January 2017 Avant Newsletter #3
Sunday, January 01, 2017 by David Bong
Avant STAMP 4Se Now Recommended for Grade 2 Students
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News and Events
Avant STAMP 4Se was developed especially to assess the language proficiency of elementary students.
Although STAMP 4Se is a real world proficiency assessment, it uses only questions (items) and content based around daily school and home life for students who are attending an elementary school in the U.S. To make the assessment appropriate for elementary students, and in order to make sure that we are not assessing their English reading ability, written directions are very limited and are always provided aurally so test takers can listen to them. All critical instructions are given in English for all languages tested. For three languages that have a large number of test-takers who are heritage learners: Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, other instructions and tasks for speaking and writing in the target language are given in both English and the target language. All other languages receive the other instructions and tasks in English.
The STAMP 4Se project was initially developed through a Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant to the state of Wyoming, which assembled a consortium with five states (South Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia). The Center for Applied Second Language Studies at the University of Oregon (CASLS) and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C., developed content for the assessments and piloted the tests in collaboration with elementary schools in the cooperating states.
As the exclusive licensee of STAMP 4Se, Avant takes its responsibility to the original design of the test very seriously. As a result, Avant has been very cautious in recommending the ways in which the test should be used. The original technical report prepared by the CASLS stated that the test was appropriate for students in grades 3 through 6. Avant STAMP 4Se Technical Document
A Need Identified
Many of our immersion school partners have stressed to us for several years the critical importance of obtaining data on the proficiency levels of grade 2 students. Grade 2 is when immersion students who are struggling often fall behind significantly and begin to separate from students who are more successful. Identified at the grade 2 stage, it is still possible to give focused instruction to students who are struggling and pull them up. Without identification at this stage it can be too late for the students, causing damage to the individual students and the program, which finds itself losing student numbers, due to some students' inability to progress with their cohort. For these and other reasons, many schools have asked us if we would recommend administering STAMP 4Se to grade 2 students.
We continue to improve our assessments and support materials, and expand the number of languages that we assess. Here are a few of the things that we have been working on:
Two of the five initial Avant WorldSpeak languages have officially launched. Assessments for Filipino (Tagalog) and Vietnamese are now available, with Alaskan Yup'ik, Somali Maay Maay and Somali Maxaa set to follow in February. For more information, contact your Avant representative or email email@example.com.
Avant STAMP Results - National Averages 2016
Curious about how your Avant STAMP scores compare to others across the country?
The National Average Avant STAMP Results from the 2015-2016 academic year represent the nearly 65,000 test takers from schools across the United States and a number of international schools around the world for which we had adequate data on years of study to use in this report. The data for results in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking are included in this report and organized by level (Elementary, Secondary, and Higher Ed) and by language in alphabetical order. To view or download the full report click here: Avant STAMP Results - National Averages 2016.
WHERE YOU'LL FIND US!
Avant is an active partner in the World Language community. You'll find us exhibiting/presenting at the following conferences:
You can now find Avant's full schedule of events for 2017 by visiting the Events tab on our website. Do you have an conference or workshop you'd like Avant to attend? Send us a message with the details - firstname.lastname@example.org.