After reading several tweeter posts from @tmsaue1 and @Marishawkins on IPAs and the presentational mode of the IPA, I was reminded once again of the importance of providing LOTS and LOTS of comprehensible input to my level 1 students before asking them to produce output. I knew I wanted/needed to review the structures of “gustar, encantar, fascinar, as well as the use of regular verbs” within the context of talking about food. Before reading their posts, I was ready to hand out a heavily grammar based worksheet, full of broken down sentences, which asks students to conjugate verbs, match the verbs to the subjects inherent in the statements and finally write sentences in complete sentence format = boring and boring.
The one thing that kept circling in my head was: What is your goal for your students? What have you presented to them thus far? How have you presented this material to them? Did you talk to them? With them? Did you chat about what we all like to eat? What we dislike? What the favorite meals are when we visit a Spanish speaking country or our favorite restaurant? The answer to all these questions is a redundant YES! So, with this in mind, I realized I needed to change how I was going to assess their level of comprehension. I sat down and wrote a story, just like the ones we co-create in class, because:
No assessment should not bring a surprise element to the table. Teach at level +1, assess at their level.
All assessments should serve as the gauge that tells me what I need to reinforce and what has been added to their tool box.
Here is what I drafted.