Language Credit Equivalency Rabbit Trail

Written by Shannon

Rabbit Trails are a major thing at our house.  Are we the only ones?

We’ll start talking about one thing, and end up down a warren of topics and ideas.

Like my son, Z telling me about the book he’s listening to…

leading to a discussion of phase travel…

Which then has us comparing various methods of inter-dimensional travel…

Where he uses a term I don’t know….

And then I’m researching Dyson spheres 🤯

Or they might start with a cat.    

Like Tuesday,  when Es’ cat decided to come sit with me for a bit.  Es came in looking for the cat and decided to join us.

It started with Es sharing her latest phrases in German – about the cat.  

Which then led to me sharing a website for students who want to study in Germany. (One of her goals)

Leading to a discussion on how to get proof of  B1 CEFR fluency so she can study at a German university.

CEFR = Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the fluency rating system used in Europe

Since she’s using the Duolingo app for her language studies, we started talking about the research on Duolingo equivalencies.  

Duolingo unit 5 complete = ~ CEFR A2 and almost 2 years of university study.  (source)

And because I’ve been working on notes for a Capturing Credit article on alternative language credit ideas,  I did a quick search for high school equivalency levels…

And found a University of Oregon research study on proficiency levels achieved through conventional high school language study,  which said:

“The majority of students studying a foreign language in a traditional high school program reach benchmark level 3 or 4 by end of the fourth year of study, regardless of the language studied. These levels are similar to the ACTFL levels Novice-High and Intermediate-Low.”

*ACTFL = American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the fluency rating used in the United States

So, we started doing the equivalencies.

4 years of conventional high school study  =  ~ACTFL Novice-High  Intermediate-Low fluency

Which then led us down a path of finding an equivalency chart for ACTFL to CEFR fluency ratings.

ACTFL Novice-High/Intermediate Low = ~ CEFR A2

And then we were back  to Duolingo’s equivalency comparison.

Unit 5 of Duolingo = ~CEFR A2 = ~ACTFL Novice-High, Intermediate-Low  Fluency


Unit 5 of Duolingo = ~2 years of university study (4 semesters) = ~4 years of high school study

And then this statement in that University of Oregon research study:  

“For most students in U.S. high schools, proficiency in a second language must be acquired at school, as there is little opportunity to acquire it naturalistically outside of class.”

set off another train of thought, discussing how many more richer learning opportunities we have as homeschoolers…

and how immersive experiences allow for faster and richer learning.

And then we were off down the bunny trail again…

Sound familiar?

Gotta Love Rabbit Trails.  

Warrens of Learning, sharing, connecting, and gleaning.

Hippity Hoppity…

Happy Learning!

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