Interpersonal Speaking: Activities and assessments

So #langchat tonight was crazy. We celebrated “Throwback Thursday” by using the old “free-for-all” format in which a topic is given at the beginning, but the conversation is not moderated. #langchat has grown significantly, and while I prefer the free-for-all format to the moderator Q – participant A format, it was clear tonight that there…

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QAR en français!

Thanks to Samantha Uebel, who sent me French translations for my QAR materials, all of you French teachers out there can rest easy knowing that you can pop into class tomorrow and try out QAR without having to do the grunt work of translating everything for yourselves!! Yippee! Click here to download the materials in French,…

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QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions

If you attended my workshop on QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions at iFLT this past summer or its condensed counterpart at AFLA just a few weekends ago, you will be happy to see this post! If you didn’t, I hope that you will be happy to have found it once you’ve read through it. QAR (Question-Answer Relationships)…

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Reading Activity or Reading Assessment?

In a Comprehensible Input classroom that uses Standards Based Assessment, we must format our question-based activities differently based on whether our goal is to provide further repetitions of the text and the structures that it contains (a ‘reading activity’) or to assess whether or not a student comprehended the text. If the goal is to provide…

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Output

One common question that I was asked in my sessions at iFLT ’14 was, “I thought that our goal is to provide students with comprehensible input…so why do so many of these activities contain output?” Great question! Is output bad? No comprehension based teacher thinks that output is bad. Output is a good thing and one of the end…

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CCSS Aligned L2 Reading Comprehension Questions

About two months ago, I wrote a post explaining how second language teachers can use the Common Core Anchor Standards for Reading to give depth to their reading assessments and challenge students to think critically in the target language. Read it here. Understandably, some readers were left wondering what an assessment composed of CCSS Aligned questions…

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Comprehension Checks

It is important for all teachers to informally assess students’ comprehension throughout any lesson in any content area. When we ask a comprehension question, we use students’ response to determine whether it’s time to move on to the next topic, or if we must spend more time on whatever we are studying at the moment.…

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REALLY assess reading comprehension

Scott Benedict is the king of assessment, so if you have never before pondered accurate assessment, standards-based assessment, etc., you should probably hop on over to his site, Teach for June, and spend the next few weeks there before you come back and finish reading this post. If you have already reached the conclusion that it…

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What did I say?

A good teacher is always looking for ways to vary his or her assessments. Administering varied assessment types allows for differences in student strengths and weaknesses and provides novelty. Novelty is important because it makes the assessment feel less like an exam and more like an activity, which reduces anxiety and lowers the affective filter,…

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