The CLVisa: Self-Assessment
The Concordia Language Visa (CLVisa) is a self-assessment tool designed to help villagers document their experiences learning languages and past encounters with other cultures. The CLVisa values all language learning experiences and acknowledges that successful communication can take place with varying levels of expertise in several languages. For example, a villager could possess good “survival skills” (asking directions, ordering in a restaurant, buying tickets) in one language. That same villager could possess more advanced skills in a different language that allow him or her to carry on extended conversations, read magazines and newspapers, and understand native speakers who are speaking at a normal conversational rate. That same villager could be very advanced in yet another language so that he or she can debate topics of international importance, read novels, and understand news broadcasts.
The CLVisa identifies four broad levels of language proficiency and then lists characteristics (what a villager can do) for each level. Using these “can-do” statements, along with conversations with language group leaders, the villagers can assess themselves on how much language they have learned. They can comment on the evening programs and what they learned during those programs. There is also space for journaling about each day’s experiences.
The CLVisa helps villagers take ownership for their learning and reflect on the experiences that are particularly helpful to them as they grow in their language and cultural knowledge.