Evaluating Language Development and Proficiency in the Foreign Language Classroom

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 60

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 40


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module identifies and explores key issues around the area of assessment in modern foreign languages. It aims at developing awareness of classroom assessment practices in the foreign language classroom for the development of language proficiency in both productive, receptive and interactive.

Through this module, course participants will also delve into forms of assessment practices, both summative and formative, to help learners develop levels of language proficiency. Possibilities of different tasks and tools for assessment practices and their relevance for different teaching and learning scenarios will be explored.

Aspects of test formats and typologies of tasks and their related validity and reliability issues in relation to the assessment of proficiency levels for the four language skills in the foreign language classroom are also identified.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Manage assessment practices that comply with current learner-centred approaches in MFL;

b. Ensure that validity and reliability factors and measures of assessment practices are met;

c. Carry out evaluation and selection of classroom assessment for different teaching and learning

d. Draw out an assessment plan for different teaching and learning scenarios(e.g. face-to-face,
online, self-regulated learning);

e. Apply principles of testing to check validity and reliability of classroom testing;

f. Apply principles of good practice in assessing productive, receptive and interactive skills


a. Identify key aspects related to MFL assessment practices;

b. Draw out the main principles related to assessment of language proficiency;

c. Describe forms of assessment and proficiency levels;

d. Define characteristics of self-assessment tasks to be able to guide learners in their development of language learning and language use


a. Plan an assessment programme for the foreign language classroom that respects learner-centred pedagogical constructs for the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills;

b. Construct a communicative test (addressing aspects of authenticity, contextualisation and real-life tasks);

c. Design and apply marking criteria;

d. Construct a test for summative as well as online teaching scenarios.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Portfolio and Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Cheng, L. and Fox, J. (2017). Assessment in the language classroom: teachers support student learning. Palgrave: London.
  2. Council of Europe (2020), Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment – Companion volume, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, available at
  3. Coombe, C., Davidson, P., O’Sullivan, B., Stoynoff, B. (2012). Second Language Assessment. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
Supplementary Reading List:
  1. Council of Europe (2009). Relating language examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR). A manual. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Available at, section CEFR AND RELATED DOCUMENTS.
  2. Goh, C. C. M.& Burns, A. (2012). Teaching Speaking. A holistic approach. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
  3. Khalifa, H. and C. Weir (2009). Examining Reading: Research and Practice in Assessing Second Language Learning. UCLES/Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
  4. Ockey, G. J, & Wagner, E. (2012). Assessing L2 Listening: Moving towards authenticity. John Benjamins: Amsterdam.
  5. Shaw, S. and C. Weir (2007), Examining Writing: Research and Practice in Assessing Second Language Writing, UCLES/Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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