The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines are a very helpful tool in the Foreign/World Language Classroom. They provide teachers and students with clear guidelines and descriptions to assess proficiency levels. They are also an effective tool for students and teachers to set achievable and concrete goals.
The ACTFL Can Do Statements provide detailed examples of what students could/should be able to do at each proficiency level. The challenge I have personally had with the Can Do Statements is using them for various age and developmental levels. There are some Can Do statements that address such things as making reservations and asking questions about particular academic subjects. While these are very applicable to older students, they are not developmentally appropriate for younger students. For this reason I have developed, with the help of a few colleagues, Student-Friendly Can Do Statements. These statements honor the text type (individual words and phrases, discrete sentences, connected sentences, paragraphs) of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines, but are more applicable to elementary, middle school and high school students. In addition to stating what students can do at each proficiency level there is also a section that shows what students are working on so that they progress to the next proficiency level. I post these posters in the classroom and students regularly self-assess by revisiting these statements every few weeks. Here are some examples of the six novice and intermediate proficiency levels: