Facilitating Data Collection for World Language Class.
Learning world languages is a critical skill for students in a global world. It is part of their high school graduation requirement and a way to earn college credit in advance. Educators should ensure that students gain world language skills by collecting relevant data and using the right tools for assessing and enhancing language skills (LSU, 2020). Student data collection is important for teachers because it allows them to measure students’ progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and adjust their instruction accordingly. Data collection can also help teachers create a supportive and constructive learning environment where students feel motivated and engaged in achieving the learning goal together (Spathis, 2020).
Question: What data must be collected to monitor the progress of world language skills, and what are the ways to facilitate the data collection?
There are various ways and methods to collect student data, such as statistical software, data visualization tools, rubrics, and content analysis (Retrieved from WA State Professional Educator Standards Board website). These methods can help teachers understand the patterns, trends, and gaps in student learning and provide student feedback and guidance. Teachers can design assessments that align with their learning objectives and standards to reflect language skills and knowledge. Types of assessments can be formative, summative, diagnostic, and performance-based and can also involve students choosing or creating their own assessment tasks, as long as they meet the national standards and guidelines (LSU, 2020).
For example, Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS), according to their website, uses the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), as the framework for their world language curriculum and instruction. The World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages define five goal areas for language learning: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. These goals are aligned with the National Board World Languages Standards for language proficiency, which require candidates to provide official ACTFL Speaking and Writing Proficiency Certificates with a rating at or above Advanced Low.
To collect data on students’ language proficiency, FWPS administers the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) to students in grades 8, 10, and 12 enrolled in a world language course. The AAPPL is a web-based assessment measuring students’ listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities in the target language. FWPS also uses other data collection methods to monitor students’ progress and achievement in world language learning, such as classroom-based assessments, portfolios, self-assessments, and surveys. These methods provide qualitative and quantitative data on students’ language skills, cultural competence, and motivation (Retrieved from FWPS website).
Tips for Collecting Student Data in World Language Class
Speaking Skills: Teachers can record oral presentations or group discussions, focusing on fluency, pronunciation, and appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Video recordings of role-plays or interviews offer rich data for analysis.
Comprehension Skills: Teachers can gather data through quizzes, listening exercises, and reading comprehension tests. Interactive activities, such as watching a foreign language film and answering questions, can also provide insights into students’ comprehension levels.
Writing Skills: Written assignments, essays, and creative writing tasks offer valuable data on students’ ability to express themselves in a foreign language. Regular journal entries can also be a data source, providing insights into the students’ progression over time (Spathis, 2020).
Standardized tests that measure proficiency against established benchmarks, like the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines, are essential to assess language skills (LSU, 2020). Collecting a portfolio of a student’s work over time, including writing samples, audio recordings, and comprehension exercises, can provide a comprehensive view of their language development. Also, encouraging students to engage in peer review and self-assessment can foster a deeper understanding of language skills and their application (Spathis, 2020).
Beyond meeting graduation requirements, these classes often provide students with advanced placement opportunities and college credits, offering a significant advantage in higher education pathways. Furthermore, proficiency in a second language can be a decisive factor in college admissions, where diversity in skills and cultural awareness are increasingly valued (Retrieved from ACTFL website). ISTE Standards for Coaches states: 4.6 Data-Driven Decision-Maker Coaches model and support the use of qualitative and quantitative data to inform their own instruction and professional learning. 4.6.a Facilitate Data Collection and Analysis: Assist educators and leaders in securely collecting and analyzing student data. In conclusion, through effective collection and analysis of student data in world language classes, teachers can comprehensively understand each student’s abilities and areas for growth. Aligning the data collection and assessment with national standards, like ACTFL, ensures that students meet the academic learning goal and enhance their language skills.
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Spathis, E. (January 9, 2020). 5 Ways to Support Struggling Students in World Language Classes. EDUTOPIA. https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-ways-support-struggling-students-world-language-classes/
WA State Professional Educator Standards Board. https://www.pesb.wa.gov/preparation-programs/standards/endorsement-competencies/world-languages
World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages-
The Roadmap to Language Competence. https://www.actfl.org/educator-resources/world-readiness-standards-for-learning-languages