Using Technology to Improve OralFluency and Production in theLanguage ClassroomAssessing oral output in an engaging andmeaningful waySTA Convention 2012Shauna NéroFrench Immersion, FSL and Spanish teacher atKwantlen Park Secondary@MmeNero
My guiding philosophy: If students are expected to use their language skills learned in FSL and Spanish after they finish high school, their oral development is essential. When students visit Francophone of Hispanic countries, they should be able to communicate with the people they meet. I want my classroom to be functional and useful. However, assessing and monitoring development in oral language acquisition has always been a challenge for me.
The head scratcher… How can I assess oralacquisition so that students are able to demonstrate a gradual release of responsibility and will be able to eventually communicate in authentic discussion?
I am just waiting for you to make a mistake…Maybe some Speak in perfect complete sentences or else!students thinkthis is me duringoral assessmentinterviews…
Why EDMODO?Edmodo is a website that looks like Facebook…but it’s not! The site is completely controlled by the teacher. Any posts on the wall can be seen by everyone in the class, students may not send messages to one another. An effective way to communicate homework and what is going on in class to students and parents. A way for students to engage in learning outside of the classroom (sometimes a difficult task in language learning). An effective tool for sending files to students, or reducing paper waste so that they may hand in assignments online that are easily traceable.AND….
ANDROID APP“There’s an app for that!” iPHONE/iPAD
Course outline Divided by language skill (oral output, listening, reading, writing) Parents are given a permission letter to sign outlining the use of Edmodo in the classroom with learning objectives. Parents can be given a unique code (only linked to their child’s information) in order to keep up to date with classroom activities.
Podcast projectThis project lasts all semester and is a part of myclassroom daily structure. Students are expectedto practise and work with their partners in orderto improve their oral skills in the foreign targetlanguage.This is an overview, the entire unit plan can beread at my blog.http://mmenero.edublogs.org/assessing-oral-language-acquisition/
Lesson 1: Modeling Students may never have done a recording before, or may not understand the project outcome. Give an example audio clip that can be used for a pre-activity to the project. Talk about the benefits of being able to speak the language; engage in conversation! Highlight the different themes represented in the clip.
Generating criteria as a class Students are aware of the expectations Student ownership: students decide what the learning objectives are Some students will drive the others to work hard by setting high standards (ex. Number of questions to be asked and answered)***Sample criteria forms are on my blog to be adaptedand used as you wish.
Colour-coded criteria sheets Students are given 3 sheets per podcast recording depending on if it is an A recording or a B graded recording. A Recordings: a self- assessment, partner assessment & a peer assessment B Recordings: a self- assessment, partner assessment & a teacher assessment Have students fill out the checklist and staple it to the assessments in order (this will save you time later, and a lot less headaches)
I’ve got it…and more! Keep applying I’m almost there, but I need to practise the I need to get extra help 1A my BK what’s missing? concepts learnedSelf Assessment of:Concept Asking questions I can ask 7+ logical questions I can ask at least 5-6 I can ask 3-4 questions I can ask 1-2 questions correctly. logical questions (ex. weather, clothing, date, greetings) Answering questions I can answer all of the questions I can answer at least 5-6 I can answer 3-4 questions I can answer 1-2 questions asked by my partner. questions. Vocabulary and I included all of these themes: I included all but 1-2 I am missing 3-5 themes I am missing 6+ themes from the expressions “les expressions de la salle de expressions from the from the vocabulary list. vocabulary list. classe” vocabulary list. Nom Âge Les jours de la semaine Le temps (la météo) La mode (les vêtements) Jouer & faire Les types de personnalité Pronunciation I used the website to correctly When pronouncing Some effort in I did not make a huge effort, I pronounce most. I can correctly words, my listener can pronunciation; I try to sound like I am speaking English. pronounce 75-100% of the words. understand. I do not correctly pronounce the I need to work on it and use the pronounce the final “s” words. website & tutorials provided for sound & I do not (50-75%) help. pronounce the silent H. I can pronounce 75% of the words correctly. Grammar & sentence I took all of my feedback into Most (75-90%) of my 75% of my sentences are 10-50% of my sentences are structures consideration and applied it to my sentences are correct and correct and logical. correct and logical. grammar and sentence structures. logical. Communication in The entire conversation is in French. I made a good effort to I tried hard but I spoke some French, but mostly FRENCH speak in French (75%) conversation is 50/50. in English. (>25% in French) Ease of conversation A conversation that flows smoothly There are a few pauses There are some pauses (no There are 7+ pauses in the without any pauses. (no more than 3) in the more than 6) in the conversation, unstable flow. conversation. conversation.
Lessons 2-5: The first time students do this activity, it might be in their best interest to pick their own partners so that they are doing it with someone they are comfortable with. Let students practise and write a script based on the criteria provided. Ask them to use the Text-to- Speech website to practise their pronunciation at home or in class.
RECORDING DAY! Students record their podcast using Voice Memo app They get 2 tries and pick their best one Teacher uploads to Edmodo and assigns another group to be assessed
Lesson 3: Descriptive feedbackStudents need help in how to give good descriptive feedback. The first time that I did thisassignment, and looked at their feedback, most of it was very vague. For example: “You did a good job!” “You did not include some themes.” “You need to work on your pronunciation.”I used these examples to help students understand how comments like these do not helptheir peers since it does not provide specific examples. We came up with a list like this: “You did not include the theme of “les expressions de la salle de classe”, “la mode: and “la météo”. “Use the website to help you with your pronunciation for the words: hôpital, nous etc.” “You need to ask (number) more questions.” “You should practise more so that you have fewer pauses; review at home as well.”I give a mark for the way that they provide descriptive feedback because this can really helpthemselves and their classmates if done correctly.
Recording samplesExamples are on my blog (they do not work on PPT)
Final Assessment Students compile a list of questions in groups of 2-3 I compile a list of all of the possible questions that can be asked during the interview so that students may prepare the structures My peer tutor practises with each student and then he/she completes a last self-assessment with an action plan on how to improve I do an interview with them, asking questions from the list and try to get them to talk as much as they are capable.
Results from Semester 1 Beginner level students who were only able to participate in 30 seconds to 1 minute conversations were able to converse with me for at least 3 minutes during the final evaluations. Weaker students were able to speak for at least 2 minutes; thereby instilling confidence. I recorded the conversations so that I could mark them at a later date, thereby putting them at ease since we are having a real conversation (rather than myself making comments and not really being an active participant in the discussion). I am optimistic that the results show that some students who may not have been otherwise comfortable are improving their oral skills. I am teaching them tools for self-reflection. Students are able to help others in class, and as a result, my marking is cut down since I only mark one oral assessment per month (It takes about 4 weeks for the complete process). By assessing a peer from another group, students become aware of mistakes that they have made, and may hear better pronunciation. This provides more opportunities for students to feel successful. Allowing students to make mistakes in their first podcast makes them feel more secure for their graded second podcasts. I try to make them understand, that it’s OK to make mistakes, we are all human; but what is more important is that they need to learn from their mistakes. By the second month, their recordings are longer and more interesting as a result.
Any questions?Ways to contact me: Email firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @MmeNero Comment on my blog about your own experiences, we can share and engage our conversation with other language teachers from around the world!