Question

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12 thoughts on “Question”

  1. Yes and no. I would say, assessment is an essential component of the teaching, rather than the learning, process. I assess in order to know where my kids are on the acquisition ladder. It helps me tailor my approach to the needs of the individual students.

    1. You can check the forum and ACTFL for some of my ramblings.
      1) https://benslavic.com/blog/forum/general-discussion-1/ci-friendly-test/
      2) https://benslavic.com/blog/forum/general-discussion-1/elicited-oral-imitation-test-level-1-spanish-version/
      3) http://community.actfl.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=439&MID=6867&tab=digestviewer
      4) I created this format for an oral proficiency test and tried it out on 8th graders:
      https://youtu.be/rObxSeoU5CA?list=PL8JqpkCp61R4zRltQHINdM-Mhl5b4gZhZ
      I define the elements necessary to test acquisition and include 4 tasks: picture description, PQA, oral narrative task, information gap activity.
      Note: Assessment is one of my areas of passionate interest. Ben, this is already on my wish list 😉

      1. 3) http://community.actfl.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=439&MID=6867&tab=digestviewer
        4) I created this format for an oral proficiency test and tried it out on 8th graders:
        https://youtu.be/rObxSeoU5CA?list=PL8JqpkCp61R4zRltQHINdM-Mhl5b4gZhZ
        I define the elements necessary to test acquisition and include 4 tasks: picture description, PQA, oral narrative task, information gap activity.
        Note: Assessment is one of my areas of passionate interests. Ben, this is already on my wish list.

  2. I have to admit that I hate the assessment part of all of it. I really feel like those kids that want to learn the language are going to no matter if they have assessments or not. I would rather deliver CI the entire time than have to stop and take a formative assessment with 8-10 minutes left. I, of course, do the JGR (which in my opinion is a much better assessment because it makes kids be more than just physically present in our classes), quick quizzes and free writes, but that’s about all I can muster up. This puts enough grades in the grade book to keep people off of my back, but I’d rather spend my time on other things!
    I know if I were in my class I would rather take what I wanted from it rather than be forced or expected to take what my brain isn’t ready for or does not want to learn at the moment.
    Just my two cents…

    1. Agreed, Polly. I would prefer not to give grades at all and give a descriptive paragraph about each student, and do no ‘official’ assessment – well, I like to let them write about once a month. But to see progress.

      1. “I would prefer not to give grades at all and give a descriptive paragraph about each student”
        – This is exactly what I do! 2nd semester last year I didn’t enter a single grade in a grade book. I made up a grade for everyone and invested time in a descriptive comment for each student. I give a pre/mid/post-test (state mandated progress assessments) and these give me good stuff to comment on in the descriptive comment, but these tests do not affect the students’ grade. Of course, I know my situation (freedom being the only FL teacher at my school and admin support) is unique.
        Also, when I speak of “formative assessment” I am not referring to a daily exit quiz. I’m talking about the moment-to-moment interaction with the kids. Informal.

        1. Eric, do you mind sharing one of your “descriptive paragraphs”? Curious as to what you’re able to get away with.
          Also, you say that the pre/mid/post tests do not affect kids’ grade. But you include the results in the comments. Could you explain that?

          1. I would share if I could. There appears to be a problem with opening the online gradebook we use at our school. Basically, I customized my own comment fields and the kids get comments on their listening, reading, and writing progress. I also have comments to choose from about participation and motivation. And I have a special comment reserved for kids acquiring at faster rates about having high potential for language acquisition.
            But I can get away with anything and nothing. Literally. 2 years ago I entered the grades in the wrong place and nobody caught the mistake, so the report cards were printed and there was no Spanish semester 1 grade. I think only 3 kids noticed and not a single parent ever contacted me or the school that I know of. That’s when I realized I was wasting my own time with an excel spreadsheet calculating and entering grades.

  3. Here’s where I’m at (this is constantly evolving):
    The interpersonal communication rubric (jGR) are my classroom rules and it is my job to enforce them. But I never felt I could assign the kids grades based on it. There was just too much going on for me to notice even 5 behaviors* and their level of consistency from each student.
    *listening, eyes, responds, L1, signals
    And my self-evaluation system lasted 2 days. I didn’t like giving up class time to do it.
    So I have rules and I try to get better at enforcing them. I have a few spacey kids that seemingly put in little effort. I can’t make that kid with low/no motivation my barometer – not fair to the rest of the class. I also understand that some kids have trouble completing something from the communication rubric for whatever reason (including reasons outside of their control).
    Although I know everyone will develop at their own rate, I do expect that every student will comprehend a story with previous and current targets. And I want the final grade I assign to reflect that baseline level of comprehension. And if I need to speak to parents and students, then I want some physical assessment evidence to refer to.
    My plan this year is to include at the end of every 1-2 week cycle with new targets a short reading and listening quiz. 20 minutes tops:
    1) 300-word speed reading that parallels the class story with 5 T/F
    2) 300-word read-aloud with short-answer oral questions. Alternatively, I could have 3 shorter listenings at variable speeds (80, 100, 120 wpm), so that I get a rough measure of fluency.
    I am considering extra credit be an output task: speedwrite (1 point for every word over 100 words in 5 minutes) or a fixed-rate deletion cloze test – every 10th word is missing (10 blanks total, 1 point per blank).
    We should be testing our goals. Mine are fluency-based: speedy comprehension and speedy comprehensible output. Input is the means and input + output is the ends. I’m sick of FL teachers confusing ends with means – either they want output (ends) so they teach with output (means) or they think output develops via explicit grammar instruction (means) and they test grammar (means) rather than the desired ends (output).
    Notice: assessing comprehension is not taking away time from acquisition.

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