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Assessment Boot Camp

A new way of teaching requires a new way of assessing and grading. 

In this course, Martina and Elicia help demystify assessment for proficiency, grading for mastery, the use of can-do statements, and provide practical examples of assessment types and rubrics that can be used at any level of instruction.  


 Assessment for Acquisition Boot Camp (A-ABC) is a two-week self-directed intensive intended to introduce you to the basics of assessment for acquisition based teaching. In this course, we will introduce some research about language acquisition, consider how to apply those ideas, and then dig into assessment and standards based grading, focusing on communicative proficiency with an asset-based lens. 

Unique Format

A-ABC will have four components:

  • Short, focused pre-recorded videos that address one discreet topic every week day (10 total).
  • Two live webinars that offer participants the opportunity to ask questions, reflect, and debrief their learning with experienced coaches.
  • A resource handout with suggestions for further reading, workbook activities to deepen learning, and reflection questions to support applying the new information in the classroom context.
  • Moderated forums for teachers to interact, share successes, and ask questions. 

During the two week course: 

Sundays: participants will be able to download the week’s workbook and materials for the week ahead. 

Each week day (Monday- Friday) one short video will be shared with participants on the day’s topic.

Wednesdays: Live webinars

Forums will be available for one week after all videos are released. 

Course outline

Week 1: Standards, Gradebooks, and Second Language Acquisition: what do we know and how can we use that information? 

Week 2: A new way of teaching requires a new way of assessing, grading, and unit planning.

View full Course Syllabus here

Important Dates

Materials available: Sunday, August 11, 2024

First video released: Monday, August 12, 2024

Live Event #1: Wednesday August 14, 2024 (will be recorded)

Live Event #2: Wednesday, August 28, 2024 (will be recorded)

Forums close: August 31, 2024

Course access closes: February 28, 2025

Graduate Credit:

Graduate credit (one credit hour) can be earned by completing additional reading and classwork outside of sessions.   

Elicia Cárdenas

Director of Training

Elicia Cárdenas is a middle school Spanish teacher with extensive experience teaching a variety of levels, ages, and subjects.  She currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member for Westminster College, working with pre-service world language teachers and serves as a teaching assistant for MITx’s Learning Labs.  Although she was trained as an elementary teacher, she shifted her focus to  understanding of second language acquisition and its application to classroom instruction in a world language classroom, using the SOMOS curriculum. She presents regularly at national, regional, and state conferences and is proud to be a member of the NTPRS coaching staff.  Her particular areas of interest include assessment with an equity lens and working to make sure all students are successful at acquiring another language. She is known for her dynamic and energetic approach to teaching and workshop facilitation.  

After partnering with The Comprehensible Classroom for two years as a part-time Curriculum Mentor and trainer, Elicia joined as the full-time Director of Training in 2020. Elicia travels throughout North America to work with districts and organizations that represent teachers who are ready to transform their classroom instruction through Comprehension-based instruction. Elicia is also the founder of the Deskless Classroom.

Martina Bex


Martina Bex is the Founder of The Comprehensible Classroom, whose curricula and training materials have been helping language teachers implement proficiency oriented, comprehension based language programs with confidence since 2010. Martina is internationally recognized for her leadership and expertise in the world language teaching profession as a teacher trainer and curriculum developer. A Spanish teacher by trade with experience in public and private schools and at the university level, Martina balances her work for The Comprehensible Classroom with the needs of her five young children, for whom she is the full-time caregiver. Martina has been published in The Language Educator and presents regularly at state, regional and national conferences in addition to consulting with individual districts and organizations. Her newest project for supporting teachers is the Garbanzo App, an interactive library of stories in Spanish designed specifically with language classes in mind.

Who will benefit from A-ABC:  

  • Target audience: Middle and High School teachers of World Languages who are interested in assessment for acquisition. We recommend that ELL teachers and elementary teachers reach out to us before registering to make sure that the course will meet your needs.
  • Teachers who are new to Comprehension-based teaching, who want to learn more about assessment in a Comprehension-based teaching framework, who are new to language teaching, or who would like to know more about using materials from The Comprehensible Classroom.
  • Teachers in any kind of virtual/hybrid/scattered/face-to-face classroom situation: what we talk about will be applicable to all situations. 
  • Teachers who already use Comprehension-based teaching in their classrooms, but are unsure of how to fit assessment into their practice.

This class may not be a good fit for you if:

  • You have already taken an ABC course from the Comprehensible Classroom.
  • You are not at least a little bit comfortable with self-paced learning and video instruction. 
  • Trainers will not be able to provide extensive tech support outside of class.  
  • This might not be a good fit for you if you have already had training in assessment practices in comprehension-based teaching.

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