Recognizing ACTFL Proficiency Levels Tasks and functions Novicelow Context Content Speaking: uses 25-50 words and a few memorized phrases Highly predictable situations Discreet elements of daily life Writing: forms some letters and characters Copying from texts Produces characters Accuracy Text Type May be very difficult to understand; attempts to use English. Individual words. Can be Very good Individual letters. Summary 25 -50 words, characterized by lists and some memorized phrases Reach to the next level with TPRS Ask stories. Students produce a list of vocabulary words for every question. Tasks and functions Novicemid Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: more than 50 words and phrases Highly predictable situations Discreet elements of daily life: basic objects, places, kinship terms May be difficult to understand; attempts to use English. Individual words and phrases. Writing: copies or transcribes familiar words Learning environment Text or classroom words May be generally good Individual words. Summary Can use memorized phrases, 50+ words, may be hard to understand. Still no creative language. Reach to the next level with TPRS Ask questions. Speak in sentences. Circle to repeat structures. Retell the story with gaps or incorrect statements so that students have to correct the teacher. Tasks and functions Novicehigh Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: more than 50% of the time functioning at the Intermediate level, but not consistently Highly predictable, common daily situations. Common, single elements of daily life. May have many errors and some may sometimes impede communication Sentences, often simple, with some memorized chunks or phrases Writing: can supply information on simple forms and documents. Memorized content. Names, numbers, dates, own nationality, and other simple autobiographical information, discreet elements of daily life. May have many errors that may sometimes impede communication Individual words, with some memorized phrases, lists. Summary 50% on Intermediate level. Many sentences, beginning to recombine memorized phrases. Reach to the next level with TPRS Students re-tell stories in small groups. Whole class describes one picture frame in a story sequence. Individual students retell with help from the class. Teacher does grammar pop-ups, demonstrating how ending changes would change meaning. Tasks and functions Intermedlow Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: asks and responds to simple questions, personalizes communication with his/her own meanings, consistently able to communicate. Some informal settings, and predictable or routine situations. Topics related to self and immediate surroundings. Understood by speakers used to hearing non-native speakers Simple sentences and strings of sentences Writing: is characterized by personalized communication: short messages, notes. Creates questions or statements. Common daily settings. Topics related to self and immediate surroundings. May be partially correct. Recombinations of familiar, learned material. Summary Students can manage in some survival situations, producing a sentence at a time. Create with language. Reach to the next level with TPRS Teacher includes complex structures when telling stories, includes dialogues in which the speaker initiates the conversation and ends it, and asks questions. Tasks and functions Intermedmid Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: creates with language; begins and ends conversations Some informal settings, and predictable or routine situations (shopping, bank, restaurant) Personal routines, daily events, personal experience. Makes many mistakes, but generally can be understood Simple sentences and strings of sentences; emerging complex syntax: may use потому что, possibly который, чтобы Writing: Can write simple letters, brief synopses and paraphrases, summaries of biographical data, work and school experience. Most practical and limited social writing needs Takes notes on familiar topics and responds in writing to personal questions. Writing is comprehensible to natives used to the writing of non-native speakers, but there are still numerous errors. Some elements of the paragraph may be emerging, but these are sporadic if present at all. Summary Students begin and end sentences, may use cohesion elements like потому что, который, чтобы. Can manage informal settings and some limited situations (shopping, restaurant). Reach to the next level with TPRS Teacher asks students to explain why and how a character acts in a particular fashion, pushing for details and a logical, coherent explanation. Scaffold support to help students supply the means of changing time frames and perspectives. Tasks and functions Intermedhigh Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: meets advanced goals more than 50% of the time with description and narration in all time frames in paragraph length discourse. Most practical and limited social needs Speaks on familiar topics and responds to personal questions speaking about self and other more than 50% of the time. Makes many mistakes, but communication is never impeded. Has control of time frame at least 50% of the time. Strings of sentences, some with complex syntax, and some paragraphs; uses потому что, possibly который, чтобы Writing: Can write simple letters, brief synopses and paraphrases, summaries of biographical data, work and school experience. Most practical and limited social writing needs Takes notes on familiar topics and responds in writing to personal questions. Control of time frame is in place at least 50% of the time. Writing is comprehensible to natives used to the writing of non-native speakers. Paragraph elements with emerging cohesive elements. Summary 50% on Advanced level; start to speak in complete paragraphs on some topics. Can manage some time frames. Reach to the next level with TPRS Teacher asks students to retell from different perspectives, to add details, to make the story flow with cohesive elements. Teacher reads news stories with students, possibly comparing info from two or more sources, asking students what makes them different and why. Push students for circumlocution by asking them to explain American activities or belongings that might not be familiar to other cultures. Tasks and functions Advanced - low Context Content Accuracy Text Type Speaking: describes and narrates in major time frames Most informal and some formal situations. Concrete and factual topics of personal and public interest, speaks with ease about self and others. Can be understood by native speakers not used to the speech of nonnative speakers. Has control of time frame. Speaks in paragraphs (one per topic). Sentences in paragraphs are complex, especially with use of который clauses Writing: narratives, descriptions, summaries of a factual nature. Simple social correspondence and informal letters. Can write about self and others. Can be understood by native speakers not used to the writing of nonnative speakers. Writes paragraphlength responses.. Summary Students narrate and describe in major time frames. Can speak in an organized paragraph. Notes by Michele Whaley, organized by Nathan Black. Sources Rifkin, Benjamin, Dean of Culture & Society at the College of New Jersey. "Workshop on Proficiency Oriented Instruction for Anchorage School District." Anchorage School District Russian Language Program Summer Academy Workshop with Benjamin Rifkin. Dimond High School. June 2010. Lecture. "The ACTFL Guidelines." The ACTFL Guidelines. ACTFL, 15 Sept. 1998. Web. 20 Aug. 2010. <http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/languagelearning/otherresources/actflproficiencyguidelines/ TheACTFLGuidelines.htm>.