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For Students
For Instructors

FOR STUDENTS


The Language Self-Evaluation Resource (LASER) is an indicator of general language proficiency. It can be completed at any time using a computer with a stable internet connection, and it takes about an hour to complete. It is designed to help BYU students:

  • select the appropriate language course for their ability*
  • verify that they are in the correct class
  • provide information to the instructor to inform curricular decisions
  • help them become life-long language learners as they improve their ability to self-assess and self-reflect on their language proficiency

*If you are taking the LASER to choose the correct language course, the course recommendation provided is just that: a recommendation. Students should consult with their language department concerning any questions about their results. 

Watch the video below and read the description about the purposes of the LaSER, its format, how to access it, and other details.

LASER Introduction

Description & Details

PART 1: SELF-EVALUATION MODULE (30 TO 40 MINUTES)

This section will gather information about your background and exposure to the language you are studying.

  • Language Learning Background (7 minutes)
  • Language Use
    • GRIT (5 minutes)
    • Willingness to Communicate (8 minutes)
  • Language Proficiency Self-Assessments (10 to 20 minutes)

PART 2: PRODUCTIVE LANGUAGE SAMPLES MODULE (20 TO 50 MINUTES)


For this section, you will be emailed a link to complete your Level Placement/Verification. Here you will be asked to respond to some speaking and writing questions. Some should be easy for you, and some should stretch your ability.

After you respond to the questions, you will have the chance to self-assess your performance in terms of how successful you felt you were, the type of language you used, and your accuracy. You will then be provided with a class recommendation along with information about your self-assessed proficiency.

Who will see your language samples? 
Your language samples will be forwarded to the language department. The department and your instructor will use the data to design better language class instruction for all students in the language program. If you have already registered for a class, please look up your instructor's last name and email address. You will need to provide that information so the instructor can receive the language samples in a timely manner. If you have NOT registered for a class or you do not have your instructor's contact information, we will send the language samples to you directly and you will need to forward them to your instructor (if it's required).

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

To get the most accurate results from Part 2 of the LASER, please use the following hardware and software:

  1. Laptop or desktop computer
  2. Chrome Web Browser

When recording your spoken responses in Part 2, be sure to find a quiet location. An external microphone can also help to ensure the best quality audio.

INFORMATION NEEDED:

Before starting, you will need

  • Your NetID and BYU ID (found on your ID card or the BYU App) 
  • Your official BYU email address (which should be your NetID@student.byu.edu)

Be sure to set aside enough time to complete each of the two parts in one sitting. Any incomplete responses to either part of the LASER will be removed from the system after 24 hours.

QUESTIONS OR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES?

Please email CLS-LaSER@byu.edu with your name, NetID, the language you are studying, and a description of your question/difficulty.

FOR INSTRUCTORS

Information concerning the LASER’s purpose, format, and administration—including a link for students to complete the LASER—can be found on the student tab.If you would like to preview the LASER, please click the link below. Please DO NOT give this link students. The preview version allows instructors to view the layout, content, etc. without results being saved in our database. As such, any students who use this link will not have their results recorded.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • Monday, August 29th through Tuesday, September 6th (add drop deadline): Students complete the LASER
  • Wednesday, September 7th through Friday, September 9th: The CLS will send Instructors a list of students who completed the LASER in their class(es). Only students who complete the LASER will eligible for an OPIc.
  • Wednesday, September 7th through Tuesday, September 30th: Students sign up for and complete the Oral Proficiency Interview—computerized (OPIc) through the Language Testing Lab. While dates may vary based on the language department, we encourage students to complete the OPIc as soon as possible in order to receive their rating and diagnostic grids in a timely manner.

QUESTIONS, FEEDBACK, OR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES?


Please email CLS-LaSER@byu.edu with any questions about the LASER, feedback, accessing your student results, reports, or help with technical difficulties. We are beta-testing an instructor portal for you to easily access, listen to/read, and download students’ written and spoken submissions If you are interested in participating in the beta test, or providing feedback of any kind, please email us at CLS-LASER@byu.edu.

As we work to improve access to your student's results, including their written and spoken submissions. You will still need to access student submissions via an automatic email, which will contain the student’s written submissions, as well as hyperlinks to the audio recordings of their speaking submissions. The following videos demonstrate how to use official BYU email accounts, set up designated folders and rules in Outlook, and download audio files.

SETTING UP DESIGNATED FOLDERS IN OUTLOOK (OPTIONAL)


If you don’t want your main inbox overloaded with emails from the LASER results of your students, you can set up a designated folder with rules that will automatically direct new emails to your designated folder. The following video shows how to set up this feature in Outlook.

How to automate the storage of student LASER results in Outlook


USING MOZILLA FIREFOX TO LISTEN TO STUDENTS’ SPEECH SAMPLES (OPTIONAL)

Some instructors, especially those using a PC, have found it cumbersome to listen to student audio. The following videos show how to set up Mozilla Firefox for easier access.

LASER Install Firefox on a Mac

Install Firefox for Windows

Play LASER audio on a Mac

Play LASER Audio on Windows