Language proficiency is what individuals can do with the language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context. (From the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language or ACTFL.) Language learning has moved from a focus on grammar and translation toward effective communication, literacy, and cultural interaction to prepare students for real-world language use.
In Granite School District, we measure language proficiency according to the Utah World Language Core Curriculum, which is based on the ACTFL Language Proficiency Guidelines. Over time, as students learn a language, they progress from novice level to intermediate to advanced. Just as it takes time to become proficient in other skills such as music, dance, or sports, it takes many years to learn a language proficiently and reach the advanced level. The graphic below provides a brief description of what students can do at each level.
- Novice: I can communicate on very familiar topics using a variety of words, phrases, and simple sentences that I have practiced and memorized.
- Intermediate: I can participate in conversations on familiar topics creating sentences and series of sentences. I can
handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions.
I can usually say what I want to say about myself and my everyday life.
- Advanced: I can express myself fully, not only on familiar topics, but also on some concrete social, academic, and professional topics. I can talk in detail and in an organized way about events and experiences in the past, present, and future. I can confidently handle routine situations with an unexpected complication. I can share my point of view in discussions on some complex issues. (NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements Proficiency Benchmarks)
These levels are broken down into low, mid, and high sub-levels for each level to help show progress as students learn a language and reflect the level of mastery of the skills expected for each level.
Language Proficiency Targets
Our Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs use language proficiency targets provided to us from the Utah State Board of Education DLI Team. They are based on data gathered from student achievement as the students are assessed throughout the program.
- Utah Dual Language Immersion Proficiency Targets- Chinese
- Utah Dual Language Immersion Proficiency Targets- French & Spanish
One-Page Summary of Language Proficiency with Targets
- One-page summary of language proficiency with the targets for Chinese
- One-page summary of language proficiency with the targets for French & Spanish.
These targets indicate what level of proficiency students are expected to attain at each grade level in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in the target language. Teachers design lessons and instruction in order to help students progress in the language to meet these targets. At the spring SEP conference, parents will be given a Student Proficiency Report, to indicate the child’s progress in meeting the targets in the four areas of proficiency.
Language Assessment- AAPPL Assessment
Teachers use multiple means of gathering evidence to determine the student’s progress, such as observations, learning activities, writing prompts, small group discussions, partner share, presentations, video recording, etc. In addition, students in grades 3-9 take the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Language (AAPPL) assessment each fall of the school year. The AAPPL Assessment is a national standards-based assessment that measures language learning across three modes of communication (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive) and provides information about a student’s ability to listen and speak, write, interpret a reading passage, and/or listen to and interpret spoken language. The areas assessed vary at each grade level.
At the spring SEP Conferences, parents of students in grades 3-9 will receive the student’s score(s) on the AAPPL Assessment.
You can also look up your student’s AAPPL score(s) on the Student Profile page. To access the Student Profile page, enter the Granite School District Parent Portal and click on District Resources. Click on the AAPPL button at the top to view your student’s scores. Additional information about how to enter the parent portal and find the student profile page can be found on this page: Parent Portal Information.
An AAPPL Score is made up of a letter and a number. The letter represents the language proficiency level (either novice, intermediate, or advanced), and the number represents a sub level within that proficiency level. A score is given in each area tested (Interpersonal Listening/Speaking, Interpretive Reading, Interpretive Listening, and Presentational Writing).
To better understand what this score means, you can use the following documents:
- Understanding the AAPPL Score Report-Chinese
- Understanding the AAPPL Score Report- French & Spanish
- AAPPL Score Descriptions- Interpersonal Listening/Speaking (ILS)
- AAPPL Score Descriptions- Interpretive Reading (IR) and Interpretive Listening (IL)
- AAPPL Score Descriptions- Presentational Writing (PW)
- Sample AAPPL Score Report and Explanation
Performance Benchmarks in Utah for the AAPPL Assessment
Utah has set performance benchmarks for the AAPPL assessment to help determine if a student is making adequate progress in the language.
Please keep in mind, however, that the AAPPL assessment is just one piece of evidence and is used with other evidence gathered in class to determine the student’s overall proficiency level.