CASE STUDY ASSESSMENT

 

The case study acts as a summative assessment of students’ knowledge of and ability to apply major concepts , principles, theories, and research related to the nature and role of culture and cultural groups to the language use and/or acquisition—the language life—of an individual.  It is specifically designed to assess whether candidates can discern a wide range of psycho-/socio-cultural factors in language acquisition and/or use.  This discernment demands the ability to identify (1) socially significant linguistic variables/markers and (2) corresponding psycho-socio-cultural variables in acquisition and/or use.  As such, it is an advanced content assessment.

 

Scoring Rubric: The following rubric outlines unacceptable, acceptable, and target performance standards for the case study. Students do not need to discuss every linguistic and psycho-sociocultural variable in every case study.  Some may be relevant; some may not be.

 

 

Unacceptable

Acceptable

Target

Concepts, principles, theories, and research related to linguistic variables/markers, including

  • accent
  • lexicon
  • register
  • style
  • conversational strategies, e.g., pause time, hedges, politeness
  • paralanguage
  • bilingualism and code-switching
  • standard and nonstandard varieties
  • language change, innovation
  • pidginization and creolization
  • world Englishes
  • level of proficiency in English

When called for, fails to recognize socially significant linguistic variables/markers, such as ethnically significant features of accent and lexicon; fails to distinguish situationally variable linguistic markers, such as register and style; fails to  recognize purposes of various conversational strategies; fails to recognize differences in nonverbal communication; subscribes to subtractive bilingualism and seeks to suppress code-switching; denigrates non-standard varieties, pidgins, creoles, and world Englishes; rejects linguistic innovation and regards change as corruption

When appropriate, accurately distinguishes socially significant linguistic variables/markers, such as features of Hispanic English; recognizes  situationally significant choices in register and style; recognizes variable conversational strategies; demonstrates an awareness of variable nonverbal communication features; recognizes role of additive bilingualism and code-switching in a multilingual society; recognizes legitimacy of non-standard varieties and understands origins of them; demonstrates an appreciation of world Englishes and linguistic innovation

When appropriate, analyzes socially significant linguistic variables/markers and their role in group identification; interprets significance of register and style choices in situations; analyzes conversation turns and parts and explains motivation with reference to, e.g., face and politeness; demonstrates an awareness of non-verbal communication features and significance of these in cross-cultural communication; recognizes value of L1 use and code-switching as integral and inevitable parts of L2 acquisition and understands additive bilingualism; analyzes non-standard varieties, linguistic innovations, and world Englishes objectively, recognizing them as systems, not collections of errors

Concepts, principles, theories, and research related to psycho-socio-cultural variables in language acquisition and/or use, including

  • region
  • situation
  • class, exposure to formal education and “standard” expectations concerning education
  • literacy in L1
  • learning strategies, learning styles
  • ethnicity, culture, family history, value systems
  • age
  • gender
  • movement among “worlds”: developing vs. industrialized
  • processes of acculturation and identity negotiation
  • minority experience: immigrant vs. involuntary
  • first- and second-language communities: relatively dense and multiplex, isolated, large, etc.
  • classroom, school, community, and socio-political variables

When called for, fails to recognize psycho-socio-cultural variables in language acquisition and/or use, such as regionalisms, situational variations, and class-related features; fails to recognize impact of educational background and literacy in L1; fails to take into account individual learning strategies or styles; fails to recognize manifestations of ethnicity and culture and connections to family; fails to consider factors of age and gender; and fails to recognize factors related to the immigrant experience in America, including the different experiences of voluntary first-generation immigrants and involuntary second-generation offspring, changing social networks through generations, and attitudes of teachers, schools, communities, and governments

When appropriate, recognizes psycho-socio-cultural variables in language acquisition and/or use, such as regional lexicon and accent, situational registers and styles, and class-related features; recognizes impact of differential exposure to formal schooling and to “standard” expectations for education; recognizes impact of L1 literacy; takes into account individual learning strategies and styles; demonstrates an awareness that ethnicity and culture manifest themselves in language use and development; recognizes age-related and gender-related linguistic behavior; and takes into account a wide variety of factors related to the immigrant experience in America, including the cultural clash of immigrants arriving from developing nations, acculturation  and assimilation patterns across generations, especially as immigrants’ social networks change, and varying attitudes of the L2 community toward immigrants

When appropriate, recognizes psycho-socio-cultural variables in language acquisition and/or use and interprets them, such as the role of regional solidarity, situational accommodation, and overt or covert prestige of class-related forms; recognizes differences in exposure to formal schooling and expectations about it but refrains from blaming children or parents; takes into account differences between academic vs. conversational language; recognizes value of L1 literacy and supports it; supports individual learning strategies and styles; affirms manifestations of ethnicity and culture; demonstrates an understanding of different age- and gender-related linguistic behaviors; and demonstrates an understanding of English language learning within the context of the immigrant experience, which involves, e.g., cultures in contact, changing cultural identities through generations, individuals’ negotiation of cultural identity, prejudice, and changing language policies