The Power of Performance-Based Assessment: Languages As a Model for the Liberal Arts Enterprise
The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and the World-Readiness Standards for Language Learning have had an enormous impact on the design and delivery of instruction in the second language and foreign language fields in the United States; this, in turn, has had an impact on the nature of learning outcomes in second and foreign language education, as demonstrated in the essays in this volume. With these performance metrics and curricular foci in mind, experts in the second and foreign language fields have engaged in the purposeful design and delivery of curricula and the assessment of learning outcomes that meet the aspirations of the Association of American Colleges and University’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise program (LEAP) as well as the expectations of the regional accrediting agencies for higher education in the United States (Higher Learning Commission, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, New England Association Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, South Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission). In this context, the second and foreign language fields can serve as a model for many other liberal arts disciplines in the development and use of their own discipline-specific performance benchmarks and the development and implementation of curricula that foster the attainment of measurable student learning outcomes.
KeywordsProficiency Assessment Learning outcomes Second language Liberal arts Accreditation Foreign language Metrics
- American Chemical Society. (2015). Undergraduate professional education in chemistry: ACS guidelines and evaluation procedures for bachelor’s degree programs. Retrieved from https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/about/governance/committees/training/2015-acs-guidelines-for-bachelors-degree-programs.pdf
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2012). The ACTFL proficiency guidelines 2012. Retrieved from https://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012
- American Historical Association. (2016). Tuning the history discipline. Retrieved from https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline
- American Psychological Association. (2013). APA guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major, version 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/about/psymajor-guidelines.pdf
- Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2005). Essential learning outcomes of liberal education & America’s promise. Retrieved from http://aacu.org/leap/essential-learning-outcomes
- Mathematical Association of America Committee on Undergraduate Majors and Programs. (2015). http://maa.org/sites/default/files/CUPM%20Guide.pdf
- National Standards for Foreign Language Education Project. (2015). World-readiness standards for language learning. Retrieved from https://www.actfl.org/publications/all/world-readiness-standards-learning-languages.
- Rifkin, B. (2012, Summer). The world language curriculum at the center of the post-secondary curriculum. Liberal Education, 98.3, 54–57. Also on line at http://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/le-su12/rifkin.cfm