Language Resource: CARLA's Virtual Assessment Center

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Mar 28, 2009 / 0 comments

Virtual Item Bank:
CARLA Offers New Assessment Resource for Teachers

CARLA is pleased to announce that the Virtual Item Bank has been added
to the Virtual Assessment Center on the CARLA website.

The Virtual Item Bank (VIB) provides teachers with practical ideas and
models for developing classroom assessments
. Items are based on the
ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and on the modes of communication as
defined by Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st
Samples of test items in English provide a model for teachers
on how different types of stimuli can be used to assess learners’
progress in reading, listening, speaking and writing.

The VIB is organized in grids based on the 1993 Omaggio classic _Teaching
Language in Context,_ and is presented within themes typical of
curricular topics at the respective levels. Most of the more than 300
items currently in the VIB are in English for general accessibility,
though there are some samples in several other languages.

To look for models of assessment items, teachers first select the
language and then the target level of the task they would like their
students to perform (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Superior).
Finally, teachers select the mode they wish to assess: reading and
listening (interpretive mode) and speaking and writing (interpersonal
and presentational modes).

The sample grid above for Intermediate Writing--English outlines a
variety of stimuli that teachers can use to elicit students' writing
at this level within a choice of four broad categories of activities.

Each grid includes fully described tasks that serve as examples and
are available as downloadable PDFs, such as the sample item to the
right. The grid also includes lots of tips for creating and/or
modifying items for a variety of levels.

The VIB provides information about free online resources for use in
developing listening assessments and links to materials for
interpretive task (reading and listening) in world languages. It also
provides information on question types that help teachers assure the
questions address a variety of thinking skills based on Bloom's

Check out this new resource at: