I found this session useful to consider different uses of the standards files as a tool box for language teachers, particularly when thinking about next steps for students and for training and development purposes.
Assessment is at the heart of the curriculum and part and parcel of Learning and Teaching, it does not need to be all formal assessment but it needs to be reliable. There is also a need for Senior Management Teams in schools to understand the specific nature of assessment in Languages so that it is not viewed as a barrier to accessing our subject.
The exemplification for foundation subjects follows the APP principles (curriculum 2008)
The Standard File Project involved a number of schools to provide examples of standards through collecting pieces of work across all 4 skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing), with the overall profile exemplifying where evidence could be collected from.
Key aspects of assessment are integral to Learning and Teaching, evidence is gathered as it occurs in the classroom and it is a response to students’ needs.
The issue is sometimes to get evidence across all 4 skills, particularly when the time allocated to the study of languages is very limited.
Some work also needs to be done on sharing the files with SLTs and parents to get them to understand how young people progress in languages.
There is a need for the judgement to be reliable and it is advisable to link it to national standards and expectations to give it that clout.
The student file contains a student profile. There are also some details about the context, audio files, examples of work and teacher comment. The comments are clustered by skills: Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, Intercultural Understanding and there is also a note about what the teacher thought the student needed to do to progress.
Peer and self-assessment is featured quite heavily in the different assessment strategies and the whole ability range was covered with Levels 1 and 2 being exemplified with work done in Special Schools, although this does not cover all languages.
The use of FLIP video cameras was mentioned as a good way to collect speaking evidence and there are also some commonalities with English developing speaking and listening across the school (check materials)
Progression and move to independence is more important than overall language level as it will make what students learn more future-proof and allow them to develop further as linguists. However, there can be strong conflicts of interest in schools that do not have a sixth form, for instance, as they may not have such a long-term view and interest in developing students’ language learning skills.
The New OFSTED framework being currently piloted puts the emphasis on students engaging in discussions about their own work, which will be made easier by widespread use of Assessment for Learning in the classroom.
The question remains for many Faculties and Departments: How do you make this manageable?
I feel that sharing the files could help many to agree on departmental strategies to do just that.