2.2 – We Can-Do Performance Across The Communication Modes

We are going to look now at how the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Benchmarks (Links to an external site.) can provide the focus for student learning. They describe for us and our learners the expected language production across the three ranges of performance: novice, intermediate and advanced. Student performance in this sense is the result of the learned and practiced skills and behaviors we structure for our students. Our goal is for our students to become proficient in the language so that they can interact with others and authentic content spontaneously and in unrehearsed contexts. We will apply this understanding and the Can-Do Benchmarks to the development of our peer microteaching learning episode in week three and to the lesson we will teach to the students of Arabic and Chinese at California State University, San Bernardino in week five.

To help provide an anchor point for your work with the Can-Do Statements, we are going to make use of three printable posters shared by Greg Duncan, one of the TELL Project Directors and Founders (Links to an external site.). He has shared them on his wiki. They are overview statements of what learners can do at the novice, intermediate and advanced levels. Keep these posters handy and refer to them as you develop your microteaching learning episode and work with your PMG on your lesson for the students at CSUSB.

Please go to: Proficiency Resources on Greg Duncan’s wiki (Links to an external site.).

Once there, scroll down to the bottom of the page to the section titled Moving Up the Proficiency Ladder. There you will see four documents available for download. Please download and save to a folder on your hard drive the first three and review them before moving on to our next activity. Their exact titles are: 

  • What can Novices do
  • What can Intermediates do? 
  • What can Advanceds do.

They are all pdfs.


Now that you’ve read through the three posters to get a general sense of what our learners can do at the novice, intermediate and advanced levels, let’s see how the lesson, My World and the World of (Mulan) (Links to an external site.) uses the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements (Links to an external site.) to create learning targets that are student-friendly and appropriate for the students’ ages and performance level. We will also use Can-Do Statements to develop the learning targets for our peer microteaching learning episode and the lesson we will teach to the students at CSUSB.


 You can view a larger version of this on YouTube (Links to an external site.)


The following ‘open book’ quiz is another way for us to become proficient users of the Can-Do Statements.

Due: before 11:59 p.m. on June 19 

Can-Do Statements Quiz

Once you’ve completed this quiz, please continue to M2.3.

Scroll to Top