


Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) Project – This grant supported the development of items banks currently used in the Minnesota Language Proficiency Assessments and a working paper entitled "An Operational Framework for Constructing a Computer-Adaptive Test of L2 Reading Ability."

Content-Based Learning Through Technology (CoBaLTT) – Features an online resource center that includes instructional modules with activities for learning about and applying the National Standards to teaching and assessment. The site also has many links to technology resources for creating tasks and rubrics, and a growing repository of content-based lesson plans that include assessments.

Developing Speaking and Writing Tasks for Second Language Assessment (PDF) – This short guide contains a framework that will help teachers create speaking and writing tasks and tests that are directly linked to classroom practice. The guide includes tools and worksheets that can be tailored to a variety of classroom contexts and a range of students' needs, using a model based on extensive research and piloting done by the Minnesota Articulation Project members and the Assessment Team at CARLA.

E.L. Easton - Materials for Teaching and Learning – An excellent teacher resource that includes links to online tests and quizzes.

EnglishForum.com – Everthing for ESL/EFL rstudents, from resources, blooks, message board, online tools, grad school guide, and more.

Foreign Language Assessment Directory (FLAD)
The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) created a Foreign Language Assessment Directory (FLAD) that is now available online. FLAD is a free, searchable directory of information on nearly 200 tests in over 80 languages. FLAD users can find information about assessments including the grade and proficiency level for which a test is intended, the skills targeted by a test, information about a test's development and the publisher's or developer's contact information for further inquiries.

Hot Potatoes – A suite of authoring programs for making exercises from the University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre.

Interesting Things for ESL students - The site features a variety of exercise makers and activities as well as listening samples for ESL students.

Interpersonal Tasks: A set of interpersonal assessment tasks developed to provide students an opportunity to talk interpersonally in an open-ended conversation using a set of stimulating topics are available for French, German, and Spanish. Based on the National Assessment of Education Progress framework, these tasks were used to replace end of semester interviews, which were time consuming to conduct and were much less spontaneous and negotiated than a conversation between two students.  Prior to beginning the assessment tasks, students completed a self-assessment. Students were then recorded as they discussed given topics in pairs; Spanish students talked about weekend activities, French students talked about summer and weekend opportunities and German students talked about summer classes and part-time jobs. The tasks were then rated on a rubric. The sets of assessment materials can be downloaded (zipped file) for classroom use by clicking on the appropriate flag:


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Language Learning Assessment Tool – Designed to help adult learners of an indigenous language understand where they are in their learning and to support them in keeping track of their progress.

LinguaFolio® – A portfolio assessment instrument designed to support individuals in setting and achieving their goals for learning languages. Developed by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, the goal of LinguaFolio® is to empower each individual learner to take responsibility for his or her language learning and be able to continue to develop proficiency independently and autonomously once the formal sequence of language instruction has ended.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The NAEP––often called “the nation’s report card”—will include an assessment for Spanish in the 2018 assessment cycle. The assessment is designed to assess twelfth-grade students, who have learned Spanish in a variety of ways and for different lengths of time, at the national level only.  Based on the Framework for the 2004 Foreign Language National Assessment of Educational Progress, the assessment will target the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and will be assessed within three modes of communication: interpersonal (demonstrating two-way spontaneous, unrehearsed communication), interpretive (understanding spoken or written language), and presentational (creating one-way spoken or written communication for an audience) using authentic communication tasks as called for in daily life, school, and work. 

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements – This tool helps learners identify what they need to do to function at a specific level of proficiency. The statements also help educators plan curriculum, units of instruction, and daily lessons to help learners improve their performance and reach a targeted level of proficiency.

Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom – This guide developed by the National Capital Language Resource Center provides downloadable organizers, rubrics, and planners. This free, web-based tutorial is designed to guide educators in creating and implementing a standards-based, foreign language portfolio assessment tied to their own curricula.

Specification Grids:
These grids (Omaggio, Alice C. (1986). Teaching Language in Context. Boston: Heinle & Heinle) are based on ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and are useful for choosing appropriate tasks and text types when constructing assessments targeting specific proficiency levels for the four skills.









Note: All grids are in PDF format (requires Acrobat Reader).

An example of how the specification grids are used in developing a classroom assessment can be seen in the Developing Speaking and Writing Tasks for Second Language Assessment: A Miniguide for Assessment Development (PDF) which contains a framework to help teachers create speaking and writing tasks and tests that are directly linked to classroom practice. It includes tools and worksheets that can be tailored to a variety of classroom contexts and a range of students' needs, using a model based on extensive research and piloting done by the Minnesota Articulation Project members and the Assessment Team at CARLA.

Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices. This video library from Annenberg Media, Learner.org, illustrates effective instruction and assessment strategies for the teaching of foreign languages in grades K-12 and "provides overviews of ACTFL's Standards for Foreign Language Learning and new assessment practices, as well as 27 classroom programs. Language classrooms include Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Chinese. The videos can be ordered on DVD or can viewed online.

TESOL:  Pre-K – 12 English Language Proficiency Standards.

Understanding Assessment: A Guide for Foreign Language Educators. CAL has developed an online tutorial to serve as a companion resource to the FLAD. This online tutorial introduces key concepts in language testing to help with selecting tests and using test results appropriately and efficiently. Topics covered include:  practical considerations when selecting a test, reliability and validity, the use of test results, and, the impact of testing in the classroom.  A list of assessment resources and a glossary of assessment terms are also included in the tutorial.

WIDACan Do Philosophy and Guiding Principles of Language Development.

World Language Assessment: Get in the Mode! – A library of videos that supports and empowers world language educators to improve student proficiency through a variety of assessment strategies. Focusing on the three modes of communication (interpretive, presentational, and interpersonal), this resource provides a framework of formative, interim, and summative assessments for use at any grade level.

Instruction and Assessment Articles, Books

Adair-Hauck, B., Glisan, E.W., Troyan, F.J. (2013).  Implementing integrated performance assessment.  Alexandria, VA:  ACTFL.

Ainsworth, L. &  Christinson, J. (1998). Student generated rubrics: An assessment model to help all students succeed. Assessment Bookshelf Series. Orangeburg, NY: Dale Seymour Publications.

Alderson, J.C. (2000). Assessing reading. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Arter, J. & Chappuis, J. (2006).  Creating and recognizing quality rubrics.  Portland, Oregon:  Educational Testing Service.

Arter, J. & McTighe, J. (2001).  Scoring rubrics in the classroom: Using performance criteria for assessing and improving student performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Bailey, K. M. (1998). Learning about language assessment. Cambridge, MA: Heinle and Heinle.

Blaz, D. (2001). A collection of performance tasks and rubics: Foreign languages. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Boston, C. (2002). The concept of formative assessment. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation8(9). Available online at: http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=9

Brookhart, S.M. (2013). How to create and use Rubrics for formative assessment and grading. Alexandria. VA:  ASCD.

Brookhart, S.M. (2013). Grading and group work.  Alexandria.VA: ASCD.

Brookhart, S.M. (2014). How to design questions and tasks to assess student thinking. Alexandria, VA:  ASCD

Brown, H. D. (2004). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. Allyn & Bacon.

Brown, H. D. (2005). Testing in language programs. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Brown, H. D. and Abeywickrama, P. (2010). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices, Second edition. NY: Pearson Education.

Buck, G. (2001). Assessing listening. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Bygate, M., Swain, M., & Skehan, P. (2013). Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning,   teaching, and testing.  London & New York: Routledge.

Clementi, D., and Terrill, L. (2013). The keys to planning for learning. Alexandria, VA:  ACTFL

Cohen, A. D. (1994). Assessing Language Ability in the Classroom. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Curtain, H. and Dahlberg, C.A. (2016). Languages and learners: Making the Match Fifth Edition. Boston: Pearson.

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2014).  Checking for understanding; Formative assessment techniques for your classroom Second Edition.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Frey, Bruce B., Schmitt, Vicki L., & Justin P. Allen (2012).  Defining Authentic Classroom Assessment.  Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 17(2).  Available online: http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=17&n=2

Fulcher, G. (2010). Practical language testing. London: Hodder Education.

Fulcher, G., & Davidson, F. (2007). Language testing and assessment. London and New York: Routledge.

Genesee, F. and Upshur, J. (1996). Classroom-based evaluation in second language education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Greenstein, L. (2012).  Assessing 21st century skills. Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin.

Guskey, T.R. and Jung, L.A. (2013).  Answers to essential questions about standards, assessments, grading, and reporting.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin.

Kern, R. (2000).  Literacy and language teaching. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Lee, J.F. and VanPatten, B. (2003).  Making communicative language teaching happen.  Second Edition. Boston:  McGraw Hill.

Marzano, R.J. (2010). Formative assessment and standards-based grading.  Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research.

McKay, P. (2006).  Assessing young language learners.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G. (2015). Solving 25 problems in unit design. Alexandria. VA:  ASCD.

Mertler, C. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(25).

Montgomery, Cherice. (2014). The Transformative Power of Performance-based Assessment.  The Language Educator, Vol. 9, Issue 2, February 2014, pp. 42 – 53.

Moeller, A. & Nugent, K. (2014).  Building Intercultural Competence in the Language Classroom. 

Moeller, A., and Theiler, J.  Spoken Spanish Language Development at the High School Level:  A Mixed Methods Study.  Foreign Language Annals 47:2 (2014) pp. 210 – 240.

Moskal, B. (2003). Recommendations for developing classroom performance assessments and scoring rubrics. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(14).

Moskal, B. (2000). Scoring rubrics: What, when and how? Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(3).

Moskal, B. and J. Leydens. (2000). Scoring rubric development: Validity and reliability. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(10).

Moss, C.M. & Brookhart, S.M. (2009). Advancing formative assessment in every classroom:  A guide for instructional leaders.  Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.
National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project (NSFLEP). (2015).

World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.  Alexandria, VA:  ACTFL. 
Norris, J.M. (2008).  Validity Evaluation in Language Assessment.  Frankfurt am Main:  Peter Lang.

Norris, J.M., Brown, J.D., Hudson, T., Yoshioka, J. (1998).  Designing second language performance assessments.  Manoa, Hawaii:  University of Hawaii at Manoa.

O'Connor, K.  (2009). How to grade for learning Third Edition.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin. 

Paesani, K., Allen, H.W., and Dupuy, B. (2016). Boston: Pearson.

Patrick, P. (2007).  The keys to the classroom.  Alexandria, VA: ACTFL

Sandrock, P. (2010).  The keys to assessing language performance:  A teacher's manual for measuring student progress.  Alexandria, VA:  ACTFL.

Shrum, J. and Glisan, E. (2010). Teacher's handbook: Contextualized language instruction, Fourth edition. Boston: Heinle Cengage Learning.

Stevens, D., and Levi, A.J.  (2005). Introduction to rubrics.  Sterling, VA:  Stylus Publishing.

Tomlinson, C.A. & Moon, T.R. (2013).  Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classsroom.  A Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.

Troyan, F. J. (2012). Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Defining the Constructs and Researching Learner Outcomes. Foreign Language Annals,45(s1), s118-s140.

Turnbull, M., & Dailey-O'Cain, J. (Eds.). (2009). First language use in second and foreign language learning (Vol. 44). Multilingual Matters.

Wiggins, G.  (2011). The understanding by design guide to creating high-quality units.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design:  Expanded 2nd Edition. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2011). The understanding by design guide to creating high-quality units. Alexandria, VA: ASCD


State Standards and Frameworks

Illinois:  State Board of Education website resources related to Foreign Language Assessment include descriptors and classroom assessments as resources to help teachers determine local performance expectations for the Illinois Learning Standards at each grade level and rated Samples of student work. Sample Foreign Language Classroom Assessments aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards include rating scales and rubrics. A Teacher's Guide for Classroom assessments for the Illinois Learning Standards provides useful information on developing classroom-based assessments. 

New JerseyThematically Organized Assessments (TOAs) .Performance-based assessment tasks that target a specific proficiency level and assess the learner's ability to communicate across the modes of communication: interpretive (listening or reading); interpersonal (speaking/listening or reading/writing); and presentational (speaking or writing). The assessment tasks are the product of the Consortium for Assessing Performance Standards (CAPS), four school districts in New Jersey, and were developed as part of a FLAP grant for use by teachers.

Ohio:  Ohio Model Foreign Language Assessment Project (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-New-Learning-Standards/Foreign-Language/World-Languages-Resources/Ohio-Foreign-Language-Model-Assessment-Project.  The model assessments contain practical applications of the teaching guidelines and philosophies set forth in the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, ACTFL's Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners, Ohio's Model Competency-Based Program, and the Joint Council's (Board of Regents/State Board of Education) Common Expectations for Ohio's High School Graduates.

Virginia:  Fairfax County Public Schools:  Performance Assessment for Language Students > Rubrics is an excellent resource featuring generic analytic and holistic scales for the interpersonal and presentational modes. The site features analytic and holistic rubrics for higher level interactive tasks.  Rubrics for writing tasks for fluent Spanish speakers are also included. Explanation of rubrics and rater training information accompanies the scales.

Wisconsin:  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website offers the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Foreign Languages. This document is (available in PDF format or for purchase) includes performance standards, performance guidelines, sample tasks, and samples of student work at four levels: beginning, developing, transitioning, and refining. Wisconsin's language standards are aligned with the National StandardsPlanning Curriculum for Learning World Languages is also available for purchase.



The American Institutes for Research and Learning Point Associates have merged to become the leading education research company in the nation providing a continuum of education research, assessment, technical assistance and policy analysis from the school level up to the national and international levels. Our programs apply science to address real world issues on behalf of clients that include federal and state agencies, international development agencies, leading foundations, school districts and private businesses.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC) – Vendor of testing and statistical software packages.

The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) – Produces examinations and certification for language learners. The ALTE frameworks describe five levels of language proficiency. See also the "can-do" statements for self-assessment. 

Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) – Maintains a database of language assessments.

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) – A national information system funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide access to education literature and resources.

Language Resource Centers – Title VI U.S. Department of Education Centers sponsor many projects related to assessment.

National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). Foreign language proficiency plans to assess foreign language nationally in grades 4, 8, and 12 between 2008 and 2012 through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program, often called "The Nation's Report Card." The framework for the assessment is available in PDF format at the bottom of the page.

National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)

Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation (PARE) – An on-line journal supported, in part, by the Department of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Maryland, College Park. Its purpose is to provide education professionals access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, evaluation, and teaching practice, especially at the local education agency (LEA) level.

Teachers College Record, Columbia University.



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