My official goal to design best-in class assessments started in 2011-2012. That year, the College Board finally got rid of the old mammoth that was the French AP exam and designed a new exam. I used to tell my AP students that we would only practice for the exam 2 weeks prior because I was not going to waste their AP year drilling verbs, listening to canned conversations that were not authentic, and doing “fill-in-the-blanks”. That is not what a world language is about! So you can imagine how excited as I was for this change: a real world exam aligned with the World Languages standards, with authentic texts and audio pieces (Interpretive), a simulated conversation and an email reply (Interpersonal), and an oral cultural presentation and a persuasive essay (Presentational).

And so that summer,  I took the newly published French AP rubrics and worked backwards with my colleague to design speaking and writing rubrics for every level of French. We now use these rubrics for formative and summative assessments. Here are some comments from my French 1 and 3 students about the rubrics:

—“The rubrics tell me what to improve for next time.”
—“It helps to see exactly what is expected, and when doing corrections, it expedites the process.”
—“Rubrics allow me to set goals and know what I should be aiming for in my speaking and writing.”

—“It has helped because it pushes me to use new vocabulary and learn more as I go.”

4/20/13: I have removed my rubrics from this post because I am working with the Ohio Foreign Language Association (OFLA) to create performance and proficiency rubrics, building on the work that Martha Pero (OFLA PD chair) and I have done on this topic. I will share once we have completed our work (very soon – summer 2013 at the latest)

Here are all the rubrics I designed with @MarthaPero for the Ohio Foreign Language Association: