Old world – New world assessments

As I continue my journey towards proficiency, I wanted to share a concrete example of “Old World” (textbook-not-real-life-not-meaningful tasks) versus “New World” (proficiency-based-authentic-meaningful) assessment.

This is the “Old World” Level 1 quiz I have been giving on Food for the past 2 years: using the test generator from my textbook, I created a bunch of disconnected, not authentic, accuracy-based vocabulary and grammar tasks.

This is the first part of the  “New World” Level 1 quiz I am giving on Food this year: an authentic text describing what the ideal breakfast should contain. Students rely on various reading strategies we practiced in class to decipher the meaning (but heavily geared toward words they know/cognates since this is for Novice readers). Once we have reviewed their understanding and everyone is on the same page, they engage in a conversation with their classmates about whether or not they eat the “ideal breakfast” every morning.

What I particularly like about the interpersonal task is that we practiced in class talking about what we eat/drink for breakfast but not in the context of having an ideal breakfast. So now students have to reflect on what they eat/drink, making connections with Health and bringing them up the critical thinking ladder.

Finally, this also prepares them for an Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA).


  1. Thanks for your blog posts! I am struggling with some of the same issues. It looks like I teach at the same level and with the same book as you. I am also beginning to work on Integrated Portfolio Assessments and it is extremely helpful to see how you build your assessment from the Interpretive task to the Interpersonal task. It’s got me thinking on how to improve my work!

  2. Since I left that reply above, I have used your work as a model and made 3 Integrated Performance Assessments. They may not be great, but it is a start! I made them for chapters 6, 7 and 8 of the book Bien Dit. I am open to sharing them… Thank you so much for showing me the way!

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