Assessment Practices

Teachers of senior secondary students assess students within the guidelines and requirements of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

Teachers of languages in Foundation to Year 10 assess students –

  • to identify the learning needs and achievements of their students
  • to provide feedback to assist students in planning individual learning goals
  • to evaluate teaching programs and inform future learning activities
  • to report on progress to parents/carers
  • to comply with local school, curriculum authority or government reporting processes

Assessment can be formative to monitor student learning or summative to evaluate and report on student learning at the end of a period of learning/unit.

Department of Education and Training

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Australian Education Research Organisation


Assessment of Languages


Individual schools will have their own assessment and reporting guidelines.

Teachers will need to make on balance judgements about the progress of students against the Achievement Standards of the Victorian or Australian Curriculum.

VCAA offer an online free formative assessment tool for some languages incl. German.

VCAA provide advice about developing rubrics:

Advice for Assessing VCE German Outcomes

VCAA provide advisory performance descriptors to support teacher judgements in holistic summative assessments of VCE learning outcomes.


There are useful documents from other jurisdictions to support teachers of languages in thinking about and comparing approaches to the assessment of languages.

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has developed resources to assist teachers and students in making assessments about their learning.

World Languages: Podcast

  • Episode 61 – Goals and Assessment in the Language Classroom

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) organises language proficiency in six levels, A1 to C2, which can be regrouped into three broad levels: Basic User, Independent User and Proficient User, and that can be further subdivided according to the needs of the local context. The levels are defined through ‘can-do’ descriptors.

Sample Rubrics for Languages from the New York State Education Department

Certificate in Language Assessment

The University of Melbourne offers a course in language assessment



The Department of Education and Training (DET) requires Government and Catholic schools to report twice yearly to parents/carers on progress against the achievement standards of the Victorian Curriculum. Schools may have additional reporting requirements e.g. progress reports.

Independent schools are not bound by this directive.

All state or federal funded schools from Foundation to Year 10 are required to report on student progress against the achievement standards of the Victorian Curriculum or Australian Curriculum.

Advice for Writing Reports

Teachers should follow the reporting writing processes and guidelines of the school in which they are employed. Gather formal and informal evidence throughout the semester upon which to make judgements about progress against the achievement standards.

Comments should be positive and future orientated and expectation for future progress. Identify something specific the student can work on to improve.

When students cover the same content and complete similar tasks, the reports can sound similar. It is important to make a positive reference to something the specific student has done to show you know the student you are reporting on.

Develop your own comment banks so that the report sounds like you and the content covered in the reporting period.