The three components of the project; proficiency testing, self-assessment, and professional development have been designed to work together synergistically towards building greater student language proficiency.
The first two years of the PACE project have been successful in shifting the University of Minnesota’s focus of foreign language education more towards language proficiency. Although UMN language programs were already proficiency-oriented, data from ACTFL proficiency testing, professional development opportunities, and self-assessment programs have helped administrators, instructors, and students to be better informed and more engaged. The first two years of formal and self-assessments with PACE helped instructors become more aware of what students can do with language, which areas need more attention, and understand better how to engage students in their own language learning.
The Project is pleased to announce the following innovations for the third year of the grant:
Targeted Curricular Revision: as a result of discussion with faculty and language coordinators, the PACE Project will focus the first half of Year 3 on targeted curriculum development. The goal will make specific changes to the curriculum between August 2016 and January 2017 that will be implemented during academic year 2016-2017 and students will be tested during spring semester to see if there are any changes in proficiency scores. This year the following courses are participating: Arabic 5101-5102, French 3015-3016, Korean 3031-3032 and Spanish 1003-1004.
Self-Assessment Improvement & Dissemination: the BOSSA instruments continue to be refined, and made more user friendly for instructors and students. The team is very excited about the pilot of the one-touch delivery system. In addition, later this fall, the project’s self-assessment instruments and speaking protocol will be available as downloadable documents on the CARLA website. This free educational resource will be available to the broader K-16 language community.
There is much more to come. Please look for future emails about upcoming professional development events and other opportunities to engage with the project. If you have any questions about the PACE Project, please reach out to the 2016-2017 administrative team:
- Dan Soneson: Principal Investigator, Director of the Language Center
- Adolfo Carrillo Cabello: Professional Development Specialist
- Monica Eden Frahm: Testing Program Director
- Anna Olivero-Agney: Sustainability & Assessment
- Kate Paesani: Project Advisor, Director of CARLA
- Jonathan Prestrud: Communications
- Diane Rackowski: Technology Coordinator
- Gabriela Sweet: Sustainability Coordinator
- Stephanie Treat: Administrator
- Ellen Wormwood: Testing Coordinator