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Content Type3
TitleFour Simple Steps to Creating an Integrated Performance Assessment

Lisa Shepard is a National Board Certified French teacher and author of Madame’s Musings, a blog dedicated to proficiency-based language teaching.   She has a Bachelor’s in French from the University of Toledo and a Master’s in Education from Ohio Dominican University.  She currently teaches high school French in Hilliard, Ohio.

Integrated Performance Assessments are used by many proficiency-oriented language teachers to assess their students’ language skills across all three modes of communication. The following steps will guide language teachers to create their own IPA’s.

Step 1: Choose the authentic text

The first step in designing an IPA is to select an authentic written and/or recorded text that will provide the language input and cultural content for the communicative tasks in the IPA. Because Novice learners are only able to interpret practiced language in simple sentence with strong visual support, infographics, picture books, and cartoons are suitable for these learners. Intermediate students, who are able to interpret paragraph-length discourse, can be assigned a wider variety of print or online written and recorded texts. 

Step 2: Create the interpretive task

Having chosen the authentic resource, the teacher will design the tasks which allow her to evaluate the students’ comprehension of this text. The ACTFL guide, Integrating Performance Assessment, provides a useful template for assessing both literal comprehension skills, such as identifying key words, supporting details and the main idea and the higher-level skills required to guess meaning from context, make inferences and identify the author’s perspective. Depending on the targeted proficiency level, the students may be asked to respond either in English or in the target language on these assessment items. 

Step 3: Design the interpersonal task

In this section of the IPA the teacher assesses the students’ ability to negotiate meaning in a non-rehearsed conversation. Because Novice learners are dependent on memorized language, their conversations will generally involve giving basic personal information and asking questions they have practiced. The teacher can ensure spontaneous conversation at this level by assessing pairs of interlocutors who have not rehearsed together.  Interpersonal tasks for Intermediate students can be more closely integrated by assessing conversations in which the students specifically discuss the information given in the authentic resource they have just interpreted.

Step 4: Develop the presentational task

For the final portion of the IPA, the students create a written and/or oral message which incorporates cultural and/or linguistic content from the authentic text.  By designing a product in which the students present what they have learned in the form of an e-mail, blog, or note, a teacher can create a more authentic context for written presentational tasks. Many educators further integrate presentational tasks by requiring that students present information gleaned from the IPA’s interpersonal task. 

See this post ( for additional suggestions for designing IPA’s.

SourceCASLS Topic of the Week
Inputdate2015-07-15 14:55:37
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