The National Less Commonly Languages Resource Center (NLRC) Learning Community is a professional development opportunity open to LCTL instructors from K-16 nationwide. The learning community will provide relevant accessible readings, hands-on activities, and opportunities for sustained pedagogical discussion. The learning community aims to work with a small group of LCTL instructors over the course of five meetings during the semester, with virtual meetings planned once a month.

2024-2025 Learning Community – coming soon!

2023-2024 Learning Community – Designing Proficiency-Based Assessments for Your LCTL Classroom 

Fall 2023 schedule:  

  • Monday, October 16th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Monday, November 13th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Monday, December 18th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 

Spring 2024 schedule: 

  • Wednesday, January 17th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Wednesday, February 14th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Wednesday, March 6th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Wednesday, April 3rd, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 
  • Wednesday, May 8th, 9:30-11:00 AM EST 

Previous NLRC Learning Communities

Spring 2023 Learning Community – Designing Proficiency-Based Instructional Materials for Your Classroom 

This year, the learning community will focus on assessment. Starting from proficiency-based language objectives or can-do statements, the learning community will develop task-based, proficiency-based formative and summative assessments that fit your course or program.  Participants will (1) identify relevant language proficiency objectives and/or end-of-course target tasks based on the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines and (2) create performance-based assessments to evaluate students’ progress during and at the end of the course. Throughout the course of the Academic Year 2023-2024, participants will design engaging and motivating assessment tasks or classroom activities that help students master corresponding language objectives (summative assessment) and gauge their progress towards those objectives (formative assessments).  

Participants will collaborate and provide feedback on each other’s ideas and work. Participants will be encouraged to pilot their assessments in the classroom and reflect on the success of their assessments. Finally, participants will also receive guidance and feedback from the experienced learning community facilitators. By the end of the learning community, each participant will have fully developed assessment tasks or activities that meet and assess relevant proficiency learning objectives in a principled fashion.  

During this learning community, participants will: 

  • Become familiar with foundational principles of assessment for LCTLs, including proficiency-based language teaching and performance-based assessments 
  • Identify the most relevant proficiency-based language learning objectives or target tasks for their course or program 
  • Explore diverse types of assessment (self- and peer-assessment) and how they contribute to strong assessment practices 
  • Design strong performance-based assessments with corresponding rubrics 
  • Explore how technology can enhance assessment practices 
  • Learn about accessibility and inclusion issues in assessment 
  • Participate in feedback/review of assessments created by other participants using rubrics 
  • Pilot the use of the assessments in their classroom, reflect on the success of the assessments, share their experiences with the group and discuss ways of improving the assessments further 

The facilitators aim to work with a small group of LCTL instructors over the course of 8 meetings during the 2023-2024 academic year, with meetings planned once a month from October through May. The group of committed participants will meet virtually via Zoom. We will make use of various online learning tools to foster a lively and principled exchange of ideas. 

The inaugural Learning Community ran from January until May 2023. The group of committed participants met virtually in Google Classroom and made use of all its features fostering a lively and principled exchange of ideas. The NLRC’s first learning community focused on the design of proficiency-based language teaching materials for the classroom. The learning community adopted a task-based, proficiency-oriented view of language instruction and followed a reverse/backwards design approach.

Participants:
(1) identified relevant language proficiency objectives based on the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines,
(2) created performance-based assessments to evaluate students’ progress, and
(3) designed engaging and motivating tasks or lesson activities that help students master corresponding language objectives.

Participants collaborated and provided feedback on each other’s ideas and work. Participants were encouraged to pilot their materials in the classroom and reflect on the success of their instructional materials. Finally, participants also received guidance and feedback from the experienced learning community facilitators.

At the end of the learning community, participants had a fully developed sequence of meaningful tasks or activities that meet and assess relevant proficiency learning objectives in a rigorous and principled fashion. Certificates of participation were handed out on request.  

If you are interested in future professional development opportunity, please let us know by filling out our Learning Community sign-up form (linked below)!