AAPPL results & Spanish 4’s final

Last year at this time, I was absolutely livid with our AAPPL scores. Basically, out of 60 students, including my Spanish 4 kiddos, French 4 kiddos and Heritage Students, exactly zero percent scored I-4 or higher on the listening comprehension test, which is the pass score for Nevada’s Seal of Biliteracy. Read the whole rant here, if you want to begin to understand the rage I felt last year. 

My Spanish 4 Little Darlings took the test again this year, and in my heart, this was AAPPL’s last chance to redeem itself before I dumped AAPPL forever. Turns out I was very pleased with this year’s results, and I’ll let AAPPL hang around for another year. However, I definitely still have concerns about the validity of the AAPPL ratings, especially on Form A, read Jim Tripp’s experience here! But… let’s dwell on the positive today:

2019’s AAPPL Results

…drum roll please…

Out of 50 Spanish 4 students (None Heritage Spanish Speakers) 16 earned the Seal of Biliteracy by earning an I-4 or higher in every test! WAHOOO!!! Comprehensible Input for the Win! 

8 more of my Little Darlings passed 3 out of 4 tests, and for the most part, it was the dang Speaking Test that held them back.

Not surprising for kids raised on 4 years of CI, as a group they did better on the reading and listening tests and not quite as well speaking and writing tests. 7 kids didn’t pass any of the tests and the rest passed 1 or 2 tests. Wanna see all the juicy details? Here’s how the scores broke down for each of my Little Darlings. 

For the most part, I’d say the scores are pretty accurate representations of what my kiddos can do in Spanish. There were a few scores that surprised me (higher and lower than I expected), but overall, my kiddos did well and I’m proud of them.

Spanish 4 Final

This year, our department has been really cognizant of tying our grades to the ACTFL Proficiency Expectations for each level. So, since Nevada said that at the end of Spanish 4, my kiddos should be Intermediate Mid, as a department we agreed that students who meet the expectation should earn a B, students who exceed it should earn an A and those who are approaching it should earn a C.

Since I had AAPPL proficiency scores for almost all of my Spanish 4 kiddos, and because I hate grading with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, I wanted to figure out a fair way to use their AAPPL scores as their final exam score…without the angry ones coming after me with pitchforks in the night. After getting Admin approval (don’t worry!) I pitched them my idea:

“You have the option of replacing your final exam score with your AAPPL score, if you would like. If you would like to take my Final Exam rather than using your AAPPL score, that’s OK! It’s totally up to you! Like Burger King, Have it your way!  You can count your AAPPL score for the reading and listening sections, and take the speaking and writing sections, if you want. Mix and match however you want! If you believe your AAPPL score does not reflect your ACTFL proficiency level on any of the tests, you should take the corresponding section of my final.”

I showed them how I would transfer their AAPPL score into a percentage, gave them a bit of time to reflect on their scores, their ACTFL proficiency levels in each skill and decide which, if any, parts of my final they want to take, then they filled out a form for me, letting me know which sections of the final they’ll take.  If you’d like to try something similar, feel free to make a copy of my slideshow and adjust it to work for you!

AAPPL final

On the day of our scheduled final, students can take the Reading Section of my Final, or the Speaking section or the Listening Section or all four sections. I’ll have all sections available and students will have the autonomy and flexibility to take the sections they choose.   For students who elect to use their AAPPL score as their final exam score, they’ll work on the Gran Hotel Breakout I created last year.

I can’t even tell you how relieved my students were with this plan…I think it’s because my Spanish 4 Little Darlings are the ones who have a gazillion AP tests and they’re stressed to the max. I think they loved getting to decide which parts  of the final they’ll take and it relieved just a bit of pressure from the 24 Hour Stress Buffet where they live. And this teacher is pretty happy, because, less finals to grade 🙂

(And if you hung in til the bitter end of this post because you were hoping to get some ideas for your Spanish 4 final, I’m sorry to disappoint!! I have a vague idea of what I’m teaching tomorrow, no idea what’s happening next week, forget about the final I’ll give them in 6 weeks!)


  1. Congratulations AnneMarie! You must be so proud of your little darlings! What great results! And thank you for sharing your scale for assessing your proficiency levels for Spanish 4. It is really helpful and I will share it with our department. We are pretty much all CI but assessment is always a hot topic. Where I teach in Canada we have no agreed upon proficiency levels so it is always great to see how other schools do their year end grading. We are trying to develop some common standards! Thanks for always imspiring me 🙂


    • Thanks, Michelle! Assessment is so messy- I wish we could just teach and they could just acquire without any grades involved!! One day when I rule the world…


    • Really we didn’t do anything to “prepare”, I just think last year’s results were inaccurate. There’s NO WAY that not a single kid, including heritage kids, didn’t pass the listening comprehension test!!


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