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Understanding Performance Indicators and Can-Do Statements

The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages of the New York State Education Department presents "Understanding Performance Indicators and Can-Do Statements".

Original Webinar Date:  Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 10:00 - 11:00 AM 

Webinar description:  Learn how to identify the key language functions embedded in the NYS Learning Standards for World Languages (2021) as well as how to write aligned, learner-friendly Can-Do Statements. Then, explore how to use Performance Indicators aligned to Checkpoint proficiency targets as a tool for providing learner feedback, promoting learner self-evaluation and agency, and as means to differentiate instruction and assessment.

Webinar Facilitation Guide (WordPDF):  This facilitation guide is designed for use by a facilitator and/or participants engaged in professional learning designed around this webinar and its focus topic(s). Facilitators and/or participants may use the facilitation guide in whole or in part, all at once or spaced out over time. They may additionally customize the facilitation guide to best suit their needs by modifying, adding to, or eliminating suggested discussion questions and/or tasks.  The facilitation guide begins with an overview of the webinar goals and its organization. It follows with suggestions of structured discussion questions and tasks that are organized for use before, during, and after webinar viewing and aligned to the stated webinar goals.

Link to webinar flyer

Webinar Presenters:  Bill Heller and Dr. Joanne O'Toole

Bill Heller has taught in public elementary, secondary, community college and undergraduate classrooms for 40 years, including 24 years teaching Spanish at Perry High School. He has been a methods and Spanish instructor at SUNY Geneseo since 2001.  He is a frequent presenter of workshops, webinars and keynotes. Bill served as Conference Chair for the 2018 Northeast Conference (NECTFL) and is currently a member of the Executive Board and Content Advisory Panel for World Languages at the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Dr. Joanne O'Toole is a Professor of Modern Language Education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSED World Languages Content Advisory Panel and the Principal Investigator of the NYS World Language Standards Initiative. Joanne has served in several world language leadership positions including NYSAFLT President and NECTFL Director, and is a regular presenter at national, regional, state, and local conferences. Joanne is a certified teacher of Spanish and taught Spanish for 16 years prior to entering post-secondary education.

Link to Handouts folder from webinar

Link to recording of webinar

Links to post-assessments

To receive a certificate of completion (including a CTLE certificate), NYS educators must view the recording of the webinar (see link above) in its entirety and then answer at least seven out of ten questions correctly on the post assessment.  If the minimum required score (7 out of 10) is achieved, the educator will receive a certificate via email within an hour.  For the convenience of our World Language educators, there are multiple versions of the post assessment available, should the required score not be achieved on the first attempt.  Educators may take each version of the post assessment once.

Important notes:

  1. Educators may take each version of the post assessment once.  Credit will not be given for taking a single version of the post assessment more than once. 
  2. Credit will not be given for more than one passing score on any of the post assessments for a webinar (listed below) in a single academic year.  
  3. Educators may receive credit for viewing the webinar recording and passing a post assessment once in each academic year and are encouraged to take a different version of the post assessment on a yearly basis to review and test their knowledge of the webinar's content. 
  4. It is the responsibility of the individual educator to keep track of the information on the professional learning they complete each year, including the number of CTLE hours.
  5. Questions about this webinar or the post assessments, should be directed to Candace Black at (585) 356-0951 or at

Webinar Summary 

  • # of attendees: 230
  • # of CTLE certificates issued: 183
  • # of certificates of attendance issued: 47
  • # of organizations represented by attendees:
    • 208 districts
    • 2 non-public schools
    • 4 charter schools
    • 6 BOCES and/or RBERNs
    • 8 colleges & universities
    • 2 government agencies

Quotes from Participants of this Webinar

  • “I loved the comparison of how to create unit- based can-do statements vs. task-based. That was incredibly helpful.” ~ JoAnn
  • ”A major take on this webinar is clarity on how to drive my objectives with can do statements especially this will be my second year... Very helpful!!” ~ Michelle
  • “I am excited to include the Can-Do statements with my students, and have them self-evaluate their abilities.” ~ Danielle
  • “As always, Bill and Joanne present a comprehensive and easy to comprehend workshop.  Can’t wait to work with my department on everything I have learned to get ready for these new standards/changes.” ~ Nancy
  • “It was extremely helpful. The specifics of formulating the Can-Do statements as well as using two as we help students transition up to more function ability within language and cultural contexts.” ~ Sarah
  • “I LOVE ALL of your webinars! They are step by step so it's easy to swallow the information. The handouts are always appreciated as well for more clarification:)” ~ Beth
  • "Great workshop! Very well explained and I now have a very clear understanding of what can do statements are vs performance indicators. Thank you!” ~ Lisa
  • “I post my can-do statements daily in the class, and on the daily notes I post in Teams for my students.  I love the idea of Unit v. task can-do statements, and to being able to differentiate the can-do's for student needs.” ~ Elizabeth
  • “Thank you so much to each of our presenters! for each of the presentations in this series.  They have been rich, meaningful and valuable in content.  Each presentation has been superb in every aspect!” ~ Dilcia

(last updated 9/5/2022)