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ERIC Number: EJ1104128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
A Test That Isn't Torture: A Field-Tested Performance-Based Assessment
Eastburn, Mark
Learning Languages, v12 n1 p12-16 Fall 2006
This article discusses the author's use of a performance-based evaluation in his fifth grade Spanish class in a K-5 public elementary school located in Princeton, New Jersey. The author realized the need to break the old testing paradigm and discover a new way of demonstrating student language acquisition since the traditional tests did not seem to reflect his Spanish students' actual skills. The traditional tests did not measure the interpersonal and presentational modes of communication at all, and the measure of interpretive communicative ability they provided was limited to a relatively low number of vocabulary words and phrases. The performance-based evaluation that he now gives to students every October and June is a wonderful opportunity to measure and showcase each child's ability to read, listen, speak, and exchange information in Spanish. This assessment also provides a tremendous amount of evidence to document each student's progress over the course of the year. The article describes the three modes of communication--as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners--that are used in the performance-based assessment: the interpretive mode, the presentational mode, and the interpersonal mode. [Note: The volume number (v11) shown on the attached PDF is incorrect. The correct volume number is v12.]
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A