BOSSA is an online self-assessment training program. This is what your students do in one of the Language Center’s labs:
- Record themselves speaking in response to prompts in the language they study.
- Listen to their recordings afterwards. Now students have a concrete point of reference and can start to notice how they use language.
- Use criteria (defined on a worksheet) to practice measuring how well they speak.
- Talk with classmates and discover what they have in common: where are they currently on their language-learning path, and where are they going? Students lead a class discussion about their strengths and challenges, and come up with suggestions and short-term goals for improvement while instructors take notes on the board.
- Assess their own language skills using the online Build on Language Track (BoLT) survey, and get immediate feedback estimating their proficiency level based on how they have assessed themselves.
Self-assessment, like all skills, improves with training and practice. Students may not feel comfortable or be able to assess themselves accurately the first time they try. You can remind them that the more they practice the process, the better they will become. Students can be encouraged to continue practicing at any time (both in and out of class) since they’ve learned the basic skills that go into self-assessment. By assessing themselves regularly they will become more aware and more accurate and be better able to track how they have improved in their language abilities.
After doing it a few times, students will be able to specify what they can do well, what they need to work on, and what steps they need to take in order to make improvements.