Assessing Proficiency with Student-Friendly Can Do Statements

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.

Assess Proficiency with Student-Friendly Ca Do Statements (French, Spanish) wlclassroom.comAssess Proficiency with Student-Friendly Ca Do Statements (French, Spanish) wlclassroom.comThe 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.

Assess Proficiency with Student-Friendly Ca Do Statements (French, Spanish)

13 responses to “Assessing Proficiency with Student-Friendly Can Do Statements

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  2. Rita Barrett

    These are not just helpful for students, but they are a concise way for teachers to grasp the differences between levels and the length of time it takes to get to higher levels. Sometimes I get bogged down in the Can-Do statements when trying to decide where my students are and I feel I can help my students see where they are more clearly and quickly with your posters. Rather than asking students “Can you do x, y, z?” just asking “Can you communicate with ease and confidence on any topic that relates to you?” will help a student understand why it takes so long to get to IH and that it isn´t just a matter of learning a few more grammar points or lists of vocab. Have you shared these with ACTFL? You should!

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  5. Heidi Karod

    Do you sell these kid friendly Can Do statements on your website? If so, i cannot find them. They’re exactly what I’ve been trying to create.

  6. Frank

    Has anyone created a concise and useful rubric for both speaking and writing at the three proficiency levels. I would be interested. Thanks for making this process more palatable.

  7. Sra. Frey


    First, thank you for sharing all these wonderful resources. I appreciate it. Second, I want to use your pics with individual boxes for each proficiency level I can statements. Is there anywhere I can find them and download them? I already download the PDF student-friendly can do statements by I like the one with color boxes around them. Thank you so much for your help.

  8. Sandra Marshall

    I also thank you for sharing your resources. I have a printout that has a category of “ACTFL Proficiency Levels and Leveling up”
    But I can’t find it now. I really want the “leveling up”

    • jos76

      You can get on my blog. Search for level up.

  9. Manuel Fergus

    What’s the best way to go about determining students initial ACTFL level? Do you make your own assessments? Is there a standard assessment? Gracias.

    • jos76

      I give general prompts based on interest. More than particular structures or vocabulary we are looking at the text type that students produce.

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