Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) has a Facebook page. Of course it does! See below details.
What it is…
Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) is a teacher-based approach to assessment in language training programs based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. PBLA engages adult ESL/EAL teachers and students in dialogue to tell the story of the student’s journey in learning English and meeting their personal goals. PBLA is conceived as "assessment for learning" and is embedded in curriculum as an integral part of the teaching and learning cycle. Teachers and students collaborate to set language-learning goals, compile numerous examples of language proficiency and learning in a variety of contexts over time, analyze the data, and reflect on progress.
What kind of portfolio is created…
• A learning portfolio that documents learning over time (rather than a presentation/showcase portfolio)
What goes into a Portfolio…
• Personal Information - baseline information that is the reference point for discussions about progress, such as: o CLB placement levels o Needs Assessments o Goal Statement o Autobiography
• Language Samples - Listening, speaking, reading, writing and (in ESL Literacy classes) numeracy assessment tasks and skill-USING activities that address the range of CLB outcome competencies (i.e. interacting with others, giving/comprehending instructions, getting things done, and sharing/comprehending information)
• Self-assessment - often using the Can Do Checklists
• Reflection on learning
How PBLA is integrated into instruction… • At the beginning of the term… o Begins in the first few days of class o Set aside a regular time (usually weekly) to do PBLA-related activities o Intro students to new PBLA resources o Intro students to the concepts and develop the language skills for PBLA o Record entering levels, needs and goals o Add autobiography, and samples of language o Begin master list of portfolio tasks
• Throughout the term… o Add samples of language learning: • FT class – 1-2 language task samples + reflection per week • PT class – 2-3 language tasks sample + reflection every 2 weeks
• At the end of term… o Collect portfolios o Review and evaluate portfolio data and other documentation (e.g. anecdotal records, SAM tasks, test results…) o Write progress report o Discuss progress report with Students, referencing items in the portfolio (There should be no surprises for the student.)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is implementing PBLA in federally-funded Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programs across Canada to enhance student language learning and teacher assessment practice. Several provincial adult ESL/EAL funders are also considering implementing PBLA.
Not exactly products, but supports include... PBLA Guide for Teachers and Programs Language Companion (3 versions: ESL Literacy, CLB 1-4, CLB5-8)