Languages Support Materials


The central purpose of assessment is to understand where students are in their learning. Assessment refers to the broad range of strategies teachers employ to obtain information about their students’ skills and understandings, and ranges from asking students questions during a lesson to giving students a formal standardised assessment.

The assessments need to provide information about the depth of students’ conceptual understandings as well as their accumulation of knowledge. They should support teachers in identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses, and provide detailed diagnostic information about how students are thinking, so that the teacher is well placed to know what students have mastered and what they need to learn next.

Pre-primary Languages

Assessment Principle 1 Assessment should be an integral part of Teaching and Learning

Italian: Second Language Se sei felice e tu lo sai…(If you are happy and you know it...)

Languages/Italian: Second Language/Communicating/Socialising/Creating/Reflecting/Understanding/Systems of language

Content Description

Respond to teacher talk and instruction, for example, Ciao!; Presente/assente; In cerchio!; Insieme; Qui

Engage by listening to and viewing a range of short, imaginative texts and responding through action, dance, singing, drawing, movement and other forms of expression

Participate in the shared performance of songs or rhymes, playing with sound patterns, rhyming words and non-verbal forms of expression

Begin to notice how Italian feels/sounds different when speaking, singing a song or hearing it spoken by others compared with using and hearing their own language(s)

Recognise and experiment with reproducing the sounds and intonation patterns of the Italian language by singing, reciting, imitating and repeating words and phrases in context

Nature of the assessment

Response through action and spoken phrases to spoken text.

Participation in an oral interview.

Purposes of the assessment

To evaluate students’ ability to comprehend spoken text and participate through shared performance of songs, playing with sound patterns, rhyming words and non-verbal forms of expression. Also to establish information on their ability to comprehend spoken text and demonstrate their comprehension through actions.

Stage in the Teaching sequence

At the end of the learning sequence as a summative assessment.

Background learning

Students have been:

  • taught context-related vocabulary, including parts of the body and classroom instructions
  • exposed to some first elements of grammar, including gender with nouns, responding to imperative verb forms, number knowledge, adjectives and using simple statements
  • taught the textual conventions of an interview.

Assessment task

The teacher taught the lyrics of the song Se sei felice e tu lo sai … and the accompanying actions to the students. The teacher asked the students to think about how they could include another verse to the end of the song. Once they felt confident, the students demonstrated their speaking skills by singing the song in Italian, including their own verse, while performing the accompanying actions.

The teacher also assessed the students’ skills in comprehending spoken text by giving them classroom instructions in Italian and asking the students to demonstrate, through action, the instruction they heard.

Assessment process

The students’ performance of the song with the accompanying actions was recorded. The teacher observed the students and worked with those who had difficulty recalling or pronouncing the words accurately.

The students used actions and gestures to demonstrate their comprehension of classroom instructions given by the teacher. The teacher noted those students who had difficulty comprehending or responding to the commands. These students were supported through feedback and additional instruction.

Using the information

The teacher adjusted her lesson plans to ensure that all students could comprehend the lyrics of the song and the classroom instructions. The teacher provided additional instructions for those who already knew the structures that had been taught. This was an enjoyable task for the students to participate in while providing valuable feedback on the progress of the students’ learning.