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Assessment for CBI

In CBI, learners are held accountable for both CONTENT and LANGUAGE learning. This means that the assessment tasks and assessment tools (e.g., rubrics) that are developed for CBI must address both.

Assessment can take a variety of forms in CBI, but the most valuable types of assessment tasks are those that require students to use language meaningfully to demonstrate what they’ve learned about the content. For example, culminating synthesis tasks (Stoller, 2002), such as oral presentations or written reports, are often a good choice for summative assessment in CBI–they require students to be actively engaged and guide them in consolidating content learning while using language in meaningful ways.

Project-based learning (PBL) also serves as a valuable approach to assessment in CBI. PBL is defined as interaction wherein students are socialized via individual and group activities that require language and content learning through planning, researching, analyzing, and synthesizing data (Beckett & Slater, 2005).

Another framework that may also inform assessment for CBI is the Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) model developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) (Glisan et al., 2003). The IPA was not originally developed to serve as an assessment approach for CBI, rather its primary focus is on assessing language only. However, we find the IPA to have tremendous potential for CBI as long as a number of key modifications are made.

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