Global Can-Do Benchmarks

  • The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements are self-assessment checklists used by language learners to assess what they “can do” with language in the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication. These modes of communication are defined in the National Standards for
    21st Century Language Learning and organized in the checklist into the following categories:

    • Interpersonal (Person-to-Person) Communication
    • Presentational Speaking (Spoken Production)
    • Presentational Writing (Written Production)
    • Interpretive Listening
    • Interpretive Reading

    Ultimately, the goal for all language learners is to develop a functional use of another language for one’s personal contexts and purposes. The Can-Do Statements serve two purposes to advance this goal: for programs, the statements provide learning targets for curriculum and unit design, serving as performance indicators; for language learners, the statements provide a way to chart their progress through incremental steps. The checklists are best used by learners and learning facilitators as part of an overall reflective learning process that includes:

    • setting goals
    • selecting strategies
    • self-assessing
    • providing evidence
    • reflecting before setting new goals

    The more learners are engaged in their own learning process, the more intrinsically motivated they become. Research shows that the ability of language learners to set goals is linked to increased student motivation, language achievement, and growth in proficiency.

How can you use the Can-Do Statements?

  • Use the checklists to record what you think you can do. You may realize that your progression may not be the
    same for each mode: Interpersonal, Interpretive, or Presentational. This is to be completely expected. For example,
    you may progress more quickly in Interpretive Reading than in Interpersonal Communication. You will begin
    to determine your progress on the proficiency ladder by assessing each mode separately. Include evidence
    electronically or in a hard copy to support your self-assessment selections. Uploaded audio, video, or text files,
    linked to specific Can-Do Statements, can provide evidence of what you can do. You can validate your self-assessment
    estimates by comparing them to ratings on official tests you may have taken, such as AAPPL, Advanced
    Placement, ACTFL OPI, etc.

    The header statement at the beginning of each proficiency level is a Global Can-Do Benchmark or general description
    of the proficiency level from the self-assessment grid. The bold statements are the main indicators for that
    mode and that level, followed by specific examples (I can…). Check off a specific can-do statement when you
    are able to demonstrate that you can perform that specific task. It is not necessary to demonstrate every task in
    order to check off the main Can-Do Statement as some examples may refer to individual goals that are not your
    own. You may set your own goals in the blank space following “I can...” You are encouraged to look ahead to
    tasks at the next higher level to identify the goals you want to set for yourself.

  • Novice Low Novice Mid Novice High Intermediate Low Intermediate Mid Intermediate High
    Interpersonal Communication I can communicate on some very familiar topics using single words and phrases that I have practiced and memorized. I can communicate on very familiar topics using a variety of words and phrases that I have practiced and memorized. I can communicate and exchange information about familiar topics using phrases and simple sentences, sometimes supported by memorized language. I can usually handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering simple questions. I can participate in conversations on a number of familiar topics using simple sentences. I can handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering simple questions. I can participate in conversations on familiar topics using sentences and series of sentences. I can handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions. I can usually say what I want to say about myself and my everyday life. I can participate with ease and confidence in conversations on familiar topics. I can usually talk about events and experiences in various time frames. I can usually describe people, places, and things. I can handle social interactions in everyday situations, sometimes even when there is an unexpected complication.
    Presentational Speaking I can present information about myself and some other very familiar topics using single words or memorized phrases. I can present information about myself and some other very familiar topics using a variety of words, phrases, and memorized expressions. I can present basic information on familiar topics using language I have practiced using phrases and simple sentences. I can present information on most familiar topics using a series of simple sentences. I can make presentations on a wide variety of familiar topics using connected sentences. I can make presentations in a generally organized way on school, work, and community topics, and on topics I have researched. I can make presentations on some events and experiences in various time frames.
    Presentational Writing I can copy some familiar words, characters, or phrases. I can write lists and memorized phrases on familiar topics. I can write short messages and notes on familiar topics related to everyday life. I can write briefly about most familiar topics and present information using a series of simple sentences. I can write on a wide variety of familiar topics using connected sentences. I can write on topics related to school, work, and community in a generally organized way. I can write some simple paragraphs about events and experiences in various time frames.
    Interpretative Listening I can recognize a few memorized words and phrases when I hear them spoken. I can recognize some familiar words and phrases when I hear them spoken. I can often understand words, phrases, and simple sentences related to everyday life. I can recognize pieces of information and sometimes understand the main topic of what is being said. I can understand the main idea in short, simple messages and presentations on familiar topics. I can understand the main idea of simple conversations that I overhear. I can understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics related to everyday life and personal interests and studies. I can understand the main idea in conversations that I overhear. I can easily understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics related to everyday life and personal interests and studies. I can usually understand a few details of what I overhear in conversations, even when something unexpected is expressed. I can sometimes follow what I hear about events and experiences in various time frames.
    Interpretative Reading I can recognize a few letters or characters. I can identify a few memorized words and phrases when I read. I can recognize some letters or characters. I can understand some learned or memorized words and phrases when I read. I can understand familiar words, phrases, and sentences within short and simple texts related to everyday life. I can sometimes understand the main idea of what I have read. I can understand the main idea of short and simple texts when the topic is familiar. I can understand the main idea of texts related to everyday life and personal interests or studies. I can easily understand the main idea of texts related to everyday life, personal interests, and studies. I can sometimes follow stories and descriptions about events and experiences in various time frames.

     

  • Advanced Low Advanced Mid Advanced High Superior Distinguished
    Interpersonal Communication I can participate in conversations about familiar topics that go beyond my everyday life. I can talk in an organized way and with some detail about events and experiences in various time frames. I can describe people, places, and things in an organized way and with some detail. I can handle a familiar situation with an unexpected complication. I can express myself fully not only on familiar topics but also on some concrete social, academic, and professional topics. I can talk in detail and in an organized way about events and experiences in various time frames. I can confidently handle routine situations with an unexpected complication. I can share my point of view in discussions on some complex issues. I can express myself freely and spontaneously, and for the most part accurately, on concrete topics and on most complex issues. I can usually support my opinion and develop hypotheses on topics of particular interest or personal expertise. I can communicate with ease, accuracy, and fluency. I can participate fully and effectively in discussions on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings. I can discuss at length complex issues by structuring arguments and developing hypotheses. I can communicate reflectively on a wide range of global issues and highly abstract concepts in a culturally sophisticated manner.
    Presentational Speaking I can deliver organized
    presentations appropriate
    to my audience
    on a variety of topics.
    I can present information
    about events and
    experiences in various
    time frames.
    I can deliver well-organized
    presentations on
    concrete social, academic,
    and professional
    topics. I can present detailed
    information about
    events and experiences
    in various time frames.
    I can deliver detailed
    presentations, usually
    with accuracy, clarity
    and precision, on a variety
    of topics and issues
    related to community interests
    and some special
    fields of expertise.
    I can deliver detailed
    presentations with accuracy,
    clarity, and precision
    to a wide variety
    of audiences on topics
    and issues ranging from
    broad general interests
    to areas of specialized
    expertise.
    I can deliver sophisticated
    and articulate
    presentations on a wide
    range of global issues
    and highly abstract
    concepts in a culturally
    appropriate manner,
    tailored to a variety of
    audiences.
    Presentational Writing
    I can write on general
    interest, academic, and
    professional topics. I
    can write organized
    paragraphs about
    events and experiences
    in various time frames.
    I can write on a wide
    variety of general interest,
    professional, and
    academic topics. I can
    write well-organized,
    detailed paragraphs in
    various time frames.
    I can write extensively
    with significant precision
    and detail on a
    variety of topics, most
    complex issues, and
    some special fields of
    expertise.
    I can write about complex
    and abstract issues
    ranging from topics of
    broad general interests
    to areas of specialized
    expertise using standard
    structure, lexicon, and
    writing protocols.
    I can write about global
    issues from highly
    conceptualized and
    analytical perspectives.
    I can tailor my writing to
    sophisticated readers.
    Interpretive Writing
    I can understand the
    main idea and some
    supporting details in
    organized speech on
    a variety of topics of
    personal and general
    interest. I can follow
    stories and descriptions
    of some length and in
    various time frames.
    I can understand information
    presented in a
    variety of genres on familiar
    topics, even when
    something unexpected
    is expressed.
    I can understand the
    main idea and most
    supporting details on
    a variety of topics of
    personal and general
    interest, as well as some
    topics of professional
    interest. I can follow
    stories and descriptions
    of some length and in
    various time frames.
    I can understand
    information presented
    in most genres, even
    when not familiar with
    the topic.
    I can easily follow
    narrative, informational,
    and descriptive speech.
    I can understand discussions
    on most topics
    that deal with special
    interests, unfamiliar
    situations, and abstract
    concepts. I can sometimes
    follow extended
    arguments and different
    points of view.
    I can follow a wide
    range of academic
    and professional
    discourse on abstract
    and specialized topics.
    I can understand all
    standard dialects. I can
    sometimes infer complex
    meaning that requires
    deep understanding of
    the culture.
    I can understand highly
    abstract and specialized
    speech tailored
    to different audiences.
    I can understand
    sophisticated language,
    humor, and persuasive
    arguments embedded
    with cultural references
    and allusions.
    Interpretive Reading I can understand the
    main idea and some
    supporting details on
    a variety of topics of
    personal and general
    interest. I can follow
    stories and descriptions
    of some length and
    in various time frames
    and genres.
    I can understand the
    main idea and most
    supporting details in
    texts on a variety of
    topics of personal and
    general interest, as well
    as some professional
    topics. I can follow stories
    and descriptions of
    considerable length and
    in various time frames.
    I can understand texts
    written in a variety of
    genres, even when
    I am unfamiliar with
    the topic.
    I can easily follow
    narrative, informational,
    and descriptive texts.
    I can understand what
    I read on most topics
    that deal with special
    interests, unfamiliar
    situations, and abstract
    concepts. I can
    sometimes understand
    extended arguments
    and different points
    of view.
    I can follow academic,
    professional, and
    literary texts on a wide
    range of both familiar
    and unfamiliar subjects.
    I can sometimes infer
    complex meaning that
    requires analysis and
    deep understanding of
    the culture.
    I can understand with
    ease and confidence
    highly abstract and specialized
    texts that are
    succinct or elaborate.
    I can follow unpredictable
    turns of thought.
    I can manage inference
    from within the cultural
    framework.