Archive for the 'Language' Category

Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, New Book

 

Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment

 

By Harry Grover Tuttle and Alan Robert Tuttle

Want a quick way to get your students conversing more in the target language? Want an easy way to help your students improve in their speaking on a daily basis? This practical book shows you how to use formative assessments to gain immediate and lasting improvement in your students’ fluency.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Help students climb the ACTFL proficiencies
  • Guide students as they develop in over sixteen language functions such as socializing and persuading
  • Embed the three-minute speaking formative assessment into every lesson with ease
  • Engage students successfully in peer formative assessment
  • Teach students to give each other formative feedback
  • Provide struggling students with over ten improvement strategies for each language function.
  • Engage students in over 170 speaking activities.
  • Use Web 2.0 tools to foster speaking
  • Move from summative assessment to daily or weekly formative evaluation of speaking

Each speaking assessment include instructions, the assessment form, extension activities, speaking topics, and at least ten strategies for improvement. There are ready-to-use checklists including the “I Can” log that helps students plot their own progress.

Research has confirmed that when teachers use formative assessment, students can learn in six to seven months what would normally take a school year to learn. You’ll find yourself using this book every day because of the gains your students will achieve in foreign language fluency.

These speaking assessment energize the class as the students have the opportunity to use a language function for a full minute. The students use language instead of practicing it.

Please share with your Modern Language teacher, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment

Using Modern Language (FL) Apps Even When …

I have written a blog about identifying and categorizing Spanish apps. As I’ve been thinking about the present state of modern language /foreign language apps, I’ve realized that the inadequacies of these language apps present great learning opportunities for our students.

Students can look at and do a vocabulary or phrase modern language app /foreign language app such as Learn Spanish ((Droid) or Hola (Droid)

Then

– Students can analyze what important vocabulary is missing from the topic and make a supplementary list. For example, the housing category may have tableware but not bed or chair.

– If the app only presents individual words, the students can create a meaningful target language sentence or question for each word. For example, for the word “lake”, the students may ask “What is your favorite lake?”

– Students can analyze what important phrases or questions are missing and can create those lists. They may see look at a “time”category but they find that the question “When?” is missing. They make up a question using that question word.

– They can analyze what important topics are missing from the app. Perhaps the app has housing and animals but does not have occupations and city places.

– They can see how many meaningful sentences they can create from the present vocabulary list.

– They can answer any questions given in the app. For example, they can answer “How much does this cost?” with the price of a shirt.

– They can rearrange the questions or statements to create a logical conversation about the topic.

– They can think of a typical language task for a topic such as having a dirty spoon on the restaurant table and use the existing sentences and add others to be able to get a clean spoon.

In this way, students go from consumers to producers. They analyze what they are doing to see what is missing. They think about critical vocabulary, phrases, and topics instead of simply doing a drill program. They do not just repeat but they answer or comment on. They build on. The students become language users!

How do your students deal with modern language apps that do not do everything  well?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Learning from a Young Child

I was watching my 4 year old nephew and niece (twins) as they were playing, watching tv, drawing and having fun.  My niece drew scribbles and then told me a story about the scribbles.  Her parents obviously read to them. She did  sentences such as   “The cow goes to the party.  The horse goes to the party.  The dog goes to the party. They have fun.”

I thought of how much her parents read to her and of how interesting the story was that she wanted to hear it over and over again. Her parents have encouraged her to tell stories.

I wonder how we present interesting material to our students so that they want to pay attention to it, how we present the same information in different ways to them , how we expect them to learn big skills, and how we encourage them to tell us their learning stories.

Or do we read to them our book that does not interest them and only expect them to remember obscure details from the story instead of achieving big skills?

Escuela- Hispanic School Pictures from Flickr

Share these with your Spanish teachers so they can promote language use through talking and writing about hispanic schools through flickr images.

Ninos a la salida de la escuela Punta Cana. Republica Dominicana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/burtonez/273321085/

la Escuela de Lenguaje en Las Palmas
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hortensia/186009195/

Escuela de Flamenco, Cordoba, Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barthelomaus/129380157/

escuela de uros, Lake Titicaca ,Peru
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28148072@N00/73302011/

Escuela Rural, Republica Dominicana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/74820634/

Estudiantes en la calle, San fermines, Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/888581808/

escuela lic. “francisco aranda” Avenida Cedeño. San Juan de los Morros. Estado Guárico. Venezuela.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xolkan/1294975980/

Escuela D190 12/2004, La Florida, Santiago, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/monky/353105663/

Escuela D190 12/2004 La Florida, Santiago, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/monky/353768937/

Educación autónoma y popular! Muro de la Escuela Autónoma Rebelde Zapatista en la comunidad de San Juan de la Libertad. Chiapas, Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joserevueltas/576088432/

Revista de Gimnasia Escuela N.o 3, Ovallito, Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ovallito/45500626/

 

Formative Assessment for Asking Questions in World Languages and ESL

Speaker and Listener with Formative Feedback

World Language teachers (Spanish, French, Germany, Chinese, Italian, etc.) and ESL teachers want their students to become fluent in the language. However, often they have no easy way to measure the students’ fluency nor the time to listen to each student. A solution is to have students practice in groups of two with their partner providing some formative feedback according to a checklist or collection form.

1. A student is to ask ten questions about a picture in a minute while her/his partner counts the questions. At the end of a minute, the partner gives feedback to the speaker such as “You asked nine questions. What else could you ask about …..? The partner points to a place, object or person that the speaker did not ask a question about.

2. A student is to ask all the question words about the picture. Her/his partner checks off each question word on the list as the partner says it. At the end of a minute, the partner gives the feedback such as “You used all the question words.” or “You used all the question words except Why? What is a Why question for this picture?”

3. A student is to ask and answer all the question words for a picture. His /her partner checks off each question word on the question column and checks off the answer-the-question column. At the end of the minute, the partner gives the feedback such as ” You asked and answered 4 questions. You did answer the question “When..” but what other answers are possible for that question?”

4. A student is to ask complex questions about a picture such as “What color is the table that is next to the door?” or “How many people who are standing have red shirts?” within a minute. Her/his partner checks off the question word column and the complex sentence column and gives feedback such as “You said four complex sentences about the picture. One question ‘Where is the girl?’ was not a complex question. How could you make it one? or “I did not understand your question about the food, could you please say it again?”

5. A student and his/her partner have a conversation about a visual. The first student is a reporter and the second student is a person in the visual. The second student jots down a slash for each question that the reporter asks and one for each answer he/she responds to. At the end of the minute, the non-reporter reports back on how many questions were asked and answered. The two students brainstorm how they could generate more meaningful questions about the visual. Then they do the same activities, after switching roles, for another visual.

How else can students give each other formative feedback on their speaking? Please share your additional ideas on how students give each other formative feedback in your subject area. I’m writing a book and would like more examples than the ones I generate.

(My 365th blog)

Harry Grover Tuttle©2007

Checking for Understanding: Coupons for More Than Participation in the Classroom

Standards-based formative student participation coupons

A world language (Spanish/French) teacher was telling me that she gives a coupon to a student when he/she participates (Thanks, Kitty). The students turn the coupons in at the end of the month.

I would suggest a variation that reflects more of standards-based assessment of language learning.

A coupon of 1 point represents identifying a vocabulary item (“window”) or doing a grammar item (I form of to sing)
A coupon of 2 points represents asking or answering a basic question such as “Where do you live?” through speaking or writing.
A coupon of 5 points indicates that the student has read, listened, or watched to some information, then responded by speaking or writing in five different sentences or five different questions about the one topic.

The student are told that by the end of the month they are to have at least 120 points.

Each week they can count up their 1 point, 2 point, and 5 point coupons. They could make a graph to see where they are and to analyze their progress. They will quickly realize that by only answering with vocabulary or grammar or by only answering basic questions, they will not get them their needed total points. A look at their weekly score provides a formative assessment of how they use language in the classroom. As teachers we have to provide them with the opportunity to use their language in extended ways and to scaffold their writing and speaking so that they can speak or write in extended ways. We can share techniques for saying or writing five different sentences or questions about a topic. We can help them to make the transition from minimal language use to expressing ideas in the language.

How do you use participation coupons as formative assessment?

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Restaurant Pictures From Flickr For Spanish and Other Language Conversations

Here are a few restaurant pictures from various Hispanic countries so that your Spanish students (and other students) can practice their conversation skills. If you are not a Spanish teacher, please share them with your Spanish teacher or other language teacher.

Restaurante rojo, Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/557236325/

La Vita e Bella (Italian Restaurant en Madrid Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97445131@N00/611503369/

El rico pulpo en Carballo, Espana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/comcinco/218469076/

Arte Vida en Espana (beach restaurant)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaspars/442433335/

Desayuno 1 de enero,Colonia, Uruguay
http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisjoujr/86609684/

 

Calderitas, Mexico Restaurante
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seanlloyd/44106692/

Restaurante, Acapulco, Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bambino/225597017/

Restaurante , Buenos Aires, Argentina
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldoalexandre/47880808/

If you know of online pictures of Hispanic restaurantes, please share.

Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing

Spanish streets – Calle
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/spanish-street-callescenes-photos-from-flickr/

Spanish sports –Deporte
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/spanish-sport-deporte-pictures-from-flickr-for-student-conversations/

Spanish transportation Transportes
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/spanish-language-transportes-transportations-from-various-hispanic-countries/

 

Spanish Language Menu
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/learning-hispanic-culture-through-spanish-language-menus/

 

 

 

Spanish-Language Restaurant Menus For Culture and Conversation

menu

The following is a list of Collective Commons (free to use in the classroom) pictures from Flickr that show various menus from Hispanic countries or locations that have Hispanic food. Students studying Spanish can come to understand the many different types of foods as well as the varieties within each type such as tacos. They can practice their ordering skills with real food and figure out their bill with real prices! Each web address is followed by a brief description.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/robennals/499187153/
Menu with Spanish and poor English translation +++

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyamh/148106511/
Menu Mexican divided by entrada, sopa, ensalada +++

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flooznyc/430646028/
Mexican Food Deli Menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/1155561698/
Yucatan Menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/esotheos/208495024/
Taco restaurant menu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rgabriel/514239426/
Menu with ceviche

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seyd/10746077/
Menu from Caribbean

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anjum/368254807/
Puerto Rican Menu (general info)

How do you help students to learn about the variety of Hispanic foods through menus? How do you bring the Hispanic world into your classroom through technology?

Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing

Spanish streets – Calle
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/spanish-street-callescenes-photos-from-flickr/

Spanish sports –Deporte
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/spanish-sport-deporte-pictures-from-flickr-for-student-conversations/

Spanish transportation Transportes
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/spanish-language-transportes-transportations-from-various-hispanic-countries/

 

Spanish Language Menu
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/learning-hispanic-culture-through-spanish-language-menus/

 

 

Nov. 2009 – If you are interested in trying out in your classroom some mini-speaking assessments (2-5) minutes that correspond to various parts of the ACTFL guidelines, please email me (harry.g.tuttle  at gmail) These short assessments  give you instant data/facts on your students’  present progress in speaking and you can re-administer these assessments  to see progress.  I have various assessments from vocabulary, asking and answering questions, asking critical questions about a topic, etc.  Let me know your level such as (Spanish 1- first year of Spanish).    Harry

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

 

—-

 

 

Improving Reading Skills With Technology

TechLearning

I wrote another article on improving reading skills through technology, Ramping Up Reading With Technology. There are fourteen different easy-to-apply techniques. Try these out in your classroom so that your students can be better readers! Although the examples are in English, many of these will work in ESL and World Language classes.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Teach Culture Through YouTube: Your Students do it.

YouTube

YouTube has much potential for our classes. Often we can re-envision something that was put up to serve our need to show other cultures.

Language classes can use these videos as can Global Social Studies classes. English classes can use them as writing prompts. Math classes can count certain things in the video such as how many similarities and differences there are. Or how many different forms of transportation were shown?

For example, you can show students a video of a city in the culture you want them to learn and then you can assign each of them (or they choose) a different city or different aspects (dance, music, business,etc.). They they can search YouTube for videos on that location; for example, they may search for Madrid, Spain. They find at least at least three videos and compare them. Which one has the best narration of the content of the video? Which one shows the widest variety of the city? They can select the one they want to show the class and they can add to it information that they obtained from the other videos. They can prepare study guides or comprehension activities.

How do you have your students use YouTube to bring culture into your classroom?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

YouTube Songs for Spanish Learning

YouTube

One way to make a World Language Class come alive is to play songs and clips. You can search YouTube for Spanish and find many songs, commercials, and movie clips.

Here’s a small sampling to share with your Spanish World Language teacher:

Jose Jose– songs in Spanish -his words are quite clear

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhOr6tR3cp4&mode=related&search= Jose Jose El Triste

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ynE68kFHUk&mode=related&search= Jose Jose Exito

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UDiFHGj3Hw&mode=related&search= Jose Jose Anda y Ve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVe6_sbhnGY&mode=related&search= Jose Jose Amnesia

Musicals and famous songs are translated into Spanish

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ldtZsOJ3fk High School Musical Breaking Free (with Spanish subtitle) Are others in this series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pik3sDIXBjk Lion King We Are One (with Spanish subtitle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1PCRxVMbBg Yesterday (with Spanish subtitle)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ_WlR82jvg Cat Stevens Father and Son (with Spanish subtitle)

 

Anime, Movie, or Commericals

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkQb5gA8Onc Dragon Ball Z ending (with Spanish subtitles) – karaoke style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPC_LmvW-AA Spanish Angelus-anime (with Spanish subtitles)-begins at 25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tqXw6eLnMw Star Troops (with Spanish subtitle) turn sound off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71TqJul85GE Chad Vader Day Shift Manager (with Spanish subtitle) turn sound off

Why not make it an assignment that each student has to find three songs in Spanish done in the karaoke style (with the Spanish words written out) from YouTube and prepare listening comprehension questions on one of them? If they label each and give you the annotated links, you can have a huge selection within a very short period of time. They will enjoy listening and learning in Spanish.

 

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing

Spanish streets – Calle
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/spanish-street-callescenes-photos-from-flickr/

Spanish sports –Deporte
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/spanish-sport-deporte-pictures-from-flickr-for-student-conversations/

Spanish transportation Transportes
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/spanish-language-transportes-transportations-from-various-hispanic-countries/

Spanish restaurant Restaurante
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/09/16/restaurant-pictures-from-flickr-for-spanish-and-other-language-conversations/

 

Spanish Language Menu
https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/learning-hispanic-culture-through-spanish-language-menus/

If you have ideas you would like to share about the problems that students have in being fluent speakers and, if possible, the possible solutions, please add as a comment.  For example,  some students can not keep a conversation focused on the topic – a solution is to start them with a series of pictures about the topic or for them to focus on a specific problem such as an ordering problem in a restaurant.

——

 

World Languages: Living in the Classroom Through Technology

I started off my career teaching Spanish. There were very few technologies available then. Today’s teachers of Spanish and other World Languages have available many technologies that help the language classroom to come alive.

Here are a few uses of technology that bring real language use into the classroom instead of technology that brings drill and practice into the classroom:

Watch satellite shows in the new language and answer questions about them.

Listen to Internet radio stations in the new language and analyze songs or newscasts.

Reading the newspapers in that language through various websites. Instead of reading boring and outdated textbook passages, students can read real information that is current and exciting.

Write via email/IM to students in other locations about societal issues, school concerns, etc. Students can be put in a common “class” in a Blackboard-like environment so that all of their conversations are archived.

Have regularly scheduled videoconferences with classes in other locations in that language.

Create presentations/emovies to share with the other language group/class who react to them or critique them.

What other uses of technology do you have to bring real language, not drill and practice, into the classroom so that our students use world languages as other speakers do?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

——

Speaking World Languages Through Technology

Does technology contribute to conversations?

I am trying to help my son get ready for his first year of teaching Spanish. He’ll have three preps. I am amazed that there are not more online resources to help him in a conversational manner. There are plenty of grammar and of vocabulary sites. I have not found any that promote communication. (I’m counting basic restaurant dialogues as vocabulary since students memorize the conversation.) I do not see collections of pictures that students can ask questions about, pretend to be the people in the situation, explain what is happening, etc. A picture of a statue of Don Quixote does not promote communication. A street scene with a store and people doing things encourages real language use. Likewise, I do not find many real conversations that he can play/download for his class. Sure commercial companies have teaser ones but I could not easily find real conversations (a great use for podcasting). So much technology and so little real life language use. So much technology being used for lower level skills but not for the actual purpose of language which is to being able to converse with another person.

How do you promote real conversations using technology in your World Language classroom?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Become Bilingual, Not Monolingual, To Become Global by Using Technology

World of languages

I met an elder woman who spoken “broken” English. I found out that she had lived in one country; married a man from another country, moved there, and learned that language; moved to a third country where they learned its language and raised their children; and then moved to the USA and learned English.

I was on a bus in rural Peru. A young boy who was about five years old spoke to me but I did not understand him. His mother told him to speak to me in Spanish, he changed languages, and then he and I talked. This five year from a rural area could speak two languages and his Spanish was much better than mine!

How can we be global citizens if we only speak one language? English is not the most widely spoken language in the world. Chinese is. If our students are monolingual, then they will not be students of the 21st century.

Today’s technology can help us learn another language. With satellite TV, shows can be found from many language groups. DVDs are in multi-language format. There are many language sites on line. With Skype and other videoconferencing resources, we can talk to people of that language area. If you once learned French, Spanish, German, Italian, or a non-European language, you can refresh your skills. Try out your skills whenever you have a chance. Encourage your children to learn another language so that they can speak with others!

Let’s make it a resolution to become at least bilingual! Let’s really become global!

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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