Today, we are looking at integrated performance assessments to solve the final piece of the puzzle with your curriculum. As mentioned before, you have a lot of options for assessment. But the one that I’m the most familiar with, as well as what’s regarded really as the most proficiency-oriented. Currently, ACTFL recommends the integrated performance assessment.
This is also the one that I recommend that you go with. And so I’m going to be showing you a nice walkthrough of an IPA, and how I used to do it in my classroom.
However, I do not recommend that you start with this type of assessment if you are completely new to proficiency or have alot of stress on your plate. These take some time to get used to. It’s the type of work that once you create it, you’ll never have to make another test for your class again. But be warned that they are time-consuming to create, test out in class, and tweak.
This is one of those things, assessment modes go in and out of fashion. So this is very popular right now, in about five years or so maybe things might change. But this works well. So I’m hoping to show you this as something that will save you time in your classroom, and will also be something easy to implement as a teacher to see where your students are in proficiency. So let’s take a look at what an Integrated Performance Assessmnet looks like.
Integrated Performance Assessments and other Tests
The difference between this and other assessment modes is that you’re working with the same authentic document the entire time. It is a completely integrated assessment. It weaves the student through each task. It also means that you have three important tasks that your students are completing in each mode. Each task relates to the first task that they worked on.
And the essential part of an IPA is that it gives students clear context. That is a very clear difference from the other assessments.
So let’s take a look at what some of these scenarios look like. Here’s the context here for this first example.
Examples of Integrated Performance Assessments:
Although there are 3 separate tasks graded separately, this IPA style is all about context. It usually starts with the overall communicative goal and context in a blurb.
IPA EXAMPLE FRENCH:
You want to work in a Quebeqoise hotel. You need to demonstrate your proficiency in French so that your manager can assign you French-speaking clients with confidence. You must 1. read the hotel website in French, 2. use the info to help a hotel client book a room over the phone 3. and then write the customer a summary email with their bill and a thank-you.
IPA EXAMPLE SPANISH:
You are going on vacationand with your family to a Spanish-speaking country. Book an appropriate AirBnB by reading the listings available in your desired country, comparing the available features, and then contacting the host in Spanish to book your favorite listing.
IPA EXAMPLE WORLD LANGUAGE:
What you’re going to see here is an international student coming to your school from (insert the target country) and will be your new classmate. You want to prepare, understand the student’s experience, and interact appropriately when they arrive. So you asked to prepare your students for their language skills and cultural competence to do some investigation and interaction in French.
Essential Parts of the Integrated Performance Assessment
Each example gives students a scenario and a purpose for working through 1 or a few authentic documents. Each task relates to each other and builds on information from the previous task. Each task is a real-world assignment that actually makes sense for the students to do. For example, packing for a trip, shopping at a store, sharing info with a friend, etc. It all has to be realistic and task-oriented. Lastly, the test is in 3 or more parts: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.
A Note About Grading and Accuracy
Your grading is based off of how well the student uses communication to complete the task, not how accurate their spelling is. Spelling does not equal proficiency. Different tasks with varying levels of accuracy will be appropriate for different levels. Hotel job interview? High level of accuracy for level 5 students. Interacting with an exchange student? Low level of accuracy for level 1 students.
School Schedule Integrated Performance Assessment Example
So we’re going to briefly talk about this and IPA is an integrated performance assessment. It’s three different pieces. There’s reading, interpersonal speaking, like what we just talked about, and presentational writing. And here’s what it looks like, you get an authentic text, and you create some comprehension questions.
First, we’re going to look at what is common or what is different about our student’s schedules.
And the first part of the interpretive section, they have to listen about their school experience from some sort of authentic document (video or voice recording)
You could also have a schedule where they interpret and have to answer what time school starts, all sorts of yes or no questions.
Then, based on the information from the text, students ask each other questions or you ask the student questions, which honestly, I prefer. Although it takes longer, but it’s worth it, you’ll get better, you’ll get better grades that way. Because students will botch the questions and it’s not their fault. They’re not at that level yet.
The most important part of an IPA when it comes to whether it’s integrated or not, is making sure that all the tasks are related to each other. Sometimes people like to get lost in weeds, but it’s most important that all of the tasks relate to each other. And also that they hit on all three modes. So you see here that we’ve got listening, and speaking. And we also have written.
Then you give them a presentational writing assessment of about five sentences or so like a paragraph that kind of deal based on both information from the questions that they find out. So they should be getting new information, theoretically, from the speaking and writing a response to a specific task.
In the presentational task, you can see what’s going on with what they need to do in the other mode. Write a blog or social media Post about your own school experience. And it also allows the teacher to maybe use it on Flipgrid if they would like to if they need to adapt to the virtual environment, elaborate on the classes that they would take and describe them in detail, be sure to give your opinion, and write as much as possible.
They’re thinking about their investigation of school life in the target country city and the conversation that you had about school life in your school. So you see how it relates to the other task here.
This is what assessment looks like in a proficiency-centered classroom. But this is one example of what it could look like. I know lots of people are on the IPA train. And many people are used to how speaking quizzes and exams work but you make sure that you adjust as to what works best for your classroom, for your district, and your needs.
If you’re a proficiency-oriented world language teacher and looking for tips on assessment, then you’re in the right place! for some quick tips to make your journey to proficiency oriented instruction a lot more practical.
The World Language Curriculum Goldmine
One of the goals is to have curriculums as students move through your program that align and don’t repeat content. This is an ACTFL guiding principle. So a good way to do that. Really, the easiest way, the most practical way is to make sure that you start with your assessments that your assessments are guiding really the content that you are delivering. So let’s get into it.
Recommending Integrated Performance Assessments
Check out IPAs if you’re not already using them. IPAs stand for integrated performance assessments. And they are what is currently recommended by ACTFL as a very efficient, as well as proficiency oriented way to determine your student’s progress in all of the things that are recommended by standards aligns language teachers, so you don’t even have to go into the realm of well comprehensible input this and comprehensible input that. Just having the ACTFL recommendation alleviates much of the pressure on you to justify best practice.
I hope that this was helpful to you, learning about how to work and integrated performance assessment, highly recommend them, I used to do them at the end of every thematic unit. But because they’re they’re great unit wrap up, they’re really good for large assessments. You could also do a smaller version of them if you want to make more of them.
Have you ever wished the transition to proficiency were easier to do? Grab the FREE toolkit here to learn the framework for updating your practice to comprehensible input – without all the overwhelm – and prepare for the challenges ahead.
Let me know what your questions are about this. I would love to chat with you about Integrated Performance Assessments, put in the comments below. Thank you so much for being here.
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