Reflection on Students’ Modern Language Success Using Can-Do Statements

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

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle

Modern Language Proficiencies: Can-Do Strategies

Modern Language Proficiencies: Can-Do Strategies

Modern Language Proficiency: Can-Do Strategies ebook

Modern Language Proficiency: Can-Do StrategiesModern Language Proficiency: Can-Do Strategies by Dr. Harry Grover Tuttle provides teachers with many practical classroom strategies so their students can achieve the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do proficiencies of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Half of the 74 readings focuses on improving students’ speaking, the least developed skill in the classroom. Also, the ebook explains how grammar, vocabulary, culture, the textbook and mobile devices help develop proficiency. It contains many mini-assessments. As students do these strategy activities, they climb up the proficiency levels.The ebook contains 40,220 words (the equivalent of a 148 double spaced page book). $9.99   Can be purchased at  http://bit.ly/tsmash

Table of contents:
(Subsection names have been abbreviated.)

Introduction
Proficiency and Can-Do Overview
…….Quotations. Proficiency as Goal. NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements. Can-Do for Curriculum.

Interpersonal Speaking
Importance
……..Students’ Definitions. Survival Proficient Speaking. Emotional Conversations. More Speaking. Input or Output.
ACTFL Quality And Quantity
……..90% Modification. Paragraph Length Speaking. 20 Sentences Daily. 8 Minutes of Daily Speaking.
Speaking Decisions
……..Speaking Practice. Grammar to Communication Focus. Mechanical to Spontaneous.
…Modern Language Methods-Practical Ideas
……..Consistency in Learning. Movement. Intensity of Learning. Increased Verbal Interaction. Student Participation Increase. More Frequent Participation. Grammar Transformation to Spontaneous Speaking. Technology Guidelines.
...Strategies for Developing Spontaneous Speaking
……..Flexible Sentences. “Find Someone Who” Variations. Scaffolding Through Questions and Answers. Speaking Mats. Visual Context. Extension of Speaking. Verb Variety Increase. Role Play. Paired Speaking.
...Oral Assessment
……..Formative Assessment. Daily Speaking Assessment Sheets. Pre- and Post-Assessment. Proficiency Coupons. Proficiency Certificates. Timed Oral Fluency. Speaking on the Final. Grades and Proficiency. Student Learning Object (SLO). Institutional Assessment. Advocacy Through Proficiency.

Listening
……..Yes/No. Interactive Listening. Information Listening. Actions. Cultural Listening.

Reading
……..Sequencing Slips. True/False. Reading Recall. Reading Comprehension in the Modern Language. Comprehension Techniques. Difficult Comprehension. Purposeful Reading. Graphic Organizers. Authentic Text.

Writing
……..Writing Structure. Question Answering. Writing Expansion. Purposeful Writing with Prompts. Visual Story. Online Collective Story.

Culture
……..Promote Positive Feelings. Critical Culture. Culture as Prompts. Mobile Integration.

Vocabulary
……..Personally Useful. Critical Conversational Vocabulary. 10 Second Vocabulary Learning.  Visual-Based. Long Vocabulary List.

Grammar
……..Grammar as Vocabulary. Color Coding. Gestures. Flashcards. Memory Devices. Contrast. Common Forms. PACE Method.

Textbook
……..Tool. Students’ Textbook Dependency. Differences in Textbooks over Years. Beyond the Physical Textbook. QR Code Textbook.

Mobile Devices
……..Categories. App to Speaking. Communication Activities.

Spontaneous Speaking Language Activities
……..Activities for All Languages. Speaking Mats. Role Play. Speed Dating/Interviewing. In-depth Speed Dating/Interviewing. Find Someone Who. Spontaneous Speaking. Grammar to Spontaneous Speaking

Conclusion

Reference

About the Author

Acknowledgments

 

 

Modern Language Proficiency – What does it mean?

What does proficiency mean in the modern language classroom? Proficiencies are defined either by the state curriculum such as the NYS checkpoint A, B, or C or by the ACTFL proficiency standards / NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements.

Proficiencies do not refer to individual  activities such as  translating a word from English to the modern language nor doing a verb conjugation. A proficiency is not identifying the forms of a verb. A proficiency is not saying the names of  the family members in the modern language from a list of English words.  A proficiency is not pronouncing places. The ACTFL Can-Do statements do have a Grammar proficiency section. Grammar is integrated in meaningful ways such as Interpersonal Communication  Intermediate High- I can participate with ease and confidence in conversations on familiar topics..in various time frames.”

Proficiency refer to the student’s ability to communicate such as speaking  at the Interpersonal Communication Novice Mid level – “I can communicate basic information about myself and the people I know”  as the student says “something about the members of my family  and ask about someone’s family”. When students demonstrate this communication, they have shown a specific speaking proficiency. With the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, students can see their achievements as they accomplish more  proficiencies. Since the Can-Do statements divide up the big level of Novice into three subcategories and each subcategory has numerous proficiencies, students can see progress as they go from Novice Low to Novice Mid to Novice High.

For our students to be proficient in the modern language, we will want to quickly move them from the low subskills of vocabulary and grammar to the proficiencies of language for communication. The more we have them use the modern language for real life purposes, the more proficient they become.

What do you mean by proficiency?

By early May, my book, tentatively titled,  Modern Language Proficiency: Can-Do Strategies will be published at Smashwords. It contains many strategies for developing  Can-Do proficiencies for speaking,  listening, reading and writing;it also has  sections on vocabulary, textbook and mobile; the major emphasis is on speaking. Each strategy contains a Can-Do statement and a sample activity.

To help your beginning and more advanced students move toward spontaneous speaking which students need as they climb the Can-Do statements. I have developed 5 Visual activities/games  for any modern language (no words) and have developed 28 Spanish activities for students.  I am developing activities based on the NCSSFL-ACTFL 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 and cultural 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

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