Writing Assessment

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5 thoughts on “Writing Assessment”

    1. Diane I got this email from Diana three days ago when I wrote to make sure that I had my facts right:
      “We don’t do presentational speaking any longer. We still do the presentational writing because we have to in order to be aligned with the standards. And I don’t think it is a bad idea because it gives the students a sense of accomplishment in terms of their language acquisition.
      “That said, I would prefer a test of interpersonal speaking/listening, which is what Sabrina did last spring with her students, one on one. A conversation with students also gives them a sense of accomplishment. However, speaking is more difficult than writing so I wouldn’t eliminate the writing.”
      For those who missed it, here is the link in which Sabrina interviews a French 1 student at the end of the year at Thomas Jefferson High School in the Denver Public Schools:
      https://benslavic.com/blog/the-proof-is-in-the-pudding/

  1. This one-on-one interview has been my go-to reference to students and admin alike in justifying the interpersonal skills (jGR) as THE major assessment/ grading tool since I’m in an International Baccalaureate School. If a student wants to pass the IB diploma exam in Spanish they have to perform well in such an interview. Funny thing is they call these skills not interpersonal, but interactive. So, my ICSR (jGR) big poster in the front of the room is now titled Interactive Communication Skills. C’est la vie. Tearing down the system from the inside!
    IB identifies 3 skills in language acquisition: receptive, interactive, and productive. The ‘interactive’ and ‘productive’ aligns with ACTFL’s interpersonal and productive (of course) modes of communication. But the ‘receptive’ aligns with ACTFL’s ‘interpretive’? Perhaps. ‘Receptive’ skills sounds better since it connotes basic comprehension. We don’t need to have students ‘interpret’ ideas communicated in the L2 — like through an analysis of themes in a work of literature — in order for acquisition to happen. We just want them to understand and keep reading. Of course, the more they think deeply and make connections while they’re reading the better.
    I’d like to think that IB is on the right track in how to articulate a course guide on language acquisition. However, there is one big obstacle. IB wants us to discuss certain themes (kinda like what AP does, I hear) and concepts and “global contexts” yadda yadda yadda. Then it all comes apart. These themes, and concepts and “global contexts” are basically the same that other subjects (Math, History, Science, English) have to visit. When they might be great to explore in other subjects, it just creates a mess in the L2 classroom. IB has revised their Language B subject guide to better reflect more what ACTFL says and reflect more SLA theory (though they don’t make any reference to any SLA researchers), and I’m hopefully that they will continue to revise so that FL teachers don’t have to keep looking at these themes, concepts, and “global contexts” and going crosseyed.
    … I’ve been away from the blog for awhile. It feels good to be back. Our baby’s grandma is in town taking care of him, freeing me up 🙂
    The beginning of the school year has forced me to dig into this IB stuff not only for my sake but for the sake of my new FL colleagues. I’m trying to help them from going so crosseyed that they trip over their own feet. One of my colleagues is a brand-spanking new teacher and he’s all about doing TPRS, willing to learn and go full on! I’m working with him everyday. I hope he eventually joins this group.
    My course load this year happens to be all heritage classes. It’s sad in a way because I won’t be developing my TCI skills as much this year, but good because my Spanish proficiency level should rise, rise, rise this year! We’ll see how the CI strategies we know and love may or may not help my heritage students.

    1. Hi, Sean,
      Did you have a different job last year? or am I thinking of someone else? I thought you were the one with an inner-city teaching assignment…Chicago?
      –Cheers!

      1. Hey Leigh Anne. I do teach in a neighborhood (“inner city”) high school in Chicago. My current school has a large Puerto Rican and Mexican population. So yeah, they gave me all heritage classes. I asked for non-heritage classes. Oh well. I’m very happy, nonetheless, because I teach mostly freshmen. I get them before they get jaded about Spanish with some other teacher. Thanks for asking!

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