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5:3 Portfolio Scenarios: Planning purpose and audience

Scenario 1

Sophie is a French teacher at AuSable Chasm Middle School in upstate New York. Sophie is participating in a pilot exchange program in which she, a native French speaker from nearby Montreal, offers a language and culture course to interested middle school students. ACMS administrators and faculty designed the program with the primary purpose of exposing students to the language and culture of Quebec. They are realistic and acknowledge that a one-year class will not result in fluent French communication or a full understanding of Quebec, but they do hope that students will enjoy the benefits of exposure to the language and culture. Sophie's purpose in using assessment portfolios derives from the goals of the program: measuring the impact of the course on students in terms of language learning and cultural knowledge. Her audience for the portfolios is the students, herself, and the board and administrators of ACMS. Scenario 2

Alex teaches Advanced Russian at Almira University in New York City. His purpose in using assessment portfolios in class is to evaluate students' academic writing. The student and the teacher will be the audience for the portfolio. Alex is particularly interested in evaluating students' progress toward mastering Russian grammar. Scenario 3

Abby is a German teacher in the elementary foreign language program at Frances Barkley Elementary School in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She and two colleagues in the German program want to use assessment portfolios in their classrooms to evaluate the curriculum in relation to the Standards. The audience for the portfolios is the teachers and the students. School administrators will receive recommendations for revising the curriculum based on the portfolio assessment project, but they will not see the portfolios themselves. Scenario 4

Mary is a high school Spanish teacher. She has decided to implement portfolio assessment on her own. She emphasizes writing and speaking in her classroom. Her students are at very different levels. Many of them like to use computers and have expressed an interest in "virtual" portfolios. Mary is somewhat apprehensive about the whole process and does not want to overdo on her first time using portfolios. What would you recommend for the purpose and audience of the portfolio she is planning? Scenario 5

Fabiane is a German instructor at a large university. Most of her students live on campus. She teaches four classes with about 13 students in each class. Two of her classes are first-year German classes in which listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture are all emphasized. Her other two classes are third-year literature classes in which reading, writing, and culture are emphasized. In which class(es) would you recommend that Fabiane first implement portfolios? What would you recommend for the purpose and audience of the portfolio she is planning? Scenario 6

Clayton is a high school Spanish teacher. He has an exceptional senior Spanish V class. The students are motivated, good language learners, and hope to continue studying Spanish at college next year. Clayton is trying to guide the students in taking responsibility for their own learning. The main focus of the class is literature. However, Clayton has very little experience teaching literature and is therefore unsure of how effective he will be. He is interested in having the students learn from Spanish speakers in the community. What do you recommend he set as his portfolio purpose and audience? Scenario 7

Brad teaches seventh and eighth grade French at a school in which teachers work in teams to teach and advise students. His eighth grade students have some experience with proficiency portfolios that they worked on in seventh grade with another teacher. The number of students in the building is growing and there is not enough space for all of the teachers to have portfolios which take up a lot of space in their rooms. The administration is pushing for assessment portfolios. However, the teachers are unsure of the purpose of these portfolios and worried about the time commitment. Due to space restrictions, the administration has recommended that the team teachers implement interdisciplinary portfolios (English, geography, Spanish) during the second half of the school year. What would you recommend as the purpose and audience for the portfolios?

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