Some of my favorite resources for using portfolios, strength-based and asset-based evaluation and assessment for language learning. I’ve divided them into practical resources for the classroom language teachers, video resources and research resources for students and scholars. The resources cover a range of topics related to languages and literacy including:
- portfolios for younger learners
- portfolios for adult learners
- foreign and second language teaching
- literacy and ESL
Practical Resources for Language Teachers
An amazing online resource that’s part of the Portfolio Assessment Project conducted by the The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC), a consortium of Georgetown University, The George Washington University, and the Center for Applied Linguistics.
This site is a veritable cornucopia of resources on strength-based assessment from the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies in the UK.
A project headed up by Patricia Cummins, the Global Language Portfolio (GLP) is an electronic document used by learners, teachers, educational institutions, employers and other organizations to present information about language. It promotes language learning and the development of cultural competence, and it is modeled on the European Language Portfolio (ELP).
This site by the University of Manchester covers a number of aspects of independent language learning, including assessment. But it goes further than that. It also talks about how learners can set goals and stay motivated.
A site from the BBC that talks mostly about using portfolios to use English, but the principles can be applied to any language. They also reference the Council of Europe’s portfolio page.
A Resource for Integrating Collaborative Language Portfolio Assessment (CLPA) into the Teaching-Learning Cycle of Adult ESL Instruction (Manitoba Best Practices)
A 68-page downloadable .pdf that includes best practices and examples. It is directed towards adult ESL learners, but the principles could be applied for any language.
An 8-page downloadable .pdf on the European Language Portfolio. I love the simple, plain language approach of this resource.
The junior version of the European Language Portfolio is a Council of Europe initiative, launched in the 2001 European Year of Languages. The ELP provides pupils with a record of their achievements and progress in languages. Junior European Languages Portfolio.
A 36-page .pdf resource teachers can use with their junior students. Hard copies are available for sale from the National Centre for Languages, but this electronic version is free.
This teachers’ guide accompanies the Junior Language Portfolio. Like the portfolio itself, hard copies are available for sale from the National Centre for Languages. This 26-page .pdf version is free.
A great synopsis prepared by Lee Risley that includes topics such as the purpose of a portfolio, contents of a portfolio, assessment of portfolios and resources.
A production of Wisconsin Public Television. Jennifer Block, Kari Ewoldt, and Jaci Collins use literature circles, LinguaFolio, and student portfolios to provide students with the crucial feedback they need as they continue to learn and grow.
European Language Portfolios
A series of five videos. This series is a recording of a webinar of a live presentation on the European Language Portfolio by Margarete Nezbeda, project coordinator of the ECML-project Training Teachers to use the European Language Portfolio. I recommend watching them in order, otherwise it seems a bit disjointed. Here are the links to: Part 1 (09:58), Part 2 (09:48), Part 3 (09:59), Part 4 (07:03), Part 5 (07:16)
By Viljo Kohonen at the University of Tampere, this article was published in Babylonia in 2000. It’s available as a 6-page .pdf download and it addresses topics such as visible and invisible outcomes in language learning, how to increase visibility of learning using portfolios, how to get started, and how to get students thinking about learning processes.
By Emily Lynch Gómez, published by the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University. This 25-page .pdf download addresses topics such as performance assessment, using portfolios at the state and district levels and classroom-based use of portfolios.
An article by Sadia Yasser Ali in the Internet TESL Journal. This research article gives an introduction to portfolios before offering ideas on how to use electronic portfolios in language classrooms; the steps of developing electronic portfolios and the technological requirements for developing them.
By Amparo García-Carbonell, Frances Watts and Beverly Rising, this 6-page article published by the Tilburg University Press discusses experiences from two different universities in three different fields of study. The principal purpose of the simulations used is to learn English as a second or foreign language within a specific field of study.
This document (in .doc format) is published by the Council of Europe. More of a research document than for classroom practical use.
Developed by the California Foreign Language Project, this website contains a variety of pages including: purpose of a portfolio, audience of a portfolio, method, analysis and results, conclusions and recommendations.
A 30-page .pdf download by Caroline Kuperschmid, Third-Grade Teacher, and Sandra Cerulli, Reading Specialist. Contains information on how to implement reading-writing portfolios in class and authentic examples from grade 3 students.
Don’t be fooled by the “older” look of the front page of resource. It’s a solid 71-page resource by Maurice Taylor, University of Ottawa. Includes topics such as testing and assessment in adult education, alternative assessment, and how to develop a literacy portfolio.
A brief overview of using portfolios for assessment in language arts courses by Roger Farr, archived by the ERIC Clearninghouse on Reading and Communication Skills.
A Case Study of Using Portfolios to Make Language Learning More Visible at a Japanese Senior High School
A 6-page research article by Kenji Nakayama. (You may need to install Japanese character fonts on your Adobe reader to access this resource.)
By Rehorick, S., & Lafargue, C. (2005) this paper is from the Proceedings of a conference held at the University of New Brunswick.
Share this post: 21 Great Resources on Using Portfolios for Language Learning http://wp.me/pNAh3-HZ
Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!
Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.