Although I try to reflect during the semester/ year on what I can do to improve my students’ modern language success, I find that the end of the semester/year allows me a bigger picture of their success. This semester I gave the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements to my college beginning Spanish students at the start of the semester. I used a reformatted form which had the Novice Level on one side and the Intermediate on the other. Students checked off what they felt they could do.
During the course, I extended the textbook material to cover the Can-Do Statements. I modified the tests to include more assessment of these Statements. I gave them the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements at mid-point for their self-assessment. Many students, especially students who had never taken a language before, were amazed at their progress. They realized that they still had much to learn before they could function in many world situations.
At the end of the semester, I gave out the Can-Do Statements for self-assessment again. I asked the students to comment on their ending results. All students had mastered at least 85% of the Novice level. They could not do the statements that requirement different tenses since we only cover the present tense in beginning Spanish. Many could do numerous statements on the Intermediate Level. They were very aware of their language growth in the course. I gave a supplementary speaking final to assess how well their self-assessment was realistic. 95% of the students exceeded my expectations.
The Can-Do Statements provide built-in reflection as to the students’ progress. I have a plan for how to help the students do an even better job of meeting the very real-world Can-Do Statements. The following ebooks are available at http://bit.ly/tsmash