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Improving Speaking Proficiency- Using Blackboard Voiceboard

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vicki campos

on 5 March 2014

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Transcript of Improving Speaking Proficiency- Using Blackboard Voiceboard

FACT: At all levels of instruction, the inability to express oneself creates a negative impact on learner confidence and enthusiasm. (Office for Standards in Education, 2008)
FACT: Despite improved quality of teaching and learning, children in foreign language classes still have poor speaking skills. (Office for Standards in Education, 2008)
FACT: Students who study foreign language classes often complain to friends and family that they do not know how to speak the language. (Office for Standards in Education, 2008)
Formative Speaking Assessments via Technology
FACT: Students who have an “A” in language classes often cannot communicate in the language! (Office for Standards in Education, 2008)
Fact: While “recast” most commonly used form of teacher formative feedback, it is highly INEFFECTIVE. (Lyster & Ranta, 2001, p. 268)

FACT: Students who have an “A” in language classes often cannot communicate in the language! (Office for Standards in Education, 2008)
Traditionally and
historically, we have

Assigned a task, (e.g. tell the doctor about your symptoms)
Here is a typical example of what students see:

The speaking exam – Foundation -
Role play - At the market
Your four tasks are:
• Ask for some apples
• Say you want a kilo
• Ask the price
• Say thank you

 Provided concrete expectations of what the
student should produce (e.g. tell the doctor
where it hurts; speak in complete sentences-but only provided a list of infinitives)

Most frequently, we interact with the student
in a role play where we are the “doctor’ asking questions then complete a rubric that informs the student of their numeric grade.
Q= Why focus on
formative speaking assessments?
A. Many short, informal opportunities foster continuous improvement throughout the unit of study, resulting in greater speaking proficiency at the point of summative assessment (Ainsworth & Viegut, 2007).
Tuttle's Model of Formative Assessment
Student Speaks
Give Feedback
Allow for Growth
Reasses & Celebrate
The more the speaking task focuses on a specific skill (standard),for example, expressing likes or dislikes for free time activities or describing something, the better you can observe oral proficiency specifics.
Monitoring real-time data on a specific skill (standard) through observation or recording with new technologies
is essential
Teacher compares the present speaking status and compares to the expected level to identify precise strength(s) and learning gap(s).

Use student friendly terms.
Identify specific strategy for immediate improvement for individual student
Avoid vague terms such as “work harder”, “practice more” or “talk more”
Goal would be to have all these strategies resident on a Wiki or similar platform.
Give Feedback
Improvement will be maximized with effective use of feedback

Must be timely, learner specific and offer strategies

Formative assessment is effective when students understand what you tell them

Students emotionally accept what is being said

Students are willing to make a change

Students actually implement the change (Bender, 2007)

students learning from their mistakes and moving
forward toward greater speaking proficiency

There is a wide variety of formats - why not use best
available technology?
Most improvement occurs when students get to practice
after receiving the feedback. The
“window of opportunity to improve”
15 minutes
after getting
Likelihood of improvement plummets once they leave the classroom.
Allow time in time in class
after each formative feedback for practice –
2 to 5 minutes of practice yields marked improvement.

students with similar learning gaps provides differentiation.
Record progress and share results nothing motivates like success!

Celebrate growth in major components of speaking
Recap...Transform any “normal” speaking activity into formative assessment by....
Deciding on specific speaking goal
Deciding on the assessment’s critical part or function
Deciding on what assessment format will be used
Deciding on strategies most helpful in closing learning gaps

1.The more the teacher speaks the target language, the better sense of language students develop. They hear the language and feel comfortable.90% of teacher communication in the target considered best practice..must constantly assess formatively. WHY? Must balance out with Krashen’s “comprehensible input” theory WHY? Frequent speaking practice lowers “affective filter” (Krashen)
2.Ensure you are not overloading vocab on a topic while staying in the target language
3.Make sure students know everyday expressions to communicate on topic (point to consider: what makes more sense to a student: an infinitive or a verb used in context, including functional phrases (connect to TPRS starts with 3rd personal singular in talking about others, then moves to personal questions (1st and 2nd person) expand to plural.
Resources for Improving Student Speaking ProficiencyRubrics
Fairfax County Public Schools - Performance standards for Language Students, rubrics for specific levels, 6-steps to increased proficiency- http://www.fcps.edu/is/worldlanguages/pals/#steps

Jefferson County (Kentucky) Public Schools-The veritable “gold standard” of world language assessments and MORE by Thomas Sauer- https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=28f7c805d5a3213d&sc=documents&id=28F7C805D5A3213D!154

New Jersey CAPS - collection of generic rubrics used by teachers as they wrote their own task-specific rubricsInterprep - http://flenj.org/CAPS/rubrics.shtml
Consultant Greg Duncan’s Wiki of foreign language resources
Invest class time to familiarize students with what on ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines expect students to do at the end of the year

Talk about expectations in “student lingo”, not the professional jargon

Step 1: Select speaking goal/topic

Step 2: Pre-assess specific vocabulary and functions needed in informal checklist
I can:
[place “+” if you can do the following:
___ Name at least 10 foods
___ Tell at least 5 food descriptions, e.g.
salty, sweet
___ Tell what I like about 2 different foods
___ Explain a common restaurant problem
and how to solve it
Thank You!
This is too vague

Vicki Campos- vicki.campos@cobbk12.org
Results of Research
Setting up Blackboard
Full transcript