I use spontaneous speaking assessments while being observed with great results and you can too! (Obviously practice with the students with other topics in advance) It takes level one students past the novice speaking level!
In this activity one student watches a video with slides with one number per slide. Each grouping is shown one at a time for 60 seconds. The student describes the arrangement to his or her partner who can’t see the screen but has a handout with six different groupings. The partner looking at the board can’t peek at the handout and must describe in the target language combining the vocabulary with the vocabulary of ‘left, right, above, below, next to’ and the numbers. There are slides of each item and the vocabulary of directions. Only after the students have mastered the vocabulary and practiced using slide #37 should you run the video.
When I first started to use my daily tech guides to maintain 90% target language, a funny thing happened. With so much target language being used, and the ability to quickly review by pulling up slides from previous lessons, we began to rapidly learn new vocabulary. We were going faster than my usual pacing because the daily tech guides eliminate time-consuming transitions!
Then another funny thing happened. My Spanish 01 students began to function like intermediate speakers, creating spontaneous responses to one another; they were no longer acting like novice speakers who use only a number of isolated words and memorized phrases. I had to scramble to come up with interesting activities to satisfy them!
By far their favorite activity is when I make little videos and they need to relay their information to their partners within the allotted time. It is not a competition with one another; rather, they work together to beat the clock. I call this an “SSA” for Spontaneous Speaking Activity.
You can use these as Spanish Two reviews or French Two reviews or almost any World Language Two reviews or use them as you teach the vocabulary in Spanish One, French One, or almost any World Language One.
1. Put the students in groups of two. If there is an odd number of students, have one group of three – one speaker and two listeners with worksheets.
2. Assign each pair a number (A, B, or C) that corresponds to the first movie they need to watch. On the screen, there is an “A” movie, a “B” movie, and a “C” movie all playing at the same time. Each movie is different, so that while one student, who was assigned a “B,” is guessing the item arrangement from the movie marked “B,” he or she won’t be helped by the two teams on either side because they will be looking at the other movies (“A” and “C”)
3. “X” has his or her back to the screen and “Y” looks at the screen and describes what is on the screen.
4. “X” shields his or her worksheet from “Y” and based on “Y’s” description, decides which illustration is being shown. “X” asks for the number on the screen and notes it on the worksheet. This is repeated until the video is over. Then X and Y look at the last screen with the answers.
There is a slight fuzziness to the videos as I made three separate videos and then a video of the three videos playing simultaneously and they are not as crisp as a PowerPoint page. I have talked to help desks about this and it is the nature of videos. If anyone knows how to improve on this please contact me. Most students are so engrossed they don’t mention it.
Try my SSA’s and watch your level one students speak higher than the anticipated novice levels!
There are three PowerPoint Presentations 2 each have a video and 1 is the skeleton. Some teachers told me it took to long too download one combined PowerPoint so this should be faster and you can insert videos or keep separate.
If you have questions, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org