Spanish and Chinese Immersion testing results released

Minnetonka Middle School West. (Sun Sailor file photo by Paige Kieffer)

By Paige Kieffer
paige.kieffer@ecm-inc.com

On May 4, the Minnetonka School Board reviewed the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages and the STAMP 4S testing results for Spanish and Chinese Immersion students in the district.

The AAPPL is a web-based test the assesses language performance, and the results inform test takers and educators about the learning process in the language that student is studying.

“The results are positive with the AAPPL,” said Matt Rega, director of assessment. “Over the past few years we’ve really seen our immersion program grow, not just with the number of student achievement. We started out with so few of students but now we’re really seeing some trends across the district that showed the strength of our immersion program in all of our schools.”

The AAPPL test has three sections, interpretive reading, interpersonal listening and speaking and interpretive listening. The test was given in March to students in grades 3-5.

“This test helps give an idea if our students are on track,” Rega said. “We scored pretty highly across the board on this assessment.”

Here are some of the highlights:
– The Excelsior Elementary fourth-grade students in the Chinese immersion program improved their rating in reading comprehension.
– More than 50 percent of Spanish immersion and 40 percent of Chinese immersion students are surpassing national expectations.
-Chinese and Spanish immersion students are preforming slightly above average than the same grade in 2015.
-More language immersion students are reaching the intermediate-high levels in reading comprehension, compared to 2015.

Rega did note that Chinese immersion had slightly lower scores than Spanish immersion. He said this was due to Chinese being a more difficult language and not as similar to English.

Also in March, language immersion students in grades 6-10 took the STAMP 4S assessment, a nationally recognized web-based test that assesses language proficiency.

The tests have four sections, reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Here are some highlights for Chinese immersion:
-Reading results for both middle schools showed an increase in performance for eighth graders.
-More ninth- and 10th-grade students are moving into intermediate-mid and higher levels by an increased percentage of 11.9 percent.
-In speaking and writing, eighth graders out-performed the previous year’s class.
Here are some highlights for Spanish immersion:
– Spanish immersion students are surpassing the national scores.
– In reading, 17 percent of sixth graders reached the intermediate-high level, compared to 10 percent the previous year.
– For listening, 32 percent of ninth graders reached the advanced-low level compared to 20 percent the previous year.

Rega said that more students are advancing to the higher immersion levels then ever before.