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5:2 Planning the audience

The audience for a portfolio is the person or people who will review it. The audience for a language learning assessment portfolio always includes the student and the teacher. It can also include one or more of the following: peer, parent, school administrator, another teacher, and college admissions counselor.

Audience: The people who will assess and communicate about the portfolio.
Why: To ensure that the portfolio is reliable and relevant and can be assessed.
Who: Depends on purpose; people who are interested in the assessment.

It is important to determine the audience, in order to ensure that the portfolio will be relevant to and can be assessed by that person or people. The purpose of the portfolio will largely dictate the audience. For example, if the purpose of the portfolio is to assess progress toward the state standard for level three high school Japanese oral proficiency, the audience should be the person who evaluates and reports this progress. This might be the teacher, principal, or state evaluator. The purpose and audience for the portfolio influence the choice of contents. The contents of the portfolio should reflect student progress toward the portfolio goals in a way that is comprehensible and meaningful to the audience. For example, if the portfolio is to be assessed by a state administrator, standardized contents are required, so that the administrator can reliably evaluate the portfolios. The audience will need to understand not only the contents of the portfolio, but also the way the portfolio is assessed and how that assessment will be used.

Resources and needs: Setting your purpose Experience

  • Do you have experience using portfolios?
  • Do your students have experience using portfolios?
  • Are your students familiar with self-assessment?

  • What linguistic abilities will your students have?
  • What are your students' organization abilities?

  • How much time can you allot for planning portfolios and any changes in instruction and assessment before the semester begins?
  • How much time can you commit for student work on portfolios?
  • How much time can you commit for your own on-going review of portfolios?
  • How much time can you commit for end-of-marking period evaluation? Schedule
  • How many students will you have?
  • How long is each class?
  • How often does your class meet?

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