Virtual Item Bank

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 Century.


Items are the specific tasks students are asked to perform in an assessment. Sample items are intended to provide a model for teachers on how different types of stimuli can be used to assess learners' progress in reading and listening (interpretive mode) and speaking and writing (interpersonal and presentational modes). It is important to note that it is the task to be performed or the question type to be answered that determines the level of the task.

When assessing reading and listening, questions/tasks should include a variety of thinking skills based on Bloom's taxonomy: creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, analysis, understanding and remembering.   A comparison of the revised and previous versions of Bloom's taxonomy, developed by Richard C. Overbaugh and Lynn Schultz can be seen at Old Dominion University's web site. Dalton & Smith developed questions and verbs applicable to each of the knowledge types and can be seen in this older view.

Please Note: For general accessibility, most items are in English. In actual items, however, it is important that the instructions to the student be either in the learner's native language or, if in the target language, at a level appropriate to the learner's understanding.


Adobe Reader is needed to view items in PDF format.

Test-Writing Tips (VAC)

The Virtual Assessment Center (VAC) contains web-based learning modules that provide teachers with background information, step-by-step guidance, and many practical resources for developing second language assessments.


This page of resources has software and website links and suggestions that may be useful for creating and administering assessment items.






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Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414