Using Technology to Improve OralFluency and Production in theLanguage ClassroomAssessing oral output in an engaging andmeaningful wayBCATML Conference 2012Shauna NéroFrench Immersion, FSL and Spanish teacherKwantlen Park Secondary, Surrey SD36Twitter: @MmeNerowww.mmenero.edublogs.orghttp://mmenero.wordpress.com
My guiding philosophy: If students are expected to use their language skillslearned in FSL and Spanish after they finish high school, their oral development is essential. When studentsvisit Francophone or 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. 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. An effective way to communicate homework and what is going on in class to students and parentsAND….
ANDROID APP“There’s an app for that!” iPHONE/iPAD
Dowload my presentation on how to set up an Edmodo classroom (and why)
My 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/
Ultimately it is the learner who learns, and the new applicationscertainly place more power in their hands, albeit that they are still in need of support with how to use these in educational contexts.(Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age, Sharpe et al 2010)
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! I’m almost there, but I need to I need to 1A Keep applying my BK what’s missing? practise the get extraSelf Assessment concepts helpof: learnedConcept Asking I can ask 7+ logical I can ask at least 5-6 I can ask 3-4 I can ask 1- questions questions correctly. logical questions (ex. questions 2 weather, clothing, date, questions greetings) Answering I can answer all of the I can answer at least 5-6 I can answer I can questions questions asked by my questions. 3-4 questions answer 1-2 partner. questionsVocabulary and I included all of these I included all but 1-2 I am missing I am expressions themes: expressions from the 3-5 themes missing 6+ • “les expressions de la vocabulary list. from the themes salle de classe” vocabulary from the • Nom list. vocabulary • Âge list. • Les jours de la semaine • Le temps (la météo) • La mode • Jouer & faire • Les types de personnalité
Pronunciation I used the website When pronouncing Some effort in I did not make a to correctly words, my listener can pronunciation; I huge effort, I sound pronounce most. I understand. I do not try to correctly like I am speaking can correctly pronounce the final “s” pronounce the English. I need to pronounce 75-100% sound & I do not words. work on it and use of the words. pronounce the silent (50-75%) the website & H. tutorials provided I can pronounce 75% for help. of the words correctly.Grammar & I took all of my Most (75-90%) of my 75% of my 10-50% of my sentence feedback into sentences are correct sentences are sentences are structures consideration and and logical. correct and correct and logical. applied it to my logical. grammar and sentence structures.Communica The entire I made a good effort to I tried hard but I spoke some tion in conversation is in speak in French (75%) conversation is French, but mostly FRENCH French. 50/50. in English. (>25% in French) Ease of A conversation that There are a few pauses There are some There are 7+ pausesconversation flows smoothly (no more than 3) in the pauses (no more in the conversation, without any pauses. conversation. than 6) in the unstable flow. 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 didthis assignment, 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 nothelp their peers since it does not provide specific examples. We came up with a listlike 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, nousetc.”“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 canreally help themselves and their classmates if done correctly.
Recording samplesExamples are on my blog (they do not work on PPT)
Final Assessment : Spoken Interaction 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.
Final Assessment : Oral ProductionIn my Spanish class last semester, See my blog for examples of thissome students used the iPads and project:the application PuppetPals HD http://mmenero.wordpress.com/eDirector’s Cut to cut out characters spanol/and « play » with them to talk inscenes from a Hispanic region. • Opportunity to assess the language that they acquired and their cultural knowledge at once. • More importantly, I was able to assess their oral production as it gave me the chance to listen and listen again to how they were able to pronounce the words that they had learned all semester. LA FAMILIA MODERNA VIAJEN
Results from my first 2 semesters 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).• 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. 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. AND BEST OF ALL…..
78% of my students this semester so far (after their first podcast) said in their portfolios for student conferences that they were most proud of their podcast and that it was the activity from which they had LEARNED the most so far (most said that it was either useful, engaging and/or fun!) My colleague who teaches Spanish 10 has repeatedly told me that she is confident in this project’s success since she can pick out my students based on their strong oral skills (she is integrating this project next semester)
Any questions? Educators need toWays to contact me: see learners as Email email@example.com individuals and Twitter: @MmeNero design for difference. Comment on my blog about your own experiences, we can share and engage our (Seale and Bishop, conversation with other 2010) language teachers from around the world! TIME FOR ONE LAST POLL…
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