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New Jersey Alternate Proficiency Assessment
Performance Level Descriptors
Language Arts Literacy

(February 2009)

Grade 8 LAL

Partially Proficient

Students performing at the partially proficient level generally require prompting to demonstrate emerging knowledge and skills in vocabulary and concept development; comprehension skills and response to text; writing as a product; and mechanics with an inconsistent level of performance using modified and supported materials.

Partially proficient students are emerging in:

  • Using pictures or a dictionary to define new words in text through matching
  • Identifying connotative and denotative word meanings, and/or synonyms and antonyms
  • Identifying types of propaganda or examples of its use, given choices
  • Comparing and contrasting plots, characters, settings, and/or themes in text after reading, given choices
  • Identifying mood, rising action, climax, and resolution in fiction
  • Writing a personal narrative, or identify elements of different types of writing such as flashback and/or point of view
  • Engaging in pre-writing using graphic organizers or outlining
  • Writing sentences with appropriate capitalization and punctuation, including commas and colons in lists

Proficient

Students performing at the proficient level may require prompting to demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in vocabulary and concept development; comprehension skills and response to text; writing as a product; and mechanics with a moderate level of performance using modified and supported materials.

Proficient students typically:

  • Choose dictionary definitions that best define new words in text, given choices
  • Make connections between new words and known vocabulary based on context clues
  • Identify connotative and denotative meanings of words
  • Identify propaganda in advertisements and its type or purpose
  • Identify and analyze the use of fiction elements such as characters, character traits, plot sequence and mood in text
  • Write prose with appropriate textual elements, such as:
    • setting, plot and characters for fiction,
    • biographical details in chronological order for a biography or autobiography, or
    • essays with a clear purpose and supporting details.
    • Write using some mechanics appropriately such as paragraphs, grammar, transitional words, punctuation, and capitalization

Advanced Proficient

Students performing at the advanced proficient level generally demonstrate knowledge and skills in vocabulary and concept development; comprehension skills and response to text; writing as a product; and mechanics independently with a high level of performance using modified and supported materials.

Advanced proficient students typically:

  • Use a dictionary to define new words and refine comprehension based on context clues
  • Identify context clues such as restatement and/or contrast that enhance comprehension of new words
  • Demonstrate understanding of complex words and relationships between words by:
    • identifying the correct use of words with multiple meanings,
    • matching synonyms, antonyms, connotations and denotations
    • identifying correct use, and/or
    • comparing complex words
  • Identify propaganda in multiple sources, the type of propaganda used and its purpose
  • Identify fiction elements such as character traits, plot sequence, setting and mood
  • Explain how fiction elements in text influence the progression and/or resolution of plot
  • Write prose with appropriate textual elements, including themes, literary elements, structures, and supporting details
  • Write using mechanics appropriately; including paragraphs with a variety of sentences, grammar, transitional words, punctuation, and capitalization