FLACS e-News Briefs
Dateline: December, 2014 - Click below for details from last year's meeting!
Dateline: May 8, 2015 - FLACS recently discovered a website that contains a wealth of information related to World Language Scoring Guides. Click below to evaluate for yourself!
FLACS has put together an FAQ to provide answers to those questions which are most important. Please note it remains a work in progress and updates will be made to it as new questions arise.
FLACS has recently installed a new bulletin board sharing center in the Members Only area to allow FLACS members the opportunity to facilitate discussion on numerous topics. Please click the link below to log in to this special area to take advantage of the conversations!.
FLACS was recognized in the Times Beacon Record for their efforts in creating a LOTE exam.
All about FLACS and our Exams
FLACS is excited to support school districts throughout New York State with out 2016 FLACS exam. Complete details about the exam and how to participate can be found on this website. If you have any questions, please use the Contact Us area located in the bottom right hand side of this page.
- FLACS Exam 2016
FAQ from FLACS Assessments Workshops
- General Membership Questions and Exam Consortium Questions
- 2015 FLACS Exam descriptors
- Themes for World Languages in the 21st Century
- Writing Rubrics
- FLACS PowerPoints
2015-2016 Calendar of Events
OBE-WL collaborates with FLACS and Queens College to put World Language assessments on the map
For the past five years the leadership of FLACS (Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors) has met with officials and representatives from the New York State Education Department to address the concerns and issues that have arisen since NYSED eliminated the Checkpoint A and B exams in World Languages.
Our conversations have been fruitful, and our collaboration has resulted in positive outcomes for both organizations and for World Language programs across the state. This past August, representatives from OBE-WL, FLACS and Queens College met to continue these efforts. Present at the meeting were: Associate Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green, Regents Fellows Lissette Colón-Collins, Peter Swerdzewski, Jennifer Sattern, Juliette Lyons-Thomas, FLACS President Dr. Elaine Margarita, Chief Operating Officer Joan Anderson and Dr. Jennifer Eddy from Queens College. The goals for the meeting were to discuss:
- The Seal of Bi-literacy and eligibility requirements for World Language students
- The status of FLACS Exams becoming state approved assessments
- The importance of developing a consistent nomenclature and procedure for posting World Language Assessment scores on transcripts
- The posting of World Language Assessment dates on the NYSED calendar of June assessments
- The Pathways and World Languages
At the meeting we discussed ways to advance the Seal of Biliteracy. For example, NYSED will provide criteria and a point system to award students with a Seal of Bi-literacy on their transcripts. There may be options for schools to develop their own criteria, providing that they meet the general criteria outlined in the NYSED document. We shared ideas regarding acceptable assessments and the importance of awarding the seal at graduation (as opposed to delaying them for AP scores).
We also discussed the FLACS exams and the efforts to have the exams placed on the NYSED list of approved assessments. Dr. Eddy will implement and oversee the process required to submit the exams for approval, and we hope to see this come to fruition by next year. Once the exams are approved, they can be used in several ways: for validation of student performance against state and national standards in World Languages, for credit by examination, and for data collection on student performance for SLOs.
With over 200 districts throughout New York administering FLACS Exams, the exams must be administered at the same time across the state. For that reason, the date for the exams will be clearly posted as World Language Assessments on the SED June calendar of assessments. For the 2015-16 academic year, it is recommended that FLACS exam grades be posted as FL-A or FL-B on student transcripts (abbreviations for languages can also be added).
FLACS and Queens College have partnered to develop a new syllabus and curriculum guide to enhance world language programs and to define student performance using language from the ACTFL National Standards and Performance Descriptors. For several years now, they have also partnered to provide professional development for World Language teachers through an annual conference. This year’s conference will be held on April 1st at Queens College.
In addition to administering FLACS Exams, the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors remains committed to providing professional development opportunities for both supervisors of World Language programs and for their teachers. FLACS conducts three informational workshops for their membership (supervisors of World Language programs) each year. Topics include changes and updates regarding NYSED regulations, current trends in World Language education, application of technology in World Language classes, Student Learning Objectives and changes in the FLACS Exams. Since many teachers do not come to the profession with adequate training in quality test development, the organization also provides training for teachers in writing items for the FLACS Exams, an area that the association feels is extremely important, not only for the development of the FLACS Exams but also for thematic or unit tests.
This October’s Item Writing Workshops will be offered in five locations throughout New York State. Teachers of French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish will come together to learn/review the techniques of creating quality listening and reading multiple choice questions and answers. Over the past few years, FLACS has been rolling out more Common Core based questions and writing tasks on their exams. Section 2c of the FLACS Checkpoint A exams will no longer include four picture choices based on a listening stimulus. Instead, Common Core-type questions based on a picture and a listening stimulus have been included on the exams for June 2016. The goal of the organization is to share this information early in the school year in order to support teachers in using this type of Common Core task with their students all year.
When NYSED discontinued the World Language Proficiency and Regents exams several years ago, FLACS assumed the responsibility of developing and administering regional exams to ensure that language programs are aligned across the state. That new role has spurned the organization to work collaboratively with NYSED and Queens College to continue to move language and language instruction in a positive direction.
NYSED has also collaborated with other world language organizations, including the New York State Association of Foreign Languages (NYSAFLT), to ensure the needs of teachers are being heard and met. One of the most important recent events was the hiring of a new Associate for the World Languages, Ricardo Constantino, who will now be a liaison for our World Language programs throughout New York State.
Dr. Elaine Margarita
President of FLACS
Curriculum Associate, World Languages, K-12
Jericho Schools, Jericho New York
Chief Operating Officer of FLACS
Chairperson, World Language Department
East Williston UFSD
Old Westbury, New York