I gave my intermediates a sliding-scale quiz with vocabulary/structure points. I realized something as we graded it. I had a lot of “to write,” “to listen,” “to read” structures (as well as several “in the” structures) on there. The kids who got the first “to” got all of them. The kids who didn’t get the first one got none of them. It not a very good quiz for that reason, except for the part where the kids learned something from it. I ended up saying that they only had to get one structure question right per year of study, because that was about what it worked out to be fair. If I’m going to include structure pieces, I have to include several structures that my second-year barometer kids can get, rather than making them feel rotten, as I’m afraid I did. Even if I throw out this quiz, the kids won’t feel good about it (as I don’t). My purpose is to be able to be happy with them. Luckily we have a speaking assessment the next time.


2 responses to “Quizzes

  1. I have doing some research on the presentation of verb tenses which is my goal to be comfortable with this year. The prevailing wisdom seems to be invent story in past, read in present. In level 1, I put both past and present tenses side by side as a reference. I have typed up their story in past and present. When freewrite comes is it past or present. It still seems a bit cumbersome to me. Any advice?


  2. I do not have a system, because it seems to me that if they do all their reading in one tense, they’ll never recognize the verbs in the other tense. Verbs in Russian can be completely different from one tense to the other. My kids seem to prefer to stay in present tense for a long time when they’re writing or speaking, even though lately we’ve told and read everything in past tense! Still, if they read in present, they translate into past unless I keep calling their attention to form.

    Ben had a long series about this, and I can’t remember whether anyone has done any research. It would be a good idea if I could test out my “random” method in one class and something specific (like what you mentioned) in another. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.


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