Portfolios to Assess Literacy and Second Languages: An Annotated Bibliography

July 5, 2011

Portfolios to assess literacy and second languages by Sarah EatonFor a few years now I’ve been interested in the topic of using portfolios and asset-based (also known as strength-based) approaches to assessment. Significant theoretical research and applied classroom practice has been done in the field of alternative assessment, and specifically in area of using portfolios and e-portfolios.

The practice of using portfolios for second and foreign language teaching has increased in popularly, with an increased understanding and adoption of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Almost simultaneously, there has been a rise in the use of similar frameworks in the field of literacy. However, there is little collaboration between those who work in literacy and those who teach second and modern languages.

This annotated bibliography is an attempt to collect, select and share resources that may be relevant, helpful and useful to professionals working in both the second language and literacy sectors. The deeper values that guide this work are predicated on the belief that researchers and practitioners working in both fields have much in common and would benefit greatly from increased dialogue and shared resources.

Download a copy here: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51923

Check out these related posts:

Student portfolios for Language Learning: What They Are and How to Use Them

Using Portfolios for Effective Learning

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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.

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Strength-based approaches to evaluating literacy and language learning

July 4, 2011

Looking for new ways to assess literacy and language learning that focus on students’ strengths, instead of their weaknesses? So was I. I started digging, found some resources and compiled them into an annotated bibliography, that’s just been archived on ERIC.

Alternative and Asset-Based Evaluation and Assessment in Language Teaching and Literacy: Resources for Research, Classroom Instruction and Evaluation of Language Competence

Full text report available from ERIC. (Release date: June 1, 2011): http://1.usa.gov/lf2NvT

This annotated bibliography surveys key resources and research related specifically to language learning and literacy. It focuses on resources that will be valuable to teaching professionals and researchers who specialize in the areas of foreign and second language teaching, language arts and first and second language literacy.

Significant theoretical research and applied classroom practice has been done in the field of alternative assessment, and specifically in area of using portfolios and e-portfolios (Barrett, 2010; Brear, 2007; Dominguez, 2011; JISC, 2008; Meuller, 2011; North Carolina Regional Educational Laboratory, n.d.; Shao-Ting & Heng-Tsung).

The practice of using portfolios for second and foreign language teaching has increased in popularly, with an increased understanding and adoption of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe, 2001). Almost simultaneously, there has been a rise in the use of similar frameworks in the field of literacy (Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, 2009; Literacy BC, n.d.)

However, there is little collaboration between those who work in literacy and those who teach second and modern languages (Eaton, 2010).

This annotated bibliography is an attempt to collect, select and share resources that may be relevant, helpful and useful to professionals working in both the second language and literacy sectors. The deeper values that guide this work are predicated on the belief that researchers and practitioners working in both fields have much in common and would benefit greatly from increased dialogue and shared resources. A bibliography is included.

Related posts:

Using Portfolios for Effective Learning

27 Great Resources on Using Portfolios for Language Learning and Literacy

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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.


27 Great Resources on Using Portfolios for Language Learning and Literacy

June 10, 2011

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

Portfolio Assessment in the Foreign Language Classroom

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.

Assessment and Independent Language Learning

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.

Global Language Portfolio

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).

Independent Language Learning

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.

Portfolios in English Language Teaching (ELT)

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.

The European Language Portfolio: A Guide for Learners (15+)

An 8-page downloadable .pdf on the European Language Portfolio. I love the simple, plain language approach of this resource.

Junior European Language Portfolio

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.

Downloadable e-copy of European Language Portfolio – Junior version

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.

Downloadable Teachers’ Guide on Using the European Language Portfolio – Junior version

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.

Student Portfolios in the Foreign Language Classroom – FLTEACH FAQ

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.

Video Resources

World Language Assessment: Using Feedback in Assessment (15:06)

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)

Research Materials

Student Reflection in Portfolio Assessment: Making Language Learning More Visible

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.

Portfolio Assessment and English Language Learners: An Annotated Bibliography

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 Introduction to Electronic Portfolios in the Language Classroom

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.

Portfolio Assessment in Simulation for Language Learning

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.

Enhancing the pedagogical aspects of the European Language Portfolio (ELP)

This document (in .doc format) is published by the Council of Europe. More of a research document than for classroom practical use.

Development and Implementation of Student Portfolios in Foreign Language Programs

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.

Using a Literacy Portfolio in a Third-Grade Class

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.

Literacy Portfolio Assessment: A Resource for Literacy Workers

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.

Portfolios: Assessment in Language Arts

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.)

The European Language Portfolio and its Potential for Canada

By Rehorick, S., & Lafargue, C. (2005) this paper is from the Proceedings of a conference held at the University of New Brunswick.

Related posts:

Student portfolios for Language Learning: What They Are and How to Use Them

Also, you can check out my Diigo list on Learning Portfolios.

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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.


New Trends in Education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning – Implications for Evaluation and Assessment

June 9, 2011

Thanks to the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC) for inviting me to be part of their webinar series. In case you missed the program this week on “New Trends in Education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning: Implications for Evaluation and Assessment” you can watch the recording here:

Here’s the link to program, too: http://youtu.be/6iH_ikNmn9I

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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.


Using Portfolios for Effective Learning

June 6, 2011

Lately the topic of asset-based or value based evaluation has come up in conversations with colleagues. People want to know how to do it and how to maintain academic rigour and standards when incorporating strength-based evaluation. Here’s a brief on how I incorporated both the philosophy and practice of asset-based evaluation into one of my courses — and how you can, too.

View this document on Scribd

Related post: Student portfolios for Language Learning: What They Are and How to Use Them

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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.


Free webinar – New Trends in Education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning – Implications for Evaluation and Assessment

May 27, 2011

** This event has passed. Check out the recording of this program here: http://youtu.be/6iH_ikNmn9I **

The Ontario Literacy Coalition has a series of professional development webinars for literacy professionals. I met these folks last year when I spoke at their Spotlight on Learning Conference. I was delighted when they invited me back this year to present via webinar. I gave them a few different programs to choose from and they put the topics out for a vote to their stakeholders. The topic that got the most votes was “New Trends in Education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning – Implications for Evaluation and Assessment”.

This is a free event for educators and literacy professionals. But there’s one catch. They have a limited number of seats, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to reserve your spot. Their May webinar was filled to capacity. Join us:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT (There is a link to show that in your time zone here).

Feel free to share this post with other literacy advocates. This is an open event. Would love to have you come and be part of the conversation!

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Share this post: Free webinar – New Trends in Education: Formal, Non-formal and Informal Learning – Implications for Evaluation and Assessment http://wp.me/pNAh3-Gj

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.


Appreciative Inquiry: A brief overview

May 22, 2011

In research and in leadership, it’s good to know what your biases and values are. In my own work, I take an asset-based approach, finding the strengths and building on them. I’ve grounded much of my professional, leadership and research work on this philosophy, which is grounded in Appreciative Inquiry (AI). The other day, someone asked me what AI is, so I’m posting a brief overview that I wrote up for another project about a year ago. It’s a “quick and dirty” overview, with some references:

Appreciative Inquiry: An Overview

hands hope sunAppreciative Inquiry (AI) is an approach used in academia, business and the not-for-profit sectors. The main pioneer of  AI is widely recognized to be David Cooperrider.

Traditional methods of assessing and evaluating a situation and then proposing solutions are based on a deficiency model. Traditional methods ask questions such as “What are the problems?”, “What’s wrong?” or “What needs to be fixed?” Sometimes such questions are sugar-coated in trendy jargon. Instead of asking “What’s the problem?”, which can seem a little harsh, the question may be couched in terms of ‘challenges’: “What are the challenges?” Regardless of whether the question is asked harshly or softened with less antagonistic language, the model remains as one of deficiency. The thinking behind the questions assumes that there is something wrong, that something needs to be ‘fixed’ or ‘solved’. Business people (especially consultants) like to say they ‘can provide solutions’. The underlying belief is that there is something wrong and it needs to be fixed.

Appreciative Inquiry flips all that on its head. It is an asset-based approach. It starts with the belief that every organization, and every person in that organization, has something good about it. Each person has something valuable to contribute and the organization itself has merit of some kind. It asks questions like “What’s working?”, “What’s good about what you are currently doing?”

AI seeks to uncover the best of what an organization is currently doing, using interviews with its members. The interviews challenge participants to examine and discuss what is good about their current situation and explore what works well within the organization. This approach then utilizes the data collected from those interviews to construct a plan for enriching the organization by building on what is already working and what is already considered to be successful.

An initial reaction for some people is to balk when they hear questions like “What’s working?” An retaliatory answer may follow of “Nothing is working! It’s all a mess!”. People are so used to working within a deficiency framework, that it is almost like the brain can not process questions that are rooted in an asset-based approach. It may take some time for people to come up with an answer to questions based on an AI approach. This is because AI challenges us to shift our paradigm from deficiency thinking to asset thinking. Changing paradigms takes some time, but the results can be worth it.

Appreciative inquiry can be particularly useful in organizations where individuals or group of people are polarized over major issues. Rather than exacerbating the polarization between or among the parties, it assumes that a core of positive traits exist which can be highlighted and expanded up on to create even more success in an organization.

Bibliography

Cooperrider, D. L. (2007). Business as an agent of world benefit: Awe is what moves us forward.   Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/practice/executiveDetail.cfm?coid=10419

Cooperrider, D. L., & Whitney, D. (2008). A positive revolution in change: Appreciative inquiry.   Retrieved March 27, 2008, 2008, from http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/whatisai.pdf

Cooperrider, D. L., Whitney, D., & Stavros, J. M. (2003). Appreciative inquiry handbook. Bedford Heights, OH: Lakeshore Publishers.

Eliot, C. (1999). Locating the Energy for Change: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry. Winnipeg: International Institute for Sustainable Development / Insitut International du Developpment Durable.

Faure, M. (2006). Problem solving was never this easy: Transformational change through appreciative inquiry. Performance Improvement, 45(9), 22-31.
Murrell, K., L. (1999). International and intellectual roots of appreciative inquiry. Organization Development Journal, 17(3), 49-61.

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View this document on Scribd

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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.


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