Setting Students Up for Success: Formative Evaluation and FLES1


  • Larry Vandergrift

    1. University of Ottawa
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      Larry Vandergrift (Ph.D., University of Alberta) is Associate Professor of Second Language Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  • 1

    Funds for this project and research were granted by the Department of Canadian Heritage to the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers. Further information regarding this bank of formative evaluation instruments can be obtained from the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers at 201, 57 Auriga Drive, Nepean, Ontario, Canada K2E 8B2, or at


Abstract: A team of French teachers across Canada developed prototype evaluation instruments congruent with recent curriculum changes for core French. A series of formative evaluation instruments for beginning-level students (grades 4–6) was refined and field-tested. Encouraging results of the field-test highlight a positive response to the experiential nature of the evaluation tasks. Both students and teachers commented on the potential of the various instruments to (1) help students organize their work; (2) raise student awareness of the processes of language learning; (3) provide students with useful feedback; and (4) motivate students to improve their performance in French.