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Grading by the Standards. Carrie Toth NBCT World Languages other than English Carlyle High School. @ senoraCMT on Twitter. Language Acquisition vs. Language Learning. Acquisition and Memorization take place in different parts of the brain.

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Grading by the Standards

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Grading by the standards

Grading by the Standards

Carrie Toth

NBCT World Languages other than English

Carlyle High School

@senoraCMT on Twitter

Language acquisition vs language learning

Language Acquisition vs. Language Learning

  • Acquisition and Memorization take place in different parts of the brain.

Grading by the standards

  • We have to be realistic about the amount of language that our students can learn within the time constraints that we have.

Actfl standards

ACTFL Standards

Standards based assessment

Standards Based Assessment

  • Grading includes ONLY those activities that reflect students’ proficiency in language.

Grading by the standards

  • Grade is divided into categories or “standards” so that students are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Grading by the standards

  • Assessments are divided by category, not a lump grade for all skills.

Summative vs formative assessments

Summative vs. Formative assessments

  • Formative assessments should not penalize students for not having acquired the current structures. They should be used as a guide for future instruction.

Grading by the standards

  • Summative assessments should be given after it is certain that 80% of students are at an 80% proficiency on current material.

Are we expecting the right things

Are we expecting the right things?




  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Speaking

  • Listening

  • Culture

  • Vocabulary

  • Grammar/Structures

Grading by the standards

  • Homework?

  • Participation?

Percentages may vary but

Percentages may vary but:

  • Reading and Listening reflect students’ understanding of the language and are important skills so I value them at 25% each in level one, 20% each in level 2, and 15% each in levels 3 and 4.

Grading by the standards

  • Writing and Speaking reflect students’ ability to produce language and are the highest level skills so I value them at 15% each in level one, 20% each in level 2, and 25% each in levels 3 and 4.

Grading by the standards

  • Grammar and Vocabulary knowledge are less important but essential parts of language learning so I value them at 5% each.

Grading by the standards

  • Cultural knowledge is also a component of my program and I value it at 10%

Ideas for assessment

Ideas for assessment

  • Listening:

    • Songs

    • Podcasts

    • Commercials

    • Re-tells of class stories

    • Audio books

    • Newscasts


    • Music videos

    • Stories using current vocabulary



  • News stories (appropriately adapted by level)

  • Chapters of novels

  • Classroom stories

  • Articles from student magazines like Scholastic’s

  • Articles from People or other Spanish magazines

  • Cartoons

  • Websites with train schedules, menus, and other authentic resources.

Grading by the standards

  • Write down the story that you told in class and have students read it. Circle as you go.

  • Use novels by TPRS Publishing or any TPRS friendly type of reading material.

  • Have a reading library in your classroom.

  • Give FVR time.

  • Bring in magazines!!!

Shameless plug tprs publishing novels

(shameless plug)TPRS Publishing Novels



  • Google voice

  • Re-tells

  • Classroom discussions

  • Debates

  • PechaKuchas

  • AUTHENTIC tasks with the current vocabulary.

  • Stolen from Paul Sandrock… Diagram of 4 squares as discussion prompt.



  • Re-tells

  • Summaries

  • Captions

  • Persuasive- Express your opinion on a given topic.

  • Informative

  • Story to storybook

  • Comparative

  • Write a letter, email, blog post, tweet a friend

Structures vocabulary and culture

Structures Vocabulary and Culture

  • Look at these three as part of the other assessments.

Grading by the standards

  • As a summative assessment of structures studied, give a writing assignment of telling a story based on pictures. Grade categories include use of new vocabulary, correctness of structures, and ease of expression.

Use novels as a curriculum

Use novels as a curriculum

  • Develop cultural units with novels as the center.

    • Choose structures based on the grammar introduced in the novel.

    • Pre-teach all vocabulary and cultural knowledge needed to get students invested in the novel study.

    • Vary activites as you read because brains crave novelty!

Studying the novel


  • Front load grammar and culture.

    • Ask a lot of personalized questions with the vocabulary.

    • Use the vocab in class discussions.

    • Cultural lessons.

    • Film studies.

Grading by the standards

  • MAKE READING REALISTIC: It’s a novel and your kids may just want to read it for enjoyment. If you test, aim for performance based assessments rather than reading comprehension quizzes.

Grading by the standards

  • Stop and talk about how students feel!

  • Act out scenes

  • Connect to the characters.

About me contact me

About me/Contact me



  • Follow me on Twitter @senoraCMT

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