The performance assessment tasks clarify what
the student is expected to do as a result of instruction. The
assessment task brings the language learning into a real-life
application, reinforcing that the student learned something worthwhile.
If the unit’s instructional goal is a test that merely
involves filling in blanks, reproducing a memorized dialogue,
or writing five sentences in past tense, the teacher has no real
evidence that her students can apply what they have learned.
Instead of relying on such substitute evidence, the unit assessment
should provide evidence of achievement of the identified communication
To further your understanding of why and how
to assess student proficiency, tour the Virtual
developed by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition,
which provides indepth explanations, examples, and activities.