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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.

LPDA INTRO Demo

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


We are working to improve access to your student's results, including their written and spoken submissions. However, for the winter 2022 semester, instructors 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.

For winter 2022:

Student results will ONLY be sent to official BYU email addresses (for both students and instructors). You may have emails forwarded from your official BYU account to another account, but to comply with FERPA, all results are sent to the BYU instructor email accounts.

For instructors, we recommend that you set up a specific folder in your email account with rules within Outlook to send email directly to that folder. This will keep your inbox from being overloaded.

To review the spoken responses, we recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox.

Below are help videos that will show you how to use official BYU email accounts, set up designated folders and rules in Outlook, and download and use Mozilla.

USING OFFICIAL BYU EMAIL ACCOUNTS (REQUIRED)


Currently, instructors only see individual student results in an email that is automatically sent when the student has completed both parts of the LASER. The email provided by both the student and the instructor must be official BYU email accounts.

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 video shows 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

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.