What is NYSAWLA?
NYSAWLA is a professional organization whose members traditionally have been World Language supervisors, chairpersons and/or other school administrators, however, we also welcome teachers to become members. This organization provides professional development to help educators develop 21st century skills in language programs. NYSAWLA provides networking support to help educators navigate the myriad of regulations and challenges that we all face. Additionally, the NYSAWLA organization is committed to the development of quality language assessments at the Checkpoint A and B levels in ASL (Checkpoint A only), Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We only require one member representative per district, but encourage all administrators involved with world languages to join our organization.
What is the NYSAWLA Exam Consortium?
The NYSAWLA Exam Consortium is made up of a group of member school districts who have registered annually to be a part of our exam development process and to use our assessments to satisfy the NYS high school diploma requirements regarding World Languages. Consortium members contribute test items electronically to a secure location. The chairpersons for each exam review and edit the items and then select items to be on the exam, ensuring that all topics are level appropriate and there is a balance of topics and ease/difficulty level. The assessments are then field tested and proofed. Assessments are made available (password-protected online) for printing and secure storage in early June.
How does a school district gain access to the FLACS Checkpoint A and B assessments?
A minimum of one representative from the district must first join NYSAWLA. The District must appoint the World Language supervisor, or if there is no World Language supervisor, the district must designate a person to represent the district in the Exam Consortium. In order to become a member of NYSAWLA simply go to the homepage (www.NYSAWLA.org) and click on “Membership.”
How many people need to join NYSAWLA from each district?
A minimum of one member per district is necessary, but all leaders involved with world languages are invited to become members.
When is the deadline to join NYSAWLA?
The deadline to join is March 1 of the current school year. Access to professional development, FLACS exams and other benefits of membership will be denied after the deadline.
Which FLACS assessments are available?
Checkpoint A & B exams are available in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We also offer a Checkpoint A exam in American Sign Language.
Can a school district sign up for only one assessment and not another?
Yes, the school district’s designee will receive access to all FLACS assessments and will use only the assessments needed.
What happens if a district joins the Consortium but then decides not to use the assessments?
That is the option of the school district. NYSAWLA would simply ask that an email be sent to the NYSAWLA Exam Steering Committee Chairperson, Vincenza Graham, (email@example.com
), with the reason for its own data collection.
Can schools in the consortium choose when to administer the assessments?
No. In order to keep the exams valid and secure, the FLACS assessments may only be given on the indicated dates and times, as announced on the Exam Portal page.
Can a district use FLACS exams as a make-up exam?
No. The FLACS assessments are secure assessments that are administered on the same date and time each year. Once the assessment has been released for administration, it has been breached. It is important to note that any district has the option to create its own local exam to meet the graduation requirements.
Are previously administered assessments available?
The June 2017, 2018 and 2023 FLACS assessments are available to current Exam Consortium members (password-protected). These are located in the Exam Portal and are posted in their original form. Please contact Vincenza Graham, Exam Steering Committee Chairperson, for assessment access issues. All other assessments are used as part of a test bank.
Will questions from previous assessments be recycled from year to year, or will there be a completely new exam each year?
While new exams will be created annually, some previously administered items may be edited and reused in subsequent years.
How can a teacher/district submit items for consideration of use on the assessments?
Items can be submitted by accessing the Exam Portal on the NYSAWLA website. Follow the steps outlined in the Item Writing Guidelines document and make use of the webinar found on the website to further assist you in this process. Submission of new speaking tasks for both Checkpoints A & B are also encouraged. Use the Exam Portal for the submission of these tasks as well. Please note that the process for submitting multiple choice items now includes identification of the ACTFL Performance Indicator.
How many items should schools submit?
We encourage quality over quantity. Item writing is the most important part of our process and we encourage teachers to submit items. In addition to being an excellent opportunity for professional development, item writing allows us to have a pool of questions from which we can choose. Consider this an opportunity for departments to discuss assessments, themes, topics, standards and proficiency development. Several PowerPoint presentations are available on the NYSAWLA website for supervisors and teachers to assist with the item writing process.
How will schools receive the assessments?
District designees will receive passwords to access the assessments in early June. Assessments must be stored and kept secure until the day of administration. No teacher who will be administering the exam to his or her own students should see the assessment prior to the administration date. It is the district’s responsibility to appoint a staff member who does not have a vested interest in the outcome of the assessment to receive access to them and oversee their photocopying and proper storage.
Is NYSAWLA collecting data and if so, what kind?
NYSAWLA has collected data regarding enrollment, passing and mastery rates via Google doc links. NYSAWLA requests that all participating districts submit results via the Exam Portal (Data Submission) immediately following the scoring of the assessments. Individual schools should not submit data separately. Instead, only ONE district representative (preferably the district’s designee) should submit data for all schools within the district collectively.
How should schools handle the speaking part of the exams?
The Test Guidelines and the Interpersonal/Presentational Speaking Task Practice Booklet will be posted on the NYSAWLA website. Students taking Checkpoint A and B assessments will be awarded a varying amount of credit based on their overall responses to tasks. As of the June 2023 exam administration, students will not receive points for individual items in the speaking section. As a reminder, administration of the Part 1 Speaking must begin after April 1.
What is the format of the exams?
FLACS exams are updated yearly.
Will questions from prior tests be recycled from year to year, or will there be a completely new exam every year?
We create new exams each year.