29 May 2015

Novice Performance on Personalized Final Exams

Would you look at that? The majority of my babies performed at Novice High or BETTER at the end of Spanish II!

Except listening. Ouch.

What you see is a graph of the results based on the personalized Genius Hour IPAs Spanish II completed during the week before exams (reading and listening) and on exam day (presentational speaking and writing plus interpersonal), as evaluated with AAPPL rubrics.

Not too shabby, huh?

Check out how they actually used the language presentation day too!

From the mouths of babes

They're masters at prepping their classmates, since they're novices too:
"Hoy soy científico."

And the circumlocution was astounding:
(for bow hunting presenter) "¿Qué animales tú...no más vida?

Videogames were a popular topic:
(comparing versions of Assassin's Creed) "No, tres es abajo. "
(describing features) "Es famoso para muchos muertes."
(comparing consoles) PRESENTER "¿Qué saben de Microsoft?" AUDIENCE "Sólo quieren dinero."

They're even comfortable enough to tease each other in the target language!
AUDIENCE "Mi favorito está tú" PRESENTER"Pero no te quiero."
PRESENTER "Olivia es feo." AUDIENCE "¡Mi corazón!" 
AUDIENCE (during películas de miedo presentation): "¡Quéeeee! ¡Nooo, mis ojos!" 
AUDIENCE "Lo siento, pero Scary Movie no es película de horror."

Are novices allowed to get this profound? Audience questions and responses:
"¿Es feminismo más importante de otros movimientos?"
"¿Es el meta de feminismo posiblemente?"
"Yo quiero crear un quantum computadura."

You can see they still make toddler-like mistakes, but most of them still have a toe or two in the Novice level, and according to AAPPL descriptores, even Intermediate Low means "You can do all of this in a way that your teacher and others who are used to language learners can understand what you are saying."

You can totally understand them right, Spanish teachers?


It occurs to me that the coros and ruletas probably did more good for reading than listening. If I want them to get past Novice Mid, I really need to wean them off of reading the lyrics. That was fine to get them TO Novice Mid, but not beyond. I'll also have to work some more non-musical native speaker videos in between IPAs.

Now North Carolina says that Presentational Speaking is the slowest skill to develop, but you can see that it's actually one of the skills my kids advanced most in. Maybe I'm cheating because I just adapted the AAPPL writing rubric and changed a few "writings" to "speech" or "speaking"? Maybe the speaking came at the cost of listening exposure? Or maybe my kids are smarter than North Carolina knows.

At this stage of the game, Intermediate Low counted as an A and Novice Low an F. The kids all seemed to think that was pretty fair. I toyed with the idea of using a similar scale with Spanish I next year, and I ran the idea by a few intermediates. They said that was cruel for one semester (sorry @tmsaue1). We did agree, though, that Novice Low should not be passing, so it won't be quite the same scale as I'd originally envisioned.

But overall, my biggest surprise is just how well everything worked toward meeting these goals this semester! I know some of my CI compatriots are used to this sort of success, but I had never 1) measured this way before or 2) dared set my expectations this high!

It just goes to show that high expectations, personalization, and careful scaffolding lead to strong performance!

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