IUHPFL Student Language Assessment Process
In order to implement a more qualitative application, selection, and preparation process, IUHPFL will no longer require applicants to take a language test prior to departure. (Onsite testing will still occur as described below.)
Instead, the following tools and resources will be used to ensure a student’s readiness for a language immersion experience:
- Registration: The online registration form determines whether applicants meet basic eligibility requirements and provides students with a series of questions to help them determine whether they are truly ready to embrace the challenges of IUHPFL.
- Personal Application: Eligible students receive via email a link to the application materials. It is extremely important that students take time to reply thoughtfully to questions and to ensure that their answers are cohesive and well written.
- Academic and Non-Academic Appraisals: Teachers and mentors are asked to give serious and thorough consideration to a student’s academic performance and character.
- Parental Assessment: Parents and guardians are provided with an opportunity to share their unique insights into their students’ strengths, needs, and personalities as part of the application dossier.
- Writing Sample in the Target Language: This exercise is supervised by students’ target language teachers and requires that applicants demonstrate strong writing skills in the language as part of their application dossier. It should take no longer than 1 hour to administer and submit. It can either be administered outside of class to individuals or small groups or as an in-class exercise to all students who are at the appropriate language levels. Once students' eligibility has been confirmed from their completed Registration materials, the Writing Sample with instructions will be emailed to the students' current foreign language teachers.
How to Administer the IUHPFL Writing Sample
- High School Transcript: Another component of the application dossier, the student’s transcript must indicate a strong overall academic record and excellent performance in target language classes.
- Acceptance Materials: Students and parents/guardians provide additional information after acceptance in order to help IUHPFL determine students’ needs abroad, match them with host families, and prepare them for the program.
- Strategies to Language Learners: Accepted students are provided with ideas and resources to help boost their language proficiency before departure.
- Informal Language Assessment at Orientation: Instructor teams work with students during this all-day session in April to evaluate students’ proficiency levels and determine how to help them advance while abroad.
- Onsite Language Testing: At the beginning and end of the program abroad, students take a paper-based test designed to assess their skill level in the categories of grammar, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. Significant improvement in scores from the first test date to the second is typically evident. These scores are reported on the Final Student Evaluations, which are sent via email to students, guardians, and language teachers in September.