When a gamer beats a level of a game and moves on to the next level, it is called “Leveling up”. In certain games, you can increase your chances by earning more points, collecting coins, or obtaining specific weapons to help you defeat the opponent. Gamers have their strategies on what they need to do to level up. Our students also need to know what strategies they have as language students so that they too can “level up” on the ACTFL proficiency levels. Does a novice student know what they need to do to work their way up to the intermediate level?
My initial inspiration for this post started many months ago when I saw a tweet by Bethanie Drew (@lovemysummer) when she posted a link to her blog with placemats for “Weekend Chats“. In her document, she included this:
This encouraged students who were ready to add to their simple sentence by adding more details. I realized that students don’t know how to level up their language. In order to show higher proficiency, students must realize what that looks like. A few months into the school year, I went over the ACTFL proficiency ratings and its cone shape and that the more input a student has the more advanced their language will be. Then we went over this presentation.
Then I gave students sample sentences and had them work with partners to come up with the extra details.
You can download a copy of the presentation or the student handout sheets, which includes the as pictures above or a blank copy if you wish to fill it out as a class.
Take a look at how the following sentences were “leveled-up”:
Another way to talk about proficiency is to use the ice cream cone imagery, to encourage students to “Add an extra scoop” of language. See our previous post “Get a scoop of proficiency” which includes a free download of posters explaining the different proficiency levels.
Leave it to Bethanie, who also would go on to blog about this later as well. Look at her strategy to encourage better writing in her students, in her blog post “Level Up Language Framework (Structures to support student learning and teacher sanity, part 6)“