NSCCFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: Modify the Curriculum

There are two basic approaches to trying to implement new proficiencies as the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements. In one way, the modern language teachers look at the statements and evaluate their present curriculum and textbook against the statements. They become aware of what parts of the curriculum and textbook cover the statements, which statements are missing from the curriculum and textbook, and how they have to change their approach.  In the second way,the modern language teachers take their present curriculum and  textbook and see how the new way fits into the old. When educators use the second approach, they often miss the intent of the new method and they force the new way into the old with expressions such as  “That sounds somewhat  like what we do in Chapter 5 so we have met that part.”

I have used the first way of implementing the Can-Do Statements.  As I try to have my students meet the  NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Interpersonal Communication, I find that my textbook does not contain in one chapter the vocabulary and grammar that my students need. Often a textbook only has a list of words without any actions. Even if we are required to cover certain chapters in our textbook, we might want to consider combining parts of various chapters to create a logical way of approaching the Can-Do Statements. For example, we might take the parts of any chapter that deal with directions  or everyday situations in a city  and have the students do these together so that our students can do Novice High – “give directions” and “Interact with others”. Although this requires more work in rearranging the textbook content, the unit has more of natural flow to it. Students can express ideas that logically fit together. I do not have to say “Wait until two more Chapters and we’ll learn that.”

I have begun to modify my past online activities and my future ones to include the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements for Interpersonal Communication. For example,
I have
1) Spanish Friend Family Member Detailed Description – Partner Speak ACTFL Novice Mid “communicate basic information” and Novice High “exchange personal information” Can Do
2) a Spanish Speaking Mat Can Do for NCSSFL-ACTFL Novice-Mid “I can communicate some basic information about my everyday life-places”; Novice-High “I can ask for and give simple directions”, “I can make plans with others”, and “I can interact with others in everyday situations”.

I have developed 5 Visual activities/games  for any modern language (no words) and have developed 28 Spanish activities for students to begin to express themselves in the modern language and to move toward spontaneous speaking.  I am developing activities based on the Can-Do Statements. Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.You can instantly use these many communication activities in your classroom with even beginning students when only half the class has mobile devices. It can be downloaded as a pdf.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at  http://bit.ly/tuttlebks

Advertisements

NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements: Use for Pre-Assessment

Since the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements measure specific proficiencies, modern language teachers can use them for pre-assessment.

In pre-assessment mode, a teacher has an incoming student or students  use the Interpersonal Communication Can-Do statements as a checklist  to identify what they think they can do in the language. This assessment works well when the students come from another teacher, school, state or another level such as high school to college. Within five to ten  minutes students can self-assess  themselves using the Interpersonal Communication Can-Do Statements for Novice and Intermediate level.

I give these Can-Do Statements to my students in a beginning level college Spanish class. I realize that these students come from a wide background of language learning levels not only in terms of how many years of Spanish they have taken but also in terms of how long ago they studied Spanish.  I ask the students to put a slash in front of each Can-Do statement  if they are confident they can do the speaking activity. Also, I ask them to put a question mark next to any question that they are unsure of what it means.

After class, I quickly count how many checks are in each level such as Novice Low, Novice Mid, etc for each student. I enter these into a spreadsheet and have the spreadsheet calculate the class average for each level. I do a visual scan of their papers to see what  specific sections within each level they generally feel they cannot do. Many whole class language gaps became apparent Novice Mid- Can Make Simple Statements.

From this pre-assessment, I better know what areas of the Can-Do Statements I should focus on to help the students move up in their language proficiency.

In the same checklist manner, the Can-Do Statements can become a  quick modern language placement tool.

How do you pre-assess your modern language students’ proficiency?

I have developed 5 Visual activities/games  for any modern language (no words) and have developed 28 Spanish activities for students to begin to express themselves in the modern language and to move toward spontaneous speaking.  I am developing activities based on the Can-Do Statements. Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.You can instantly use these many communication activities in your classroom with even beginning students when only half the class has mobile devices. It can be downloaded as a pdf.

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at  http://bit.ly/tuttlebks