Evaluation of Language Training Services

Research and Evaluation Branch. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. December 2020.

This article cited below from the Toronto Star about learners’ and instructors’ perceptions of Portfolio based language assessment (PBLA) used in LINC classes led us to the latest evaluation of the Federal government’s Evaluation of Language Training Services (December 2020) . The evaluation report provides a number of recommendations and responses from IRCC. PBLA is examined in detail in Theme 2, Program Improvements for Fostering Success.

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Developing a Badge System for a Community ESL Class Based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks

McCollum, R.M., Tornar Reed, E. (2020). Developing a Badge System for a Community ESL class based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Special Issue: 23, 2(2020):228-236.

This interesting article describes how instructors in a community-based ESL program in Utah developed a badge and checklist system, using the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) to enable students and instructors to measure and track language proficiency development for individual students.  The system was implemented to address some of the challenges of providing ESL instruction in a multi-level classroom, particularly in relation to motivation and regular attendance.

The authors provide an overview of a badge system, in which badges can be digital or physical, and its potential to support learner motivation and self-assessment, as well as providing a practical assessment tool for instructors. They also provide a clear description of the methodology used to implement the badge and checklist system and an account of learner and instructor feedback following implementation. Finally, they offer recommendations for the implementation of a badge and checklist system, based on their own experiences and suggestions for further research in the area.

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NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment

The NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment was developed by the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium. Through a set of online and interactive assessments users can identify skill gaps in Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Email, Word Processing/ Microsoft Word, Spreadsheets/ Excel, and Social Media.

The NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment is widely used in the U.S.  and by some organizations in Canada and South Africa. As of March 2016, over 150,000 assessments had been completed.  Although the NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment was developed for the adult basic education community it is appropriate for ESL learners – the developers note that, “A mid-level English-speaking ability is needed to complete the assessments.”

Retrievable from:  https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/