Avant Assessment Power Up Guide

Guide for Students & Teachers to Improve Language Proficiency

WRITING AND SPEAKING

The following tables outline general skills or abilities at each level and suggest actions that will help you attain higher levels.

Student Guide to Improving Language Proficiency

NOVICE-LOW (STAMP LEVEL 1)

  • At this level, I am able to create individual words that have no extended meaning.

  • I can share some simple vocabulary, which deals with the prompt/task/ situation, but I tend to struggle to connect those words to create meaning.

DO THESE THINGS TO POWER UP TO NOVICE-MID (STAMP LEVEL 2)

Text Type (Novice-Mid) Phrases:

  • Work on increasing vocabulary, including verbs that cover a variety of topics that are at the Novice level. These are topics that you generally experience each day in your every-day life: self, home, friends, school, weather, clothing, food, time, pets/animals, etc…

  • Try to connect different words to a verb to create thoughts and generate simple sentences where possible.

Functions/Structures (Grammar):

  • Increase vocabulary connections to verbs. This helps to create more meaning in language production.

 

NOVICE-MID (STAMP LEVEL 2)

  • At this level, I am beginning to develop the ability to create meaning as they form a connection between words.

  • Specifically, I can connect some basic subjects and verbs or verbs and objects, but I may be inconsistent at doing this.

  • I am often limited in my vocabulary to Novice level topics that I experience in my every-day life or that I have recently learned.

DO THESE THINGS TO POWER UP TO NOVICE-HIGH (STAMP LEVEL 3)

Text Type (Novice-High) Simple Sentences:

  • Work on connecting words that create very simple sentences.

  • Focus on creating simple meaning with the use of different verbs that deal with a wider variety of topics or that address different aspects of a task.

  • Try to re-create and reorganize simple sentences using your own language.

Functions/Structures (Grammar):

  • Know what it means to create a simple sentence. (What is a subject? What is a verb? What is an object? Learn these terms and know why these terms are important.

Other:

  • Don’t be afraid of making errors! Focus on the meaning you wish to convey in your sentences and give all of the language that you can. Accuracy will increase naturally as you move into the next level.

 

NOVICE-HIGH (STAMP LEVEL 3)

  • At this level, I can create simple sentences with very basic control and accuracy.

  • There are often errors in my responses, while at the same time I might have good control with some very simple structures and functions of the language that I have just learned or studied.

  • At the Novice levels, errors are expected as I try to create simple sentences.

  • Generally, the sentences that I am able to create are very basic and simple with few, if any, added details.

DO THESE THINGS TO POWER UP TO INTERMEDIATE-LOW (STAMP LEVEL 4)

Text Type (Intermediate-Low) Strings of Sentences:

  • Work on increasing the amount of language you add to each sentence to create greater depth of meaning and begin to string sentences together.

  • Expand vocabulary beyond your every-day life to topics like: travel, occupations, health, shopping, local community etc…

Functions/Structures (Grammar):

  • Understand what constitutes Added Detail (details that add depth and clarity to the language: prepositional phrases, descriptive words, basic use of helping verbs, adverbs and more specific vocabulary…yes, learning these terms is important.)

Other:

  • Understand how different forms of Added Detail can help create a bigger picture. Try to show variety in your sentence structure as well.

  • Don’t be afraid of making errors! Use all of the language that you can in order to create more detail in your writing and speaking.

INTERMEDIATE-LOW
(STAMP LEVEL 4)

  • At this level, I can create simple sentences with some added detail; such sentences help create VARIETY.

  • At the Intermediate Low level, simple sentences are enhanced by the use of prepositional phrases, helping verb usage, as well as some adverbs and a variety of adjectives.

  • I generally create independent sentences (ideas) that can be moved around without affecting the overall meaning of the response.

  • There are still a number of errors in my response, but I have fairly good control of more basic sentences.

  • I am feeling more confident in using different structures and expanding vocabulary and taking more risks with my responses.

DO THESE THINGS TO POWER UP TO INTERMEDIATE-MID (STAMP LEVEL 5)

Text Type (Intermediate-Mid) Connected Sentences basic:

  • Increase the amount of language you use to address different aspects of the prompt. Strive to create groupings of ideas which helps increase connectedness.

  • Continue to increase the use of extended and expanding vocabulary with less common topics.

Functions/Structures (Grammar):

  • Strive to use different forms of Added Detail, creating greater clarity and richness in your sentences.

  • Try to add elements of complexity to your sentence structures. There are many ways you can add complexity! Consider how you can create longer sentences using some complex structures. Increase your use of dependent and independent clauses – not just compound sentences using ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘because’. Be careful to not create run-on sentences. Use complexity to add depth of meaning. Use of other tense forms that are beyond the simple ‘present tense”. It is expected that these new skills with be presented with errors – don’t worry about the errors, just do your best.

Other:

  • Make a point to speak or write every day using the new vocabulary intermixed with what you are more confident about. The more you use the new vocabulary, the more natural it will become for you.

  • Don’t be afraid of making errors! (Yes, this is a constant reminder. Errors show that you are stretching and trying new things at this level.)

INTERMEDIATE-MID (STAMP LEVEL 5)

  • At this level, I can now create enough language to show groupings of ideas.

  • My thoughts are loosely connected and cannot be moved around without affecting meaning.

  • I can also create a few sentences with complexity and am able to use some transition words.

  • I am also able to use more than just simple present tense, but often make mistakes when I try to use other tenses.

  • My vocabulary use is expanding and I am able to use more than the usual, high frequency or most common vocabulary.

  • I feel that I am able to create new language on my own and communicate my everyday needs without too much difficulty.

DO THESE THINGS TO POWER UP TO INTERMEDIATE-HIGH (STAMP LEVEL 6)

Text Type (Intermediate-High) Connected Sentences:

  • Continue to work on increasing vocabulary breadth and variety.

  • Increase use of complex structures in your response including, but not limited to dependent clauses. There are a variety of ways to create complexity.

  • Focus on creating connections throughout your writing and speaking responses. This will generate a natural flow from beginning, to middle, to end and will bring your ideas together.

  • Strive to include many details and as much descriptive language as possible to create a clear picture of the situation about which you are writing or speaking.

  • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases and work on increasing these terms to help link and connect your thoughts and ideas.

Functions/Structures (Grammar):

  • Use a greater variety of sentence lengths and types.

  • Use more transition words and phrases to help increase connectedness throughout the response.

  • Increase your ability to use a variety of verb tenses accurately. Be aware of the language that is created as you use different tenses – recognize the strength of language when you are able to switch from one time frame to the next with increased accuracy.

Other:

  • Read novels out loud in your target language. Record unfamiliar words/phrases in your vocab-notepad and strive to use them throughout the week.

  • Don’t be afraid of making errors with new structures. However, at this level, errors should begin to diminish with most basic time frames. You are noticing that you do not have to translate as much in your head before speaking.