12 December 2012

Making the most of the mandatory Exam

The North Carolina "Measures of Student Learning" for world languages have not come down the pike yet (in fact, I'm in on the project that is assiduously gallumphing toward their development). However, in the spirit of egalitarianism or something, we still must give "pencil-paper tests" like everyone else. Mind you, the pencil-paper-test does not have to be the sum of the final exam grade, but there still has to be something to set down. Besides, it could be a good chance to ensure there is some spontaneous language production instead of revised-to-death assignments that have little to d o with what would happen if you were addressed on the street.

So much like the glog projects I tried a while back, I will start with the three modes of communication and the semester's themes (which should cover the rest of the 5 C's to some extent). I am leaving out the presentational in the individual themes, because I think I would like students to complete a multimedia reflective piece for that mode that covers all 3 themes. I am considering combining this with the e-portfolio (that never quite fit into the semester) incorporating eLinguafolio.org and a summary and reflection on their blog posts.

Theme: Movie of my life
Mode: Interpretive/Interpersonal  (listening)
I have a playlist with a few movie trailers that students would watch. The interpretation maybe be Novice Mid, but the interpersonal could be Intermediate Low even. They would make notes of things like the genre of the different movies, the story or subject, the characters, and/or the events that they notice and then discuss with a classmate which one of the movies they want to see. It could be a recorded audio/video conversation or perhaps a passed note or text.

Theme: First aid
Mode: Interpretive  (reading)
I have a selection of online first aid guides from which I'll choose 4-6 that I will post on Schoology for them to familiarize themselves with in advance. They could get any one of them the day of the Exam, and they will basically have three questions to answer as completely as possible in a list or a paragraph:
  • How can I tell what the problem is? 
  • How can I tell how bad the problem is?
  • What do I do?
Mode: Interpersonal
I'll set up a list of health scenarios ahead of time on Schoology as sort of a way to refresh on the major problems we looked at, then one will be the 911 operator and the other someone who is calling on behalf of someone who had/is having a medical emergency. The goal would be to diagnose the problem and keep things stable until EMT's could get there.

Theme: Identity and Afrolatinos
Mode: Interpersonal
This might even be a small group activity where 3-4 students discuss what the identifying characteristics are for the American identity (choosing from the 10 we have been looking at) and come to a conclusion about which 2-3 are most important in our identity, comparing to some of the examples we've been looking at from different countries.

Theme: Día del Niño
Mode: Interpersonal
In groups of 3, students will discuss advice they could give the next Spanish I class about what they will need if they also plan a Children's Day celebration. They could talk about supplies, foods, activities, and if they think of anything else, we could discuss some ahead of time.

Theme: Food
Mode: Interpretive (reading)
I'll have a selection of recipes posted to Schoology for students to familiarize themselves with, and then the day of the "Exam," they would demonstrate comprehension by choosing from a page of images with ingredients and cooking utensils and appliances what they would need to create the recipe, drawing lines from words in the text that indicate what they'd need to the images, e.g. "hornear" would lead to an oven, "azucar" would lead to a bag of sugar, "cucharadita" would lead to a teaspoon.

Mode: Interpersonal
I'll have a selection of photos of completed desserts and snacks (that's mainly what we focused on) on Schoology for them to contemplate. Then the day of the Exam, they'll be given one to discuss with a partner (recorded or written) to try to come up with a list of ingredients they'd need to buy and possible steps.

Theme: Travel
Mode: Interpretive (reading or listening)
I'll collect a few travel sites (Chile or Spain for example), maybe some tourism videos from which students can select the day of the Exam and then answer three questions as completely as possible in a list or a paragraph:

  • Would I want to go there? (Why/why not?)
  • Would other students want to go there? (Why/why not?)
  • Would parents want to send their children there? (Why/why not?)

Unless I come up with anything else, each student has at least two choices for interpersonal and two choices for interpretive. I had originally been thinking they needed something from each unit, but if one gets into the Linguafolio "I can's", then there's not much call for the final assessment to be comprehensive to that extent. Plus one interpersonal and one interpretive would be about perfect for the 90-minute period!