AAPPL Measure FAQs

About


The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) is a performance-based assessment of standards-based language learning across the three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) as defined by the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. AAPPL Measure assesses Interpersonal Listening/Speaking (ILS), Interpretive Reading (IR), Interpretive Listening (IL), and Presentational Writing (PW) in an online format. AAPPL Measure assesses performance, the language that learners have learned and practiced within a classroom setting, providing evidence that points toward a learner's proficiency level. AAPPL Measure assesses language proficiency within a familiar classroom context.

AAPPL's original design and test framework were based on the 2006 ACTFL Assessment of Uses and Needs, a survey of over 1,600 world language instructors and administrators regarding the assessments they used and the kinds of assessments they needed. The result is the ACTFL Assessment of Performance Toward Proficiency (AAPPL), which not only includes opportunities for students to demonstrates their listening, speaking and reading ability through all three modes of communication, but also incorporates video and other real-life language performance opportunities. Based on its rigorous piloting and field testing and follow-on studies conducted for nearly a decade, the AAPPL represents effective practices in world language performance assessment. Analyses of 9,000 student performances demonstrate that the AAPPL can reliably differentiate examinee results according to different levels as described by the AAPPL performance scores. In addition, item difficulty parameters reflect the targeted proficiency levels. Thus, there is ample evidence to support the validity argument that the AAPPL can measure student performance in a reliable way.


AAPPL Measure assesses the ability to engage in linguistic tasks on topics of personal, social, and academic relevance across the three modes of communication. Each task, such as writing an e-mail message, video-chatting in the target language, or making selections based on the understanding of something heard, read, or viewed, takes place in the context of the language classroom. AAPPL tasks explore a variety of topics that are familiar to learners through classroom instruction or other language learning experiences, such as school, family, and community. AAPPL Measure resembles a seamless, virtual day in a standards-based classroom.

Each reading passage, listening text, speaking/listening task, or writing prompt is aligned with the features and demands of a major level on the ACTFL scale. In the case of the Interpretive Reading or Interpretive Listening test forms, the language presented to the student embodies features of language observed at a particular level (e.g. Novice, which would be isolated words, short familiar phrases, commonly memorized phrases). In the case of the Presentational and Interpersonal Modes, the tasks elicit language from the student that should have such features.


All AAPPL tasks target a specific major level of language proficiency (e.g., Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced) as described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 and the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners. The performance tasks are designed to reflect the criteria for the level. For example, all Intermediate Interpersonal Listening/Speaking tasks ask the learner to create with language using sentence-level discourse on everyday topics in predictable contexts. AAPPL tasks are designed to provide multiple opportunities within the same content area to demonstrate ability at the floor level (what the learner can do consistently at that level) as well as multiple opportunities to demonstrate performance at the ceiling level (what the learner cannot do at the next higher level). For the Interpretive modes, the tasks are based on texts from which a reader at that proficiency level is able to derive meaning and therefore should be able to respond to prompts that demonstrate comprehension at that same level. For example, at the Novice level a learner is able to manipulate images to reflect what has been heard, read, or viewed.


The AAPPL Measure is available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and ESL. New languages are in development.


AAPPL Measure is designed for mid to late primary students and secondary students in 5th through 12th grades. The ILS component of AAPPL is also appropriate for students in earlier primary grades in immersion programs, assuming that students have adequate computing skills. AAPPL Measure can also be used as a placement test for incoming first-year college students.


Six. There are two forms of AAPPL Measure: Form A and Form B. Form A is composed of three Novice-level tasks and then three Intermediate-level tasks. For Form B, there are three Intermediate-level tasks and then three Advanced-level tasks. This is the same for each test component. For suggestions on how to perform one's best on the test, watch the videos on the tips page.

Scores and Reports


AAPPL Interpersonal Listening/Speaking (ILS) and Presentational Writing (PW) tasks are rated by ACTFL certified AAPPL raters. Raters determine whether the responses within each topical area meet or do not meet the criteria for the level. If each set of responses is at the targeted level, the next step is to determine if it is a minimal or strong performance for the level. If the response is not at the targeted level, the rater determines whether there is some evidence of the criteria for the level or no evidence. The rater therefore has multiple opportunities to evaluate the test taker's ability across tasks and across topics at one level as well as to evaluate ability at the next higher level. AAPPL Interpretive Listening (IL) and Interpretive Reading (IR) tasks are machine scored.


AAPPL test takers receive a separate score for each component or mode assessed. AAPPL Measure scores range from N-1 (low range of Novice) through A (the beginning end of the Advanced range). For learners whose performance exceeds the criteria for the highest level of the scale (A), an ACTFL Proficiency test is recommended (for example, the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) or the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT).

Within the Novice level, the scores are N-1, N-2, N-3, and N-4. A score of N-1 reflects the abilities described as Novice Low in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. Scores of N-2 and N-3 reflect Novice-Mid abilities, with N-3 being a stronger performance within the Novice-Mid range; N-4 reflects Novice-High abilities. This means that a learner who receives the score of N-4, in addition to performing all Novice level functions fully, also shows performance at the Intermediate level, but not consistently.

Within the Intermediate level, the scores are I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4, and I-5. A score of I-1 reflects the abilities described as Intermediate Low in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012. Scores of I-2, I-3, and I-4 are all in the Intermediate-Mid range. Given that the Intermediate Mid represents a broad range of abilities, the delineation allows learners and teachers to determine where the performance falls within that broad range and to track progress within that range. I-5 reflects Intermediate High abilities. This means that a learner who receives the score of I-5, in addition to performing all Intermediate level functions fully, also shows performance at the Advanced level, but not consistently. Learners are presented with Advanced-level tasks on Form B so that they are given the opportunity to provide evidence of performance at that level.

A score of A reflects fully-sustained performance at Intermediate and significant performance within the Advanced range as well.

The following guide relates AAPPL Measure Performance Scores to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012:

As noted above, for learners whose performance exceeds the criteria for the highest level of the scale (I-5), an ACTFL Proficiency test is recommended.


AAPPL scores are an indication of a learner's language ability within the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced ranges. Scores can be used to establish baseline levels at the beginning of a course or at key milestones in a program to provide evidence of a learner's performance as one progresses along the proficiency continuum. AAPPL scores document whether learners and programs are reaching designated benchmark levels and therefore can be used to evaluate the alignment of curricular learning targets with actual learner performance and with national or state standards. AAPPL scores are appropriate to award credit by examination or for program placement purposes, for example, for heritage learners.


All data are accessed via your client site.


Test takers receive an AAPPL score report indicating separate scores for each individual component of AAPPL Measure that the learner has taken. In addition, there is a description of each score and recommendations for improvement. The score report can be printed from your client site.


All AAPPL reporting data can be viewed via your client site either for individual students or in an aggregate report. All data may also be downloaded to a spreadsheet, which will allow you to sort and filter as needed. Additional automated reports will be added.


The Interpretive Reading and Listening components are machine-scored and scores are available immediately after testing, by logging in to your LTI client site. The Interpersonal Listening/Speaking and Presentational Writing components are rated by ACTFL certified AAPPL raters. Test results will be made available within two weeks after test administration.

Ordering


You must first request from Language Testing International (LTI), the ACTFL Testing Office, that an account be created for your school or district. To request an account, visit https://tms.languagetesting.com/AAPPLNew or call LTI at 1-800-486-8444. Once you have an AAPPL account, you will be able to order assessments and retrieve test results through a customized Web "portal" we refer to as your "client site." See the AAPPL Guide for more information about how to order and administer AAPPL tests.

If you already have an AAPPL testing account, you can begin ordering your tests today at your client site https://www.languagetesting.com/client. You can also retrieve lost/forgotten Usernames and Passwords there. If your account is from previous years, please log into your client site and click on "My Account" to review and update account administrator information. If you wish to add or replace sub-accounts (districts, schools, or teachers), click on "Sub-accounts" in your client site.


If you haven't already established an AAPPL testing account, please contact LTI at least three weeks in advance of the day you wish to begin testing. This does not apply if you already have an AAPPL testing account. If you already have an AAPPL testing account, you can order your tests today at your client site https://www.languagetesting.com/client. You can also retrieve your lost/forgotten Username and Password there. If your account is from previous years, we recommend that you contact LTI to update your account, to make sure your teachers have logins to request tests and retrieve test results.


AAPPL Measure can be ordered as an assessment with all four components for $20 per student. Ordered individually or in any combination, the Interpersonal Listening/Speaking assessment is $10, Presentational Writing is $5, and the two Interpretive components of Reading and Listening are offered together for a total of $5. You will be charged only for the test components that have been completed and rated.


As tests are completed and rated, invoices will be generated on the 15th and 30th of each month, until all completed and rated tests have been invoiced. We can also accommodate payment in advance. Payment is due 30 days after invoicing.


There are two forms of AAPPL Measure that assess different ranges of language ability. Form A assesses learners in the Novice and Intermediate ranges according to the ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners. Form A contains Novice- and Intermediate-level tasks only. Form B assesses learners in the Intermediate to Advanced ranges. Form B targets Intermediate- and Advanced-level tasks.

Administering



AAPPL Measure is available any time throughout the year.


The four components of the test take approximately two hours combined. Each component takes approximately 30 minutes and can be administered in one sitting, or in multiple sittings. Students may "quit" at any time, and the test will return them to the point at which they "quit." Students should be advised not to start a task if they know there will not be enough time to finish it. Student work is lost only if one "quits" in the middle of a task. It is advisable for teachers to give students a 5-minute notice followed by a 2-minute warning that time is running out, in order to prevent students from having to "quit" in the middle of a task.


You have the ability to select any or all of the components of AAPPL Measure (ILS, IR, IL, PW). The selected components can be delivered in any order you choose. Learners can work at their own pace and move on to the next component after completing a component.


Yes! To assure the integrity of the test and the test results, AAPPL Measure must be administered in a proctored environment. When your LTI/ACTFL Testing account is established, you will be provided with the Proctoring Agreement, which is also available here.


Please make sure, in advance of testing, and on the day of testing, that you will have access to local IT Support during testing. The vast majority of problems encountered relate to the computer's headphone and microphone settings, which is unrelated to AAPPL, and must be resolved on site. Please note that if you are using the Google Chrome browser, you must select "Allow" at the top of the page for the microphone to work. Please also see the "TECHNOLOGY" section, below.

If you have any problems with AAPPL that you cannot resolve by closing the browser and logging the student back in to the test, for immediate assistance please call the AAPPL Help Desk at 800-486-8444 and press "1." Alternatively you may email aapplhelp@languagetesting.com. Please include the name and login of the student who had a problem with the test, and a detailed description of the problem, so we can trace, and resolve it for you.

Technology


AAPPL Measure is designed to function on the most commonly available technology: broadband internet; a relatively recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari browsers; and headset with microphone. There are also various protocols that schools must follow prior to administering AAPPL Measure. To check your computer for compatibility with the AAPPL Measure test delivery system, see the AAPPL Measure System Check.

It is very important that your school's IT support staff are notified at least 3 weeks in advance of testing, and ask them to review the TECHNOLOGY section of the AAPPL FAQs to be assured of required computer lab time, and computer readiness to administer AAPPL. Please also have an IT staff member on hand during testing to help with local computer, headset and microphone issues, should they occur. Please run the AAPPL Measure System Check on all computers and plug in and verify headset and microphone settings immediately prior to testing. If students will use their own laptops, rather than desktops in a lab, make sure the school receives all laptops well enough in advance on the day of testing to adjust the headset and microphone settings and run the AAPPL Measure System Check. If students will be taking the AAPPL writing component, they will be using their computer's keyboard. Instructions for using the characters and conventions for AAPPL are found on the TECHNOLOGY section of the AAPPL FAQs.

Special note for Chrome browser users: Please be aware that there is a security feature in Chrome that blocks access to the microphone used in the AAPPL Interpersonal Listening and Speaking test component. The user must now click on the "allow" button at the top of the page in order for the microphone to record audio. If not set, the microphone check will fail and the test taker will not be able to advance to AAPPL. See: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2693767?p=ib_access_cam_mic&rd=1 for more information.


Prior to the actual day of the assessment, have all the students in a class simultaneously take the first component of one of the AAPPL demo tests. If there are no problems with the students simultaneously accessing the first component of the demo test, this strongly suggests that your bandwidth will support the administration of the AAPPL Measure for the same number of students. If you do encounter problems, administer the AAPPL demo to a smaller number of students simultaneously to help determine connectivity. Wireless networks often tend to accommodate fewer simultaneous administrations than computers that have wired access to the Internet. It is recommended that schools not administer AAPPL wirelessly if at all possible.


If your screen resolution does not meet the recommended size, AAPPL Measure will still function however some scrolling may be required to see all information within the browser window. If your bandwidth is lower than the recommended rate, the assessment will take longer and some items may not load correctly. Please contact your network administrator and/or the school's technology coordinator or support person if any of the following occur: your bandwidth rate is low, the RTMP port 1935 fails to connect, the recommended software is not up-to-date, or the microphone does not work. For more details regarding hardware and network requirements, see the AAPPL Measure Technical Specifications.


If the Presentational Writing mode is being assessed, teachers must be made aware that familiarity with language support regarding keyboard functions is needed. It is also very important that your school's technology coordinator or support person be notified well in advance of the test date in order to be assured of keyboard readiness when administering AAPPL. The most common way in the US to type in a character-based language on a Windows-based computer is to set the input language. Alternatively, for older Windows-based computers, "Alt" key combinations can be used to enter diacritical marks for the French, German and Spanish assessments. For Macintosh computers, select the language as the input source in System Preferences. To check your computer keyboard for readiness, please go to the AAPPL Measure System Check.