I’ve had many questions when it comes to implementing my complete grading system, or proficiency rubrics independently from DEA. As a result, you’ll find minor adjustments in their appearance, as well as a few changes that highlight the FAQs.
Q. Your rubrics seem heavy on Output (i.e. writing and speaking), what’s up with that?
A. Nope, not really. I’ve reordered the proficiency features for each level in bold so that comprehension is more obvious (use the Simplified ones for even more clarity). Keep in mind that not all features are required. Generally speaking, it’s good practice to ignore the speaking points and focus on comprehension for the first few to several years of language study. However, if you [must] give a speaking assessment and it shows that a student meets your goal, USE IT! These rubrics are “global” since they cover a wide range of possible evidence, but aren’t so specific that they become restrictive.
Unlike the ACTFL Proficiency Levels, the features are not all required for a student to achieve the level on my rubric, and I’m not worried about that. Why? My rubrics are based on ACTFL documents, which are not based on any research at all. ACTFL developed their guidelines and performance descriptors through assembled task forces and consultations, not science. Research tells us that comprehension is the priority, and these rubrics reflect that while still using ACTFL terminology.
Q. Should put a rubric on the back of every assignment I give?
A. I don’t recommend using these to grade individual assignments. I don’t even recommend assigning anything except reading since the use of practice is highly questionable, but that’s another story, and one Bill VanPatten has retold several times.
Q. When do you actually enter a Proficiency grade for my students?
A. Wait until you have evidence of them meeting the goal. If they don’t meet the goal, you’ve overestimated the expectation for that course, or something else is going on (and you should find out).
Q. I have to give a Final, what should I do?
A. Give it, score it, and report it. If your Final is comprehension, not knowledge-based, you can use that as evidence to show that a student meets the goal.