Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chinese Students Visit AHS

A group of 30 Chinese students and five teachers visited Arlington High School this week, coming from Beijing just in time for a massive snow storm! The group arrived in Arlington Monday night, and were snowed in for the two days that school was cancelled! Finally, we were able to welcome them to AHS today. Each student was paired with an Arlington student enrolled in Mandarin language class, and they shadowed these students all day. The Mandarin teachers planned for interactive activities to give their students a chance to practice speaking! After school, the Chinese students attended a presentation by the Guidance department on how to apply to American universities.

This is the third year that we have welcomed this group to Arlington -- travelling ourselves last year to visit them in Beijing -- and we look forward to a lasting partnership!

Arlington Mandarin student with his Chinese visitors.
Chinese visitors arrive in the AHS lobby.

After school, the group headed to the Media Center for a Guidance presentation.
Most of these students are planning to apply to an American university next year. We wish them luck!

Monday, January 5, 2015

AEF Awards $3,000 for Data Collection & Analysis

The Arlington Education Foundation has just awarded the World Language department $3,000 to support the project: Data Collection and Analysis for Improved World Language Proficiency.

Thanks to this funding, the World Language department will be able to administer an external assessment measure to determine student proficiency levels across languages, and use this data to analyze patterns of strengths and needed improvements in instructional strategies. Proficiency in World Languages measures what learners can actually do with the language, rather than content covered in class. The American Council for the Teaching of ForeignLanguages (ACTFL) developed a proficiency scale, which categorizes students as Novice (low, mid, high), Intermediate (low, mid, high), or Advanced (low, mid, high). The World Language Department is working this year towards the collective goal to “investigate proficiency levels during department meetings by looking at sample assessments and rubrics, instructional strategies for teaching for proficiency, can-do statement integration, and reviewing data from common assessments with the ultimate goal of determining proficiency targets for all languages and all levels in each of the modes of communication/skills by the end of the year.”

Samples of students in all languages will be assessed at levels 2 and 4 to look at progress across the curriculum. In French, Italian, Mandarin, and Spanish, the Standards-Based Measure of Proficiency (STAMP) Assessment will be used. In Latin, the ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA) will be used. 

The World Language department is incredibly grateful to AEF for their generosity!