Monday, August 25, 2014

Speaking Rubrics

During the summer, I was fortunate enough to attend a World Language Academy run by ACTFL.  There was a lot of great stuff that I can't wait to start implementing and trying out this year (you can go through the Power Point presentation - it's available on their Wikispace).  One of those things would be some of the speaking rubrics they include (slides 157 and 158).

TALK Rubric (Shrum & Glisan)
The first rubric is a TALK rubric.  It's a really short rubric that makes it easy for you to quickly give students some feedback on their TL usage in class.  The letters stand for...

T = Target Language: During the activity, is the student speaking in the TL? 
A = Accuracy: Is Target Language use correct (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar)?  (I love that TL use and accuracy are separated!!)
L = Listens: Does the student listen to what his/her partner says and respond appropriately?  Is he/she actually trying to have a conversation or just saying random things?
K = Kind: If his/her partner needs help, does he/she help?  This could be by prompting with questions, modeling sentences, or helping with vocabulary.

As students are doing a communicative activity, you walk around and monitor a few students and complete the TALK rubric for them.  You can use symbols to make it clear how students did.  A check mark means they did amazing, a + means they did well but could improve, and a - means they need work (or whatever other symbols you might want to use instead).

Depending on class size, it's doubtful you'd get to all of them in one lesson.  Honestly, I think trying to hit every student in each activity would be too stressful for you as the teacher any way.  Pick a few students and give them feedback, then during the next day/activity pick some other students.  

I don't even plan on using these as a grade.  It's really more of a means for me to get an idea of how students are doing and to give them immediate feedback.  You just give each student back their strip and that's it!  They can see how well they're doing in the areas we're focusing on and where they need to work on. 
It's a great rubric for beginning learners and earlier in the unit.  I hope this will train students to keep an eye on how much German they're actually using in class.  If you're interested in a typed version, click here.

Scored Discussion Rubric
The other rubric they provided as a "Scored Discussion" rubric.  It's a little more detailed than the TALK rubric and could be used for an actual grade in addition to being a means of feedback.  On the left hand side it describes the lower end of what students might be doing.  On the right hand side is the upper end.  Basically, it moves from basic skills to where we want students to be.  In the middle is room to give students a grade in each category on a 1-5 scale.

What's great about it is it's so succinct.  Students get descriptions of both ends of the spectrum, but you don't need to put specific examples in for each point value.  Students see what a 1 and a 5 look like, and they understand that a 3 is between those two extremes.  I hope that it will give students something to strive for and help them focus on the areas they struggle most in.  If you'd like a typed version, click here.

I'm hopeful that these rubrics will make it easier for me to give students feedback on a regular basis.  It'd be great if they could use these to improve their confidence in speaking.

- Frau Leonard

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