Create a Standards-Based Integrated Performance Assessment Unit Step-by-Step

Step 4: Design Performance Tasks

The Interpersonal Mode

The Interpersonal Mode of Communication has two important characteristics that influence the way the performance task is set up: unrehearsed and negotiated. Unrehearsed means that the students have to “think on their feet” as they engage in a conversation or discussion. They cannot read from notecards or memorize their conversation or discussion. Negotiated means that the students have to listen to the other participants’ comments and respond accordingly.

Questions for Thought Icon
Before watching the video

Thinking about the characteristics described above, how do the Interpretive and Presentational tasks help prepare the students for the Interpersonal Task?

How Interpretive and Presentational Modes prepare students for the Interpersonal Mode:
If students are going to be able to access new learning easily, they have to have multiple opportunities to practice the new content and language via listening, reading, writing and speaking. The Interpretive Mode gives the students correct language patterns to replicate. The Presentational Mode gives the students guided practice using the new language and content so that they can communicate successfully.

Play Video Icon
As you watch the video

In this segment, the teachers emphasize that the unrehearsed aspect of the Interpersonal Mode. Cristina, the Italian instructor, details how the Interpretive and Presentational Modes helped prepare the students for the Interpersonal Mode where the students critique the videos they created.

As you watch the video, take notes below on how the teachers prepared their students for this task.


The middle school Spanish students practiced bargaining in pairs and small groups, and the teacher monitored the interactions.

The Chinese students practiced asking and responding to questions about the location of various cities and rivers in China.

The Italian students completed an oral peer review of the movies they created, with a guide sheet of characteristics to discuss.

Type Your Response icon
After watching the video

You have heard the teachers discuss how they assessed the three modes of communication in their performance assessment. Look at the graphic below that shows the interrelationship among the three modes of communication. Using either Feng-yi’s unit focused on the geography of China or Dayna’s unit about markets in the Hispanic world or Cristina and Anna’s Italian cinema unit, describe how the teacher connected the three modes to create the performance assessment for the unit.

How the teacher connected the three modes to create the performance assessment for the unit:

Interpretive Presentational Interpersonal
Chinese Students followed directions from one place to another on a map of China Students presented information on a region of China to the class Students asked and responded to questions about the different regions of China and their locations
Italian Students read about Italian comedy and watched Italian movie clips showing comedy Students created their own Italian comedy movie Students evaluated their classmates’ movies giving their opinions and suggestions
Spanish Students viewed a videoclip in the market and determined what people bought and how much they paid Students presented a role play in an open air market Students had to barter with their teacher to purchase an item at the teacher’s market stand
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