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Developing strategic competence through portfolios: a Language Biography

Using a portfolio in our language class facilitates a deeper understanding and integration of assessment. It is an extraordinary way of introducing our students to authentic assessment. We can use it for assessing the process and the final product with evidences of our students work. In other words, it can be used for formative and sumative assessment. 
Sometimes we take for granted the assumption that our students know what they do, internalize the learning and reflect on the difficulties they had during the learning process finding ways of getting over them, but sometimes this is false and portfolios are a great tool to build these skills in our students.  

Thinking in portfolios as a piece of something bigger the first step could be to work on a Language Biography. 
I have the Language Biography broken down into four pieces: 
[click on the links to see the templates]

 1. Languages I know
 2. Other languages

 3. The way I learn

 4. My learning plans

Why is worth it for our students to start a project like this one?
- Students have the opportunity to reflect on their language and cultural experiences. 
- They take ownership on their language acquisition process.
- They realize the progress they make on the language acquisition process.
- They will be able to value other languages spoken in their environment.

When can our students work on these assignments?
You can have your students working on this independently or after school if they have a good command of the language, but in the first stages of learning I would discourage this option. They will definitely need some guidance and using at least some time during class will help them gain the necessary confidence to achieve their goals.

Do you want your students to take the challenge of weekly/monthly assignments? 
Check this post out!

Want to know more?

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