I use this performance based rubric to assess students’ language skills in my class. (Thanks to Thomas Sauer for putting pretty documents together for us at JCPS! Click here to download the rubric.)

If you haven’t seen it yet – here it is!

and here’s a generic one that we made:


I learned a lot about feedback and it’s role in a language class from Greg Duncan. The reason we give feedback to students is so they can see where they are and how to improve. Writing a letter grade or slapping a sticker on a test does nothing to motivate a student to improve. It sends the message – “good enough.”

One of the best things I have learned about giving feedback is that students need to know 1 thing they can work on to improve their language skills. I try to compliment something the student did well and make one suggestion that will help the student move toward that next proficiency sub level. I know the rubric well after working with it so many times, but how can I remind students how to improve during a unit without waiting for the end-of-unit assessment results?

I decided to bring this rubric to life in my classroom. Here is my learner-sized version of the proficiency rubric and some of the key characteristics of each level.

Now my students can refer to it when they are practicing and can pretty accurately measure their OWN writing. POWERFUL! They move across this timeline pretty quickly when they know what they need to do! (Imagine that?) I need to put some descriptions of what intermediates look like because I have more and more students who are asking me… (#success)

Here is a free download of the similar to the ones in the photos that can be used in any language class. They are very simple so you can add your own style and edit.

How do your students know how they are doing? Do they know how to get to the next level?