As promised on the #langchat, I'd like to share my AAPPL implementation plan and experience.
Background: Last year, my principal emailed me and a colleague asking us about the STAMP test for the Seal of Biliteracy. Our district contracts with an ESC to provide Chinese instruction, and they were using the STAMP to test their students, and he was wondering if we should be doing it for French and Spanish. I'm the kind of person who would rather implement changes on my own timeline than be mandated by the district, so I volunteered to test my French 3 class at the end of the year, knowing that it was unlikely any level 3 would reach the level for the Seal.My experience with STAMP and examination of their average scores in French led me to ask to switch to the AAPPL test for this year. (I'd be happy to discuss that experience individually, I don't think this is the appropriate forum for that).
Plan: With the goal of getting some Level 3 students to the Seal of Biliteracy, my tentative plan is as follows:
- French 1: take the Form A Presentational Writing test. Writing is where many students often lag, and I want the measurements early so I know how much I need to build.
- French 2: take the Interpersonal Listening and Speaking test. This will give me another benchmark and expose the students to that part of the test.
- French 3: take all 4 parts, hoping that some of the most proficient students will reach the level for the Seal (Intermediate High).
Round 1: My first round of AAPPL with this French 1 group went very well. The State of Ohio sets Novice Mid as the target for Year 1; I teach with Novice High in mind for an A grade. This meant N-2 and N-3 (Novice MId) would be at-level scores, and N-4 (Novice High) would be above level (see AAPPL to ACTFL proficiency levels). 80% of the class scored at N-2 or higher, with 40% scoring at N-4 or I-1. I felt like the grading I was doing in class using the descriptors was generally aligned with their AAPPL results, and there were no surprises in the results. (Note: I did request 1 rescore, which I have not yet received. I really liked that I can see the students' responses and scores, it is very helpful for me to calibrate my scoring in the classroom). With so many students at N-4/I-1 at the end of Level 1, I feel hopeful that I may be able to get a few high-achieving students to I-5 at the end of Level 3. (Note: Level 3 target in Ohio is Intermediate Low - I1. ) It was also extremely valuable to have a 'standardized' measurement of my students' work, both for shaping my own practices, and for providing data to my administrators. The high percentage of students who were at or above level is evidence of the effectiveness of my proficiency-based instruction, and provides a validated measurement that those of us in 'untested' areas do not usually have. Honestly, if I could use the AAPPL for testing for evaluation purposes, I would .
Unknowns: I did not have any students who required accommodations in this group. I am not sure how well some of my students who have severe challenges with literacy or attention (IEP or 504) will do with this test as it is entirely on screen. I do not know if LTI/AAPPL tracks that subgroup and has any relevant, I will look into that to see.
Takeaway: I'm all in for the AAPPL. I found the preparation information (topics, score descriptors, practice tests) to be transparent and aligned with the actual test. I will report back after the spring and further testing at the other levels!