Introduction to Practical Program Evaluation for Heritage Language Programs—NEW!

June 24–July 12, 2024 
Asynchronous* 3-week online summer institute

Note: This summer institute has three required synchronous meetings. See details below.
ACTFL logo
This summer institute is
co-sponsored by ACTFL

Evaluation is critical to understanding the outcomes of language programs. In conducting evaluation, it is important to take a comprehensive approach that considers the needs of learners and teachers, the requirements and capacities of administrators, parents and other stakeholders, the values of the discipline and the contributions of the program to the local, national and general society. This institute provides teachers, administrators, faculty in teacher preparation programs and other stakeholders an introductory approach to theory and practice to world language program evaluation, particularly in the field of heritage language, in the K-postsecondary context.

This engaging institute will use both scenario-based and actual participant contexts to explore the concepts  discussed and to identify areas of potential success and challenge for implementation. Participants will first define program evaluation for their own contexts and consider the opportunities and challenges of heritage language programs. Next, they will learn to design a program evaluation for their own macro or micro contexts by setting goals, determining outcomes, and defining the instruments needed to conduct the evaluation. Participants will also utilize and adapt existing instruments or develop new instruments for their context. Finally, participants will learn how to best communicate, apply, and implement evaluation results to a variety of contexts.

Program Schedule
Module 1
  • Orientation
  • Definitions of Evaluation
  • Needs Assessment of Individual Contexts
  • Defining Language in Language Program Evaluation
Module 2
  • Defining Macro and Micro Concepts
  • Identifying Stakeholders
  • Confirming Goals and Outcomes
Module 3
  • Defining Instruments
  • Modifying Existing Instruments
  • Developing New Instruments
Module 4
  • Implementing Evaluation
  • Establishing Timelines
Module 5
  • Developing Final Reports
  • Communicating Results
  • Implementing Results

After this institute, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the differences between assessment and evaluation;

  • Conduct a needs assessment;

  • Examine existing research and resources for applicability to their own context;

  • Contextualize evaluation within their own school, program, district or state; and

  • Develop a draft plan for a particular section of a program evaluation and its implementation.


Image of Instructor Malone
Meg Malone
Image of Instructor Zamora
Celia Zamora

Margaret Malone is Director of Assessment and Research at ACTFL and co-leader of Practical Program Evaluation. She is the former Director of the AELRC and has over 30 years of experience in language education. Dr. Malone is well-versed in program evaluation, survey research, materials development, language test development, and professional development delivered through online and face-to-face platforms.

Celia Chomón Zamora is Director for Professional Learning and Certification at ACTFL and co-leader of Practical Program Evaluation. Dr. Zamora has over 15 years of experience as a K-12 language teacher and administrator, an instructor and administrator of postsecondary language courses, and a researcher of heritage language instruction.


Target Audience
This institute is designed for K-12 and postsecondary world language faculty and administrators who work in and with heritage language programs and need to develop program evaluations. It is also relevant for postsecondary faculty in teacher preparation programs who need to prepare students for this work.

It is important to note that while there are readings that are relevant to both audiences there is paucity of published research on language program evaluation. Thus, participants must be willing to extrapolate beyond the contexts provided in published research to fit their own needs.


  • This institute is primarily asynchronous (not real time). For the most part, you will work on activities according to your own schedule during the week but there are preset deadlines for activities. Instruction takes place only during the institute dates.
  • You must keep up with assignments each week as they build on each other. Many assignments involve facilitation from the instructor and/or collaboration with other participants. 
  • This institute includes three required check-in/discussion synchronous sessions: Tuesday, June 25; Tuesday, July 2; and Tuesday, July 9, from 8:30–9:30 a.m. (Central Time).
  • Make sure you can meet the tech requirements for this institute.

Sponsorship Statement:
This summer institute is generously co-sponsored and co-staffed by ACTFL.

Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship Program

Logo - PriorityThe Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship program is designed to promote equity and access to affordable professional development for world language educators who are currently teaching at a Community College, Minority Serving Institution, or Historically Black College/University in the United States and/or are currently teaching a Less Commonly Taught Language in the United States. The program provides funding for selected teachers in these categories to attend a CARLA Summer Institute for no charge.

Learn more and apply on the Priority Teacher Professional Development Scholarship website.

Quote MarksRight quote marks This institute provided me with valuable insights and knowledge on program evaluation from various dimensions. It served as a strong starting point and laid a solid foundation for my further development in this field.
2023 Institute Participant


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