The Best Damn Template Ever for Creating Authentic ESL Listening & Reading Assessments: Top Auxiliar de Conversación Resource

Auxiliar de Conversación Resource



Bayard Nielsen,


Ever played a funny YouTube video for your ESL students, thinking it was going to be the BEST 20 second class opener ever… then 10 minutes goes by and it hits you that you’re still translating every word of slang in the first 15 seconds of the video because you think the class will need each word to understand the stupid clip that now you know they probably aren’t even going to care about or laugh at anyway and you’re considering quitting teaching and becoming a bull fighter instead but you don’t quite have the figure for it yet? AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

whew… Well, that was the story of my life—until I realized I was asking the wrong questions…

This template is really helpful to ensure you’re asking on-level questions about the material and that you don’t miss the forest for the trees—Get past those “what does ‘fountain’ mean” questions and move on to the more meaningful ones!

There are so many other things you can be looking at to assess listening and reading comprehension, such as: keyword recognition, main idea. supporting details, organizational features, guessing meaning from context, inference, author’s perspective, and comparing cultural perspectives. So, open up this template and stop worrying! You’re safe from bulls for another few years!

Why is this awesome?

This is a standardized, performance-based assessment which is graded using a rubric, meaning students can compare their scores over the year on similar assessments to see how they have progressed. The process also involves self-reflection and a brief meeting with the teacher individually after each assessment to ensure maximum feedback with minimum grading & turn-around time.

Just because you asked—this assessment structure is used by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as the first of three assessments that make up an “integrated performance assessment,” and I have samples of the other two assessments in the activities page (I put them here and here to save you the trouble). Let me know if you’d like templates for those as well!