Before you begin, please be sure to download the LinguaFolio Jr. teacher guide.
LinguaFolio Jr. provides an outline to help younger students become autonomous learners, but integrating the portfolio requires educators to adapt it to their own unit. Step one provides information on identifying the learning objectives and personalizing the Can-Do Statements.
Establish Effective Classroom Routines
To help establish effective classroom routines, inform students of the unit’s learning goals (where they are going) and the relationship between the class tasks and the overall unit theme (why?). Designing enhancements, similar to the posters, which can be found in the resources section of this website, and Appendix 3 in the teacher guide, is the next essential step.
When designing an enhancement for younger, pre-literate students, represent each unit theme and task visually and include as much realia as possible. Communicate visual representations with the students so that they understand the connection. With transitioning learners, include visuals and written language as well.
Limit the tasks included on your enhancement to those that will be directly evidenced in the dossier of LinguaFolio Jr. Remember, a good question to ask yourself when deciding on which tasks to include is “How will I measure this?”
Provide Students with the Opportunity to Self-Assess
Encouraging accurate self-assessment is essential. Educators can accomplish this using a number of visual representations: check mark system (+), smiley system (J), stop light system, star system, number system, or weight system. These are all designed to help learners more precisely answer: “Can I…” (e.g., identify pictures of Russian food)? The answer is yes – but with what degree of autonomy? Can I do it alone? With some help? With a lot of help?
You’ll notice that both the poster and the handout enhancements require students to self-assess their ability twice for each task: once before and once after the task is performed. The pre-task assessment informs learners of the task and provides them with a reference point from which they can gauge their growth. On the post-assessment, students see both their current ability to complete the task and their perceived language growth. Even for younger learners, the latter has a strong effect on increasing learner motivation. It sends a powerful message that, through effort, we increase our ability in a world language, a key factor in learner persistency.
The poster is a great public display of learning objectives and self-assessments that can be filled out as a whole-class activity. In the handout, students can include evidence they produce in class that will become their individual dossiers. Having both a poster and a handout is ideal, providing students the ability to self-assess twice for the same tasks. While the poster is used for a more global, unit-level, integration of the LinguaFolio Jr., the handout can be used to support implementation on a more local, task level.