Question for the Group

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7 thoughts on “Question for the Group”

  1. Yes actually Margie I agree with Diana in the sense that you can’t stray too far from what ACTFL says. It’s pretty cut and dried information that these people want. Just pull from the ACTFL docs, explain how proficiency is measured in ranges, and keep it simple.

    Now, if they want to get into methods to achieve said ranges, that’s a whole ‘nuther thing. They can’t grasp that yet, since their minds are still wrapped around the old ways of thinking. Just defining proficiency is a lot for them now.

    As far as what proficiency looks like in the four skills, I wish I could share the rubrics we have created over the years in DPS because they are really good. We have flow charts for writing and speaking that are state of the art in my opinion. I don’t know if they are on our site or not – they may be proprietary to the district.

    But I would avoid getting into CI at this point with these people. We are finding out what we have always known – let them come to us when they are ready. I am also seeing another pattern – requests for change rarely come from building principals (who listen to department heads too much) but from above their heads.

    1. Margie Snyder

      Ben, Thanks for posting this! I do agree with you and Diana that my sections seem pretty cut and dry and I will be using ACTFL’s information. Another teacher is working on a section that “addresses best practices in world language classrooms and specifically those methods that move students toward language proficiency”. I don’t know the person doing this…I was hoping if I could throw in more Krashen and TCI in my section, it would prompt her to include TCI/TPRS if she doesn’t already. We will be reviewing each other’s work before publishing the course. So, if anyone has any other suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

  2. I was using our DPS speaking rubric yesterday and observed the strangest thing. I gave a visual prompt (a panel of three separate images from left to right with a common theme with empty speech bubbles) to the kids with a beginning, middle and end.

    If they could describe the prompt in that way (telling a story), it would indicate to me that they would be functioning above the proficiency level of Novice Mid Low (merely providing threee unrelated sentences) and thus be rated by the district at Novice Mid High or above.

    Note that I had not heard them speak all year, bc I don’t push writing or speaking in level 2 as you know, and they came into the speaking test and sat there, each one of them, and told a story!

    All they had done all this year was to listen and read and there I was listening to them come up one after another, D students (always due to attendance) and A students alike, and provide a beginning, middle and end, and thus were able to communicate in French with me, thus earning a proficiency level of Novice Mid High or Novice High, and a few were Intermediate Low (beginning, middle and end, also expressed with ease and fluidity).

    It kind of blew my mind. As they left my interview station, I congratulated each of them and asked each of them if they were going to be with me next year, and they shook their heads yes in pride as they walked away glowing that they could do that well on the speaking, because it kind of blew their minds, too. They definitely were different from at the end of level 1 and they knew it!

    I told the class to believe me next time when I tell them that the more they listen the more they will be able to speak, even if they don’t want to!

  3. Has anyone seen the Common European Framework?
    I like it…
    Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
    Common Reference Levels

    Basic language user
    Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

    Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

    Independent language user
    Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on familiar topics or topics of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

    Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

    Proficient language user
    Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns,

    Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

  4. The CEFRL seems used for much more than just academic institutions, by businesses in particular to get an idea of a person’s language qualifications, a useful thing in a polyglot continent. I see the CEFRL as more simple and therefore more useful. I am glad you shared this, Leigh Anne. The simplicity is elegant, esp. at the end of each paragraph where they describe output. I don’t think the categories are too broad. I sent this to Diana Noonan.

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