A few months ago, I was asked by a fellow linguist if I would be interested in doing a self-assessment of mine and Kaya's German to help her accumulate information for her thesis on bilingual language development. Though it took me longer to get around to doing the assessment than I was hoping (no surprise there!), I have been very excited about the opportunity, as it will give me a starting point from which to base all progress that is made over the years...hopefully serving as continual motivation to keep on the horse with this endeavor. I will include the link to the global scale and assessment grid so that others of you can do the same, or at least have access to this information, should you so inclined!
Minority Language: German
Global Scale Level: B2/C1
At this point, I feel that I have a blend of both B2 and C1 skills in my German.
B2: Independent User
Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of
C1: Proficient User
Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
The Assessment Grid breaks down the Global Scale according to the specific areas of language: Understanding, Speaking and Writing. It offers a more detailed account of what one can do with language. My self assessment according to the Assessment Grid is as follows:
I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signaled explicitly. I can understand television programs and films without too much effort.
B2--I can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. I can understand contemporary literary prose.
C1--I can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. I can understand specialized articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to my field.
Spoken Interaction: B2/C1
B2--I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. I can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining my views.
C1--I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. I can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate my contribution skilfully to those of other speakers.
Spoken Production: B2
I can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my field of interest. I can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
I can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to my interests. I can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. I can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.
I have also filled out an even more detailed self-assessment checklist, which breaks down the abilities even further within each of the above categories. I have yet to figure out how to post my personal assessment checklist here, but I have linked a blank checklist for you to use should you be interested.
In completing these self-assessments, it reminded me of how my German has deteriorated over time after such a long time in the US with no visits to Germany. It also occurred to me that it would make sense to provide a short description of my experience with the language, so that the assessments are in context of that experience and current life situation.