Placement: During orientation week, students take a placement test that determines their starting level for each class. During the first couple of days of the term, teachers will conduct additional diagnostics to confirm that placement was accurate.
Advancement: During the term, your instructor will gauge your English progress and proficiency through a variety of measures: class activities, journals, projects, papers, discussions, etc. It is important to note that the basis for passing to the next level is only proficiency. Doing homework and participating in activities are important ways to build proficiency, and your teacher needs you to do these things so he/she can evaluate your proficiency. However, language development is not always a direct path. You pass only when you consistently meet the proficiency mark for advancement, demonstrating that you are prepared for the next level of language study. It is possible that a student will plateau at a given level and need to repeat the level despite his/her hard work and participation. A student who is not yet ready for the next level will not profit by moving up. Please remember that repeating a level is not the same as failing a level. You fail for not engaging with your studies—for not doing the work, or not attending class. You repeat because you have not yet met the proficiency mark for advancement. In this case, spending more time at the same level to master the demands of that level will benefit you when you do reach the next level of proficiency.
How you will be Evaluated
Your teacher will evaluate your performance in class at the end of each term. You will receive copies of the evaluations (called Progress Reports) your teachers make if you request one from the office. ACCESS will send a copy of this report to any sponsoring agency.
How will your performance be evaluated? The primary determination for advancement is your language proficiency. Each instructor must make the decision, “Is this student ready to succeed at the next level?” As you participate actively in class, your instructors assess your development in a variety of ways, including: linguistic accuracy, fluency, language appropriateness, range of vocabulary, grammatical sophistication, sophistication of ideas, colloquial listening comprehension, academic listening comprehension, formal and informal speaking confidence, writing skills, organizational skills, analytical ability, and more.
Your instructor will gauge your progress through assignments like journals (writing, grammar, vocabulary, listening, and speaking) debates, projects, role plays, experiential tasks (interviewing a professor) etc. In addition, comprehension exercises, quizzes, exams, peer assessments, and self-assessments can give feedback on immediate mastery of content and/or skills. Your class syllabus will make clear the areas of assessment that will comprise your proficiency assessment.