Integrated Assessment in Modern Languages
Students are assessed on their language performance using a standards-based rubric. Each course grades 6 – 12 has a performance target based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
Explanation of Grading
In all classical and modern language courses, we grade with standards-based rubrics designed to assess students on language proficiency and skill. Students earn a B on a performance assessment when their work meets the performance target. In order to earn an A, students need to “level up” their performance. By using the rubrics as an instructional tool, providing targeted, descriptive feedback, and asking students to reflect on their work regularly, the “level ups” are attainable by any student.
The nature of study and mastery in virtually all foreign language courses is such that a student is required both to retain all material learned from the onset of study and to build upon these to achieve greater mastery. For this reason, the department believes that for us the averaging of grades over the course of the year makes little sense.
As an illustration, consider the following sets of grades:
A (at the end of the first quarter), C (at the midyear), F (at the end of year) for student one.
Consider the reverse for student two (F, C, and A).
The averages in both instances would be about a C, yet it is obvious that student two is penalized for such averaging, as he or she has actually mastered virtually all of the material by the end of the year. Student one would be shown to be in average control of the materials, whereas in truth he or she has poor control. Sequential grading is standards-based. Student one would receive a grade below C and student two would receive a grade above C. This system is not only fairer in the case of sequential courses such as ours, but also offers constant encouragement to students to try their best and to improve. Conversely, it penalizes students who perform well at the outset and then choose to rest upon their laurels with the expectation that their earlier achievement will preclude a failing grade in the course.
High School Term weights are as follows:
Term 1: 14%
Term 2: 22%
Term 3: 29%
Term 4: 35%
Questions regarding these policies may be directed to the Classical and Modern Language Department Head.