Speaking assessments

Yesterday Ruth asked about speaking assessments. I thought that I’d make a list of the kinds I know of, and ask any faithful readers to add more.

I used to do combined listening/speaking assessments, and also reading/speaking assessments, but I realized after attending Scott’s sessions that then I didn’t know where kids were getting in trouble if the speaking wasn’t good. Now the speaking assessments are not dependent on having first understood reading or listening, though obviously the habit of understanding reading and listening in class adds to the ability to speak–especially the listening.

So…here goes…

End of semester:

1. show a picture or story strip and ask kids to tell the story (possibly by themselves, with only the teacher hearing, though that doesn’t work for me–better if they do an audio recording through a drop box).

2. ask kids to bring in their own pictures to talk about.

3. ask kids to participate in a role play with you about a situation (sort of a mini OPI).

4. give kids a set of topics you might ask about and let them think about how they’d answer

5. give kids a set of interview questions

During the semester

1. put target words/structures on the board, and ask kids in pairs or small groups to tell a story that includes those words

2. give kids a familiar story board and ask them to retell it with any changes they’d like

3. let kids come up with their own stories, draw them in groups, and retell at the front of the room

4. ask kids to embellish a story in groups; you listen as you go around

5. ask kids to “tell to their hands” during class so that you can hear what emerges

6. ask kids to prepare to tell all parts of a story board; you throw the die and they tell the one that it lands on when they’re up in front of the room

7. students retell same story from other perspective (change the person, the time frame)

8. students set up an interview with a character from the story (or news program or legal advice)

That’s all I can think of in the seven minutes I’ve allotted myself on this first day of parent conferences!


One response to “Speaking assessments

  1. I did a speaking assesment (#3 on your list of during the semester choices) where the students in small groups came up with stories and drew pictures of them to assist in the retell. Boy, did it work great. I was a bit worried (and so were they) but not only did they enjoy telling the stories, they REALLY got into hearing what the other students had to say about them. One kid was lobbying me to do it every week, and that’s a kid who got a B on his evaluation.

    One thing that really helped with this, I have to admit, was my document camera where I could make the pictures they drew projected onto the screen. The pictures seemed to be that much more of a security blanket when they were so front and center.

    I’m going to try and get into at least an every-other week speaking assessment groove, and I’ll be using your list to mix it up. Thanks so much!


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