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This guide accompanies the following article(s): Christine Campbell and Greg Duncan From Theory to Practice: General Trends in Foreign Language Teaching Methodology and Their Influence on Language Assessment Language and Linguistics Compass1/6 (2007): 592–611. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-818x.2007.00032.x

Author’s Introduction

This article describes developments in language teaching methodology over the past 30 years that have both informed trends in language assessment and been influenced by them. When language learning theorists in the late 1970s redefined ability in a second or foreign language as the capacity to function effectively in real life, vs. contrived or artificial, contexts, communicative language teaching became the prevailing language teaching methodology. Communicative assessments in the four skills, however, were not created and used by sizeable numbers of K-16 language professionals until the mid-1990s. The writing and implementation of the national standards for foreign language learning in the 1990s heralded a new era for language learning; the profession now had content standards specifying skills and knowledge that US high-school students needed to acquire by graduation. The standards have significantly shaped language assessment practices at the K-16 levels during the last decade and will continue to do so for years to come.

The Authors Recommend:

Lafford, B. (ed.). 2007. Second language acquisition reconceptualized? The impact of Firth and Wagner (1997). The Modern Language Journal 91. Focus Issue.

This special focus issue of The Modern Language Journal (MLJ), the first in the history of the Journal, consists of invited papers that examine ideas about the nature of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) raised in the provocative article published by Alan Firth and Johannes Wirth (F&W; 1997) in the MLJ entitled ‘On Discourse Communication, and (Some) Fundamental Concepts in SLA Research’. Although F&W investigated several issues in their article, their assertion that the cognitive view of SLA as a process occurring in the mind of the individual learner was inhibiting research into more “social, discursive approaches to the nature of the mind” led a number of researchers to revisit the ongoing cognitive-social debate (p. 287). In the Introduction, Magnan (2007) summarized the two key questions surrounding the debate: “Is acquiring a second language essentially a cognitive process situated in the mind of the learner? Or, is it, first and foremost, a social process because language learning necessarily occurs through interactive use with target language speakers?” (p. 733). The articles investigate aspects of the cognitive-social controversy and its possible effect on second language teaching and teacher education.

Celse-Murcia, M., Z. Dörnyei, and S. Thurrell. 1997. Direct approaches in L2 instruction: a turning point in communicative language teaching? TESOL Quarterly 31.141–52.

In the 1990s, a number of language professionals criticized aspects of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and proposed changes. The majority of the criticism was related to two main issues: the linguistic content base of CLT; the pedagogical treatment of linguistic forms in CLT. Regarding the former, the scholars pointed to the absence of an in-depth description of the content base of CLT to be used in syllabus design that would go beyond the language functions and language notions of the late 1970s. Concerning the latter, the researchers observed that CLT proponents were neglecting the development of linguistic competence in their quest to promote the functional-notional aspects of the language, that is, CLT proponents were not paying the proper attention to grammar instruction. This lack of attention typically translated to teacher avoidance of explicit grammar instruction in the classroom. To remedy this situation, scholars such as Long and Crookes (1992) proposed combining pedagogic tasks with a systematic focus on form, or grammar, as the fundamental organizational units in a communicative syllabus.

This article, which appeared in the The Forum section of the TESOL Quarterly because it is a commentary on current trends or practices in the profession, argued that the language learning field was experiencing a paradigm shift toward a “principled communicative approach” that incorporates both direct, explicit grammar instruction and task-based instruction into CLT (p. 145).

Omaggio-Hadley, A. 1993. Teaching language in context, 2nd edn. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

This renowned tome has been used in countless university Methodology courses since its original publication in 1986. As the author states in her 1986 Preface, the book begins with a complex question that can be easily stated: “How can we help students learning a second language in a classroom setting become proficient in that language?” (p. xi). Using proficiency as the organizing principle, it examines issues in second language learning and teaching, providing the reader with information about the concept of proficiency, methodological trends, and the role of context in the comprehension and production of discourse. The curricular and assessment guidelines for contextualizing practice and testing in the four skills, respectively, and the integrative (including the four skills and culture) classroom activities are an excellent, practical reference for both pre- and in-service secondary teachers, teaching assistants, and trainees.

Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st century. 1999. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc.

This tome is critical to understanding the national standards movement in the field of language learning in the United States today. The chapters include a statement of philosophy, the standards for foreign language learning themselves, an Introduction, a review of the current status of language study in the United States, information about how to use the publication, organizing principles, specifics on each of the five standards, that is, the five Cs – Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities, a Conclusion, learning scenarios, frequently asked questions, and appendices with language-specific standards for Chinese, Classical Languages, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Bachman, L. (1990). Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

A significant contribution to the language testing field, this book is a classic. It is an important reference for the language testing professional; it can also be used as one of several textbooks in a graduate-level Language Assessment course. As the author states in the Introduction, “This book is not a ‘nuts and bolts’ text on how to write language tests. Rather, it is a discussion of fundamental issues that must be addressed at the start of any language testing effort, whether this involves the development of new tests or the selection of existing tests” (p. 1).

The book is divided into the following chapters: Introduction, Measurement, Use of Language Tests, Communicative Language Ability, Test Methods, Reliability, Validity, Some Persistent Problems and Future Directions.

Higgs, T. (ed.). 1984. Teaching for proficiency, the organizing principle. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

The germinal, highly readable text about the proficiency movement defines proficiency, emphasizing the highly-readable significance of function, content, and accuracy in language use and assessment, and describes the role of proficiency in the teaching/learning process. The Editor posits that perhaps the most ‘far-reaching’ assertion in the tome is by L. Crawford-Lange and D. Lange when they insist that ‘the integration of language and culture is even a more powerful organizing principle for foreign-language education than is language proficiency…’ (p. v).

Online Materials

  • 1
    Three websites that contain models of standards-based assessments are as follows:
  • 2
     Below, the website for the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) is given next. According to the website’s description, ILTA is an international group of language testing and assessment scholars and practitioners whose dedication and work are respected both within and outside the profession, and who together define what it means to be a language tester. The website references its annual conference, the Language Testing Research Colloquium (see next), other related conferences, web links and resources, and career opportunities. <http://www.iltaonline.com>
  • 3
     Below, the website for the Language Testing Research Colloquium, the annual conference of the International Language Testing Association that brings together professionals in language testing from across the globe: <http://www.cal.org/ltrc2009>
  • 4
     Below, the website for the journal entitled Language Testing, a highly respected publication that, as its website description states, provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information between people working in the fields of first and second language testing and assessment. This includes researchers and practitioners in EFL and ESL testing, and assessment in child language acquisition and language pathology. In addition, special attention is focused on issues of testing theory, experimental investigations, and the following up of practical implications. <http://ltj.sagepub.com/>
  • 5
     Below, the cross-site index website for the 15 US Department of Education’s Title VI National Foreign Language Resource Centers, whose role is to improve the nation’s capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively. Operated by select universities, the Centers provide resources to language professionals in the areas of projects, publications, and professional development. <http://www.ed.gov/help/site/expsearch/language.html>
  • 6
     Below, the website for the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), an organization that, according to its website description, ‘transcends boundaries to conduct academically rigorous research in foreign language that supports national security. Our research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, bringing together people from the government, academia, and the public. Our research is both strategic and tactical, so that it not only advances areas of knowledge, but also directly serves the critical needs of the nation.’ <http://www.casl.umd.edu/>
  • 7
     Below, the website for the Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS), an online language maintenance and enhancement tool provided to the public by the Defense Language Institute, the premier language facility of the United States government. GLOSS is a collection of reading and listening comprehension lessons, that is, ‘Learning Objects’, in 28 languages at levels 2, 2+, 3, and 4 on the Interagency Language Roundtable scale. <http://www.lingnet.org/>

Topics for Discussion

Week I: Introduction & History of Language Teaching Methodology, Part A

History of Language Teaching Methodology: Ancient Greece through the Late 1970s*

Readings**:

Hymes, D. 1972. On communicative competence. Sociolinguistics, ed. by J. Pride and J. Holmes. Harmondsworth, NY: Penguin Books.

Savignon, S. 1972. Communicative competence: an experiment in foreign language teaching. Philadelphia, PA: Center for Curriculum Development.

Munby, J. 1978. Communicative syllabus design. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Stevick, E. 1976. Memory, meaning, and method: some psychological perspectives on language learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Westphal, P. 1979. Teaching and learning: a key to success. Building on experience: building for success (ACTFL Foreign Language Education Series), ed. by J. Phillips. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook.

Omaggio Hadley, A. C. 1986. Teaching language in context: proficiency-oriented instruction. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

*The teacher will provide sample lessons illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

**For this and subsequent sections, the teacher can select readings from the lists provided according to the learner’s needs.

Weeks II–VI: History of Language Teaching Methodology, Part B

History of Language Teaching Methodology: Late 1970s through the Present*

(1) Weeks II–IV: CLT and the Principled Communicative Approach

Readings:

(a) CLT

Omaggio Hadley, A. 1993. Teaching language in context, 2nd edn. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Omaggio Hadley, A. C. 1986. Teaching language in context: proficiency-oriented instruction. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Canale, M., and M. Swain. 1980. Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1. 1–47.

Canale, M. 1983. From communicative competence to communicative language. Language and communication, ed. by J. Richards and R. Schmidt, 2–27. Harlow, UK: Longman.

Savignon, S. 1997. Communicative competence: theory and practice, 2nd edn. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Savignon, S. 1983. Communicative competence: theory and practice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

Higgs, T. (ed.). 1984. Teaching for proficiency, the organizing principle. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

Higgs, T., and R. Clifford. 1982. The push toward communication. Curriculum, competence and the foreign language teacher, ed. by T. Higgs, 57–79. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

(b) The Principled Communicative Approach

Savignon, S. 1990. Communicative language teaching: definitions and directions. Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics 1990, ed. by J. E. Alatis, 205–17. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Widdowson, H. G. 1990. Aspects of language teaching. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D. 1990. On the need for a theory of language teaching. Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics 1990, ed. by J. E. Alatis. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Celce-Murcia, M. 1991. Language and communication: a time for equilibrium and integration. Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics 1991, ed. by J. E. Alatis, 223–37. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Schmidt, R. 1991. Input, interaction, attention, and awareness: the case for consciousness raising in second language teaching. Anais do X Encontro Nacional de Professores Universitários de Língua Inglesa I. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Pontífica Universidade Católica.

Legutke, M., and H. Thomas. 1991. Process and experience in the language classroom. Harlow, UK: Longman.

Kumaravadivelu, B. 1993. Maximizing learning potential in the communicative classroom. ELT Journal 47. 12–21.

Kumaravadivelu, B. 1992. Macrostrategies for the second/foreign language teacher. Modern Language Journal 76. 41–9.

Scarcella, R., and R. Oxford. 1992. Tapestry of language learning: the individual in the communicative classroom. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Celce-Murcia, M., Z. Dörnyei, and S. Thurrell. 1997. Direct approaches in L2 instruction: a turning point in communicative language teaching? TESOL Quarterly 31. 141–52.

Celce-Murcia, M., Z. Dörnyei, and S. Thurrell. 1995. Communicative competence: a pedagogically motivated model with content specifications. Issues in Applied Linguistics 6. 5–35.

Long, M., and G. Crookes. 1992. Three approaches to task-based syllabus design. TESOL Quarterly 26. 27–56.

*The teacher will provide sample lessons illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

(2) Week V: Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction; Content-Based Instruction; Task-Based Instruction*

Readings:

(a) Learner-Centered Instruction

Oxford, R. 1990. Language learning strategies: what every teacher should know. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

O’Malley, J., and A. Chamot. 1990. Learning strategies in second language acquisition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Scarcella, R., and R. Oxford. 1992. Tapestry of language learning: the individual in the communicative classroom. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Ehrman, M. 1996. Understanding second language learning difficulties. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cohen, A. 1998. Strategies in learning and using a second language. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Chamot, A. U., S. Barnhardt, P.B. El-Dinary, and J. Robbins.1999. The learning strategies handbook. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Nunan, D. 2006. Go for it! Energizing your classes: a learner-centered approach. <http://www.david.nunan.com>

Nunan, D. 2004. Task-based language teaching (Cambridge Language Teaching Library). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. 1998. Second language teaching and learning. Boston, MA: Heinle and Heinle Publishers.

Nunan, D. 1997. Designing and adapting materials to encourage learner autonomy. Autonomy and independence in language learning, ed. by P. Benson and P. Voller, 192–203. London, UK: Longman.

Nunan, D. 1992. Research methods in language learning (Cambridge Language Teaching Library). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. 1991. Language teaching methodology: a textbook for teachers. London, UK: Prentice Hall International.

Nunan, D. 1990. Action research in the language classroom. Second language teacher education, ed. by J. C. Richards and D. Nunan, 62–81. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. 1989a. Basic issues and concerns. Understanding language classrooms. A guide for teacher-initiated action. London, UK: Prentice Hall International.

Nunan, D. 1989b. Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. 1988. The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

(b) Content-Based Instruction

Scarcella, R., and R. Oxford. 1992. Tapestry of language learning: the individual in the communicative classroom. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Final Learning Objectives for Basic Course Language Programs in the Defense Foreign Language Program (2004).

(c) Task-Based Instruction

Brown, H.D. 1994. Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Nunan, D. 2004. Task-based language teaching (Cambridge Language Teaching Library). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. 1991. Language teaching methodology: a textbook for teachers. London, UK: Prentice Hall International.

Nunan, D. 1989b. Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

*The teacher will provide sample lessons illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

(3) Week VI: Focus on Learner Autonomy; Beyond Methodology*

Readings:

(a) Focus on Learner Autonomy

Cotterall, S. 1995. Readiness for autonomy: investigating learner beliefs. System 23. 195–203.

Dickinson, L. 1995. Autonomy and motivation: a literature review. System 23. 165–74.

Benson, P., and P. Voller. (eds.). 1996. Autonomy and independence in language learning. London, UK: Longman.

van Lier, L. 1996. Interaction in the language curriculum: awareness, autonomy, and authenticity. New York, NY: Longman.

Pemberton, R., E.S.L. Li, W.W. F. Or, and H. Pierson (eds.). 1996. Taking control: autonomy in language learning. Hong Kong, China: Hong Kong University Press.

Palfreyman, D., and R. Smith (eds.). 2005. Learner autonomy across cultures. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

(b) Beyond Methodology

Readings

Larsen-Freeman, D. 1991. Research on language teaching methodologies: a review of the past and an agenda for the future. Foreign language research in cross-cultural perspective, ed. by K. de Bot, R. B. Ginsberg and C. Kramsch, 119–32. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Long, M. 1991. Focus on form: a design feature in language teaching methodology. Foreign language research in cross-cultural perspective, ed. by K. de Bot, R. B. Ginsberg and C. Kramsch, 39–52. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Kumaravadivelu, B. 1994. The postmethod condition: (e)merging strategies for second/foreign language teaching. TESOL Quarterly 28. 27–48.

Kumaravadivelu, B. 1993. Maximizing learning potential in the communicative classroom. ELT Journal 47. 12–21.

Brown, H. D. 1994. Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Bell, D. M. 2003. Method and postmethod: are they really so incompatible? TESOL Quarterly 37. 325–36.

*The teacher will provide sample lessons illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

Weeks VII–IX: Trends in Language Assessment before the Implementation of the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning in 1996*

Readings:

Liskin-Gasparro, J. 1984. The ACTFL proficiency guidelines: a historical perspective. Teaching for proficiency, the organizing principle (The ACTFL Foreign Language Education Series), ed. by T. Higgs. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

Bachman, L. 1990. Fundamental considerations in language testing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. 1986. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: ACTFL.

ACTFL Provisional Proficiency Guidelines. 1983. (revised, 1985). American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: ACTFL.

Omaggio Hadley, A. 1993. Teaching language in context, 2nd edn. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

González Pino, B. 1989. Prochievement testing of speaking. Foreign Language Annals 22. 487–96.

For information about past and current language tests like the Advanced Placement Tests developed by the Educational Testing Service, the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) developed by AVANT, the US Government Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), the ACTFL OPI, the Minnesota Language Proficiency Assessments, standards-based assessments, and more, see the following references:

  • 1
    Campbell, C., and G. Duncan. 2007a. From theory to practice: general trends in foreign language teaching methodology and their influence on language assessment. Language and Linguistics Compass, Fall (07), footnote no. 5.
  • 2
    Campbell, C., and G. Duncan, 2007b. Catalyst for change in language assessment in the United States: the national standards for foreign language learning. Connections 1.9–34.
  • 3
    Austin, T., and C. Campbell, 2004. Introduction to the new visions initiative: articulation and assessment. New visions in foreign and second language education, ed. by G. Bräuer and K. Sanders, 92–106. San Diego, CA: LARC Press.
  • 4
    Campbell, C. 1998. Proficiency testing for business and the professions. Spanish and Portuguese for business and the professions, ed. by T. B. Fryer and G. Guntermann, 209–28. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

*The teacher will provide sample assessments illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

Weeks X–XII: Trends in Language Assessment: 1996 through the Present*

Readings

Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st century. 1999. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc.

Standards for foreign language learning: preparing for the 21st century. 1996. Yonkers, NY: National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project.

ACTFL performance guidelines for K-12 learners. 1998. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc.

Swender, E., and G. Duncan. 1998. ACTFL performance guidelines for K-12 learners. Foreign Language Annals 31. 479–91.

Phillips, J. 1999. Introduction: standards for world languages – on a firm foundation. Foreign language standards: linking research, theories, and practices, ed. by J. Phillips and R. Terry, 1–14. Chicago, IL: National Textbook Company.

Three websites that contain models of standards-based assessments:

Wiggins, G. 1998. Educative assessment: designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Wiggins, G., and J. McTighe. 1998. Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Lantolf, J., and M. Poehner. 2004. Dynamic assessment in the language classroom. University Park, PA: Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research, Pennsylvania State University.

LinguaFolio. Contact the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for information. Lafford, B. (ed.). 2007. Second language acquisition reconceptualized? The impact of Firth and Wagner (1997). The Modern Language Journal 91. Focus Issue.

Campbell, C., and G. Duncan. 2007a. From theory to practice: general trends in foreign language teaching methodology and their influence on language assessment. Language and Linguistics Compass, Fall (07).

Campbell, C., and G. Duncan, 2007b. Catalyst for change in language assessment in the United States: the national standards for foreign language learning. Connections 1. 9–34.

Austin, T., and C. Campbell, 2004. Introduction to the new visions initiative: articulation and assessment. New visions in foreign and second language education, ed. by G. Bräuer and K. Sanders, 92–106. San Diego, CA: LARC Press.

Campbell, C. 1998. Proficiency testing for business and the professions. Spanish and Portuguese for business and the professions, ed. by T. B. Fryer and G. Guntermann, 209–28. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company.

*The teacher will provide sample assessments illustrating particular methodologies or approaches to be evaluated by learners in pairs or groups. The pairs or groups will then share their evaluations with the entire class.

Week XIII: Presentations about Standards-Based Assessments*

Each pair or group will make a 10-min presentation about the standards-based assessment they developed.

*Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session by classmates.

End of Week XIII: Portfolio Submission

The portfolio will include the following: five reports (five pages each; two on a topic related to methodology; three on a topic related to assessment) that were submitted during the course, graded by the teacher, and returned to the learner; one 10-min demonstration of a language methodology; one 10-min presentation with co-presenter(s) about the standards-based assessment they developed.

Optional

Focus Questions

  • 1
    In the 1990s and into the 2000s, a number of language professionals (Larsen-Freeman 1991; Long 1991; Kumaravadivelu 1992, 1994; Brown 1994; Bell 2003) have suggested that the term “methodology” is not obviously applicable to the reality of today’s language classroom where teachers typically apply an eclectic approach, continually selecting from among an array of methodologies and/or techniques according to learner needs. Questions: Do you agree with the language professionals mentioned? Are we beyond methodology, that is, are we teaching in a post-methodology era?
  • 2
    Review the Standards for foreign language learning in the 21st century (1999). Questions: Are you teaching a standards-based language course? If so, what are the challenges associated with it? If not, why are you not teaching a standards-based language course?
  • 3
    The national standards for foreign language learning that were published in 1996 describe the content of instruction but do not specify performance standards for each of the 11 content standards or provide assessments. As a result, organizations like the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) have started initiatives to help state and school district programs faced with the challenge of devising performance standards and assessments. One such initiative was the ACTFL Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) project. IPAs serve as both an instructional and assessment model for measuring student progress toward standards. Research the IPAs and compare them with your assessments. Questions: Are you using standards-based language assessments? If so, what are the challenges associated with developing them? If not, why are you not using standards-based language assessments?
  • 4
    Although the majority of K-16 language professionals had incorporated principles of CLT into their teaching by the end of the 1980s, communicative assessments in the four skills were not created and used by sizeable numbers of K-16 language professionals until the mid-1990s. Question: In your opinion, what were the major factors that contributed to the late development of communicative assessments by America’s K-16 language professionals?
  • 5
    The national standards constitute a major innovation in the language learning field. With the standards as a catalyst, both teaching and testing will undoubtedly continue to evolve in a positive direction. Question: In your opinion, what are the major factors preventing innovation in the language learning field today?

Seminar/Project Idea

Having gained insight into assessment over the course of the semester, pairs or groups of learners are asked to develop a standards-based assessment after reviewing models that are currently available on the following websites:

Here, the standards-based assessment will be considered a classroom test, that is, it will not have to conform to the validity and reliability requirements of a standardized test.

The pairs or groups will present their standards-based assessment to the class. The pair’s or group’s work will be evaluated using one of the following alternative assessments of their choice: observation (i.e., the teacher observes the development process for the standards-based assessment over time); peer assessment; self-assessment; teacher assessment of the presentation about the standards-based assessment to the class; conferencing, that is, one or more dialogs between teacher and learner(s) where the teacher evaluates the learner’s(s’) progress using set assessment criteria.