Recognizing ACTFL Proficiency Levels–revised(2)

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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>.
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