LinguaFolio® Training Resources

Training modules to show how to implement LinguaFolio®

1.4 Origins of LinguaFolio®

LinguaFolio was developed by members of the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) and is the result of a transatlantic dialogue (sponsored by the Goethe-Institute) among members of the Council of Europe, delegates from the European Ministries of Education, and representatives from state departments of education in the United States. These dialogues began in October of 2002 and are ongoing.

Many of the principles and strategies in LinguaFolio reflect new perspectives on language learning found in its European equivalent, the European Language Portfolio.

The ELP debuted in 2001 during the European Year of Languages as a product of policies initiated by the Council of Europe and is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It was piloted by fifteen Council of Europe nations. The development was supported by members of the Association of Language Testers in Europe — representing twenty-four languages and twenty-nine organizations, such as the Goethe Institute, Alliance Française, and the Cervantes Institute. Due to the ease of mobility among their countries and the close orientation of multiple languages, there was a broad base of support from various European agencies for such a progressive tool.

LinguaFolio was developed using criteria from the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners, and closely aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to create a “user friendly” tool for language learners and their teachers.

ACTFL Guidelines
Even before the development of LinguaFolio, ACTFL saw the need for a common reference for foreign language acquisition and developed the Proficiency Guidelines and the Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners.

The Oral Proficiency Interview and Writing Proficiency Test are based on ACTFL’s Proficiency Guidelines. The OPI and WPT are tests for adults seeking proficiency ratings, not usually for K–12 students in normal academic settings. They describe how well language learners perform in a language.

The Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners are based on the National Standards for Foreign Languages. They describe what a student is able to do with a language.

The Proficiency Guidelines and the Performance Guidelines are very different in their purpose. The Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners were designed for students who learn languages in an academic setting. The Proficiency Guidelines assess the level of proficiency no matter how or where the language was learned.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, a document from the Council of Europe, was vital in the creation of both the European Language Portfolio and LinguaFolio. It contains three reference levels of language ability, each divided into two, more specific, sections. The handout linked below shows the Common Reference Levels: Global Scale table from the CEFR.

Common Reference Levels (pdf)

The CEFR also contains self-assessment grids, which are notable for their use of positive I-can statements to express simply and clearly what the learner can do. The positive statements are meant to motivate.

Next: 1.5) Components of LinguaFolio