Proficiency Targets

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I’ve finally done it!! Thanks to @srtabarragan and @tmsaue1, I have finally set proficiency targets for each of my courses, and I have a chart to present them with!

I teach Spanish 1A, 1B, and 2A. Spanish 1A + 1B are the equivalent of high school Spanish I, just slowed way down for middle school. Spanish 2A is meant to be the same as high school Spanish II, although it does have slightly less seat time. I set the targets as follows:

  • Spanish A: Novice Mid
  • Spanish B: Novice High
  • Spanish 2A: Intermediate Low

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.33.20 PM

To set the targets, I reflected on what most of my students are usually able to do and then compared it with standards from other schools around the nation. I love having the chart that @srtabarragan designed, because it shows students that being “proficient” at any given level does not mean that you have reached the summit: there is always a next step. I used Crystal’s document format, Thomas’ proficiency level blurbs, and Kelly Daugherty’s bicycles to create my version. If you’d like an editable version, you can download it here.

I can’t wait to present this to my students with @musicuento’s Proficiency & Tacos plan!!


  1. Martina,
    I’ve been thinking over all the wonderful versions of assessment guidelines that you mentioned trying to fuse them together somehow. Your adaptation is brilliant! And since the e-mail link didn’t work for me, I’m asking you here to please e-mail me editable version in Pages or Word. Merci mille fois!!! I’ll have to extend it a few levels but it’ll be a piece of cake after all the work you’ve done. Thank you so much for sharing!


    1. All thanks goes to Crystal Barragán! She created the original document, and I just expanded the first column to include the written descriptions of the proficiency levels. I’ll send it straight away!


  2. As everyone else has said . . THANK YOU so much! This is incredible and a great start. When I thought of “Data Driven Language” I was always lost. This really helps. I’d love the editale version (
    Also, I couldn’t get the Proficiency and Tacos link to work. It comes back to this Home page. Any ideas on how to find it?


  3. What a great contribution, thank you, Martina. I am looking at the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. Have you generalized the proficiency levels to match all four skill areas? Am I missing something or are they more output oriented? Thanks for sharing.


  4. Do you have a separate rubric for each of the levels you mention? I see that the chart above is for 2A – I’d love to see the rubric for Spanish A.


  5. Hi Martina,

    First, I’ve never commented before, so I want to thank you for all that you do. Your site is a goldmine.

    Second, the actual question. In the level 1 rubrics, “Novice Low” takes up more than one letter grade level. Do you differentiate between a C and a D, or does a Novice Low student just get a C regardless? If you do differentiate, how?

    Thank you!


    1. Great question. I do, but I suppose I don’t have an explicit way to describe it other than with the proficiency terminology, if students are ‘Emerging’ (still far from Proficient), that translates to a D in the grade book, whereas if they are Developing (close to Proficient), that translates to a C in the grade book. Either way, they are below the goal of Novice-Mid proficiency; some are just closer to it than not.


  6. Are these the only rubrics you use for grading? For example, you do not have different rubrics for reading, writing, and speaking?


  7. Hi Martina – Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all of your hard work with the rest of us! I’m incorporating more CI and TPRS into my Spanish 1 & Spanish 2 curricula this year and your resources have given me the confidence to do it! It’s been quite a while since you originally posted these rubrics, I’m wondering if you now have rubrics for reading and listening?


  8. Sorry to bring back on old post but, did you ever have issues with admin or parents about the “high” percentage values for the different proficiency targets?

    My admin fears the kickback I would receive from parents because all they see is a higher number of accountability when comparing to the tradition grading scale of my peers. For example, last year I got parents saying “your class is not honors, why is it so high?”

    I understand the system and I’ve been using it since last year but I always have trouble convincing others to see that it’s performance based. I assign a number so they can have something tangible to understand their grade with.


  9. Another question I have come across…how did you determine your proficiency target for each level – were they set by your District/State, or do you have justification for how you determined them yourself? It’s not that I disagree with them, but I’ve had some push back giving me the impression that others believe these expectations are too high… :-/


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