Those of us who are trained in performance based teaching sometimes forget where we came from and forget that while we are on that path most of our world language colleagues are not and haven't yet heard "the message." Our job is forge ahead in the journey, evangelize for our cause as well as train others along the way. So, this post is dedicated to that brave teacher who reminded me not to assume to much.
Assessment - A tool we use to evaluate what language students have acquired, their proficiency level, and/or their ability to perform specific tasks using the target language. Assessment is not a traditional test, rather a communicative scenario created to observe how a student performs using the target language.
Backwards Design - A strategy developed by Wiggins and McTighe in which all instruction is planned by first deciding what outcomes are desired, developing the assessment to evaluate those outcomes and then the instruction that would be necessary to prepare for that assessment.
Comprehensible Input - A strategy used to teach vocabulary in such a way that students can understand it without needing glossing, translation or vocabulary lists. Methods can include using visuals or non-linguistic representations, Total Physical Response (TPR), texts to read, audio to listen to, strategic pairing of vocabulary, and use of cognates. Comprehensible input is often referred to as "C.I."
Legacy Practices - Methods, practices and strategies used in traditional language instruction such as teaching grammar in isolation, using vocabulary lists, conjugation charts and more.
Proficiency (language proficiency) - A student's ability to use the target language to communicate with others, problem-solve and/or meet his/her needs without any support from an outside source.
Target Language - The new language being taught to and expected from a student in a language class.
TPRS - Total Physical Response Storytelling or Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. This blog article was my source for understanding the term better.
Traditional - The description of language instruction prior to the trend of using performance based teaching methods. The traditional language class is teacher centered and textbook driven, largely based on grammar instruction and drills and rarely invites students to speak the language themselves.
- The following definitions are my own understanding of terminology related to performance based language instruction and are written in layman's terms.
- This is a running list and will be added to and revised. If you find a mistake please contact me and let me know. I will correct the issue.
- I welcome suggestions. If you think of a term that someone new to performance based instruction should know please share it and/or your definition with me. I will post it and give you credit.