Those PESKY Standards

First off, let me say that I LOVE Indiana’s World Language standards. They are SO easy to navigate not only for teachers but for students. If you are not a world language teacher, the National Standards from ACTFL and most state standards are comprised of the 5 C’s.


I’d take a leap and say most language teachers, even those who do Standards based grading probably only focus on Communication, and perhaps Culture (Especially since we have intercultural can-do statements from ACTFL-NCSSFL). But assessing and grading the culture standard can still be messy.

The other three, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities are REALLY hard to assess, at least formally. The question still exists though, how do we assess all the standards, and should we ‘grade them’? I don’t think they need to be graded.

In my opinion, these standards do help us push students to grow as learners and global citizens, but most of them are behaviors and grading behavior is well… meh.


I use Canvas, so I set up some outcomes based on each of the hard to assess C’s (excluding Communication). And like I said, I LOVE the Indiana Standards they’re very easy to use!

Then I copy and pasted the outcomes into a google doc with a few simple reflection questions.

So students can go in to the Google Cloud assignment and write about where they feel they are with each of the standards.

Then in SpeedGrader, I mark the level the student thinks they are reaching.

Important to note that these assignments are set at 0. No points are awarded, but perhaps we can have a celebration of achievement around these.

In outcomes, I set it up so Advanced is 3, Intermediate is 2, and Novice is 1 so when I look at student mastery gradebook I can get a pretty, color coded overview of where we think we are with the standards.

These are just test students so I went in and played around with the scoring just to see how this would all look.

I’m excited to pay a little closer attention to the standards this year. However I’ll have to see where we can fit it in, because we want to keep the majority of class, even if it is online, providing input to lead students to language acquisition.

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