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Presentational Speaking in Level 1

Sorry I have been MIA, but Quarter 1 grades have officially been submitted! I do not know why I always think it is a good idea to have all of their summative projects, assessments and presentations the last week of the quarter, as it makes for a crazy week of grading. 

Spanish 1 just finished up a unit describing what they like and do not like. For their end of the unit assessments they did both a presentational writing and presentational speaking expressing what activities they enjoy and dislike, why, with whom and when. I had done the same unit last year for the first time, but I feel the assessments went MUCH better this year because of a couple of tweeks I made to the assessment process. I know that the end goal in communication and language production, not perfection, but I felt that the editing process was very valuable for the students to see what common errors kept coming up with their peers, and would hopefully transfer to their own work. The process we completed was as follows at the end of the unit:

  • Rough Draft Each student individually wrote their rough draft on paper.
  • Peer Editing - As a class we discussed how to peer edit including: what common errors to look for & how to give constructive criticism. They traded their papers 3 times. 
  • Final Typed Presentational Writing - It was edited one more time once typed to work on accents and typos. 
  • Rough Presentation Outline on Notecard - The students could choose to talk about what they used in their writing or start over with talking about different things. Since this freshman class has yet to take speech we talk about what to write on a notecard and basics of public speaking. I did example speeches in Spanish, both good and doing many things wrong (reading strength from the card with no eye contact, mumbling, going really fast, wiggling around and playing with clothes etc.) This provided comic relief for the day and I was really impressed with their public speaking skills. 
  • Practice Day - With notecards in hand I set up students in pairs around the perimeter of the room. Each partner practiced their speech, and then gave both positive and constructive feedback. I ran a bell, one parter rotated, and we continued until I felt they all had adequate practice. **This step was key to making the students feel confident in what they were saying before they presented in front of the class. 

Practicing Presentational Speaking Assessments 
  • Presentations - While each student presented the others wrote down one question for the student presenting. After each speaker a few kids asked their questions, which then added an interpersonal element. These questions could be as simple as asking who they liked to do something with, asking for clarification of something they could not hear, or asking what a word they said meant in English. This was a great time for the students to learn the vocabulary of the activities their friends were interested in, such as trap shooting or playing the trumpet. At the end each student was given a Positive Validation to praise them for bravely speaking in front of class. 
  • Reflection - As a class we discussed the positive parts of the speeches, as well as in general what we could do to improve. 
Overall I was very impressed with how the classes supported one another in the sometimes daunting task of speaking a foreign language in front of the class. 

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