Persona Especial Quiz #2Here is an analysis of the quiz in the previous post. Typical level I language emerges in personal interviews and is produced on the quizzes. Students are using the high frequency words they are hearing in class. Here is what I can see at a glance when I look over a quiz like this. It takes much longer to write out or even to read, but I can get an idea what we need to work on by looking over quizzes each week. Here are some things I am seeing in this particular quiz:

SER/ESTAR USAGE.  Because we keep using language in context, students are not getting ser/estar mixed up as much as when I taught with long grammatical explanations in English. The ser/estar difference is late acquired and I am under no illusion that they are totally getting it now, but students are beginning to use them correctly.

There are four ways that this student used a Spanish word that is translated as “is” in English and she got them right most of the time: es, está, hay & tiene ___ años. That correct usage at an early stage does not happen as much with memorization and translation approaches.

POSSESSION. The first entry talks about the father of the student and she uses it correctly three times. She still does not completely have it because of the birthday reference under “Piper”.

NUMBERS. Students do not know ALL of the number well yet, but they are getting meaningful repetitions as we talk in class. I try to use numbers every day as we talk. Students keep encountering 9 and 10 because many students are in those grades. 14 and 15 show up on this quiz because of student ages.

THE DATE. Piper had a birthday and turned 15, so we made a big deal of it and sang her Happy Birthday in Spanish. Because we talked about it and I asked kids about it, students Kids start getting excited about it: One student raised his hand and spontaneously burst out his birthday in good Spanish: el ocho de noviembre. He had read the month off of the board. I thought he must have meant September 8th and started to make a big deal out of it, saying, “We have another party!” (not really a party, we just sing and applaud the kid), but when I asked him to confirm the detail, I clearly heard him say November 8th. Sorry, too early, bud. Still, they are picking up the date formula, months and numbers, which is gratifying.

One thing that helps here is that I also require students to write the date in Spanish on all papers and also on their daily bell ringer activity, so they are getting used to the formula for the date, numbers and months.

PERSONALIZING WITH LIMITED LANGUAGE. Piper is in 10th grade, but at her first interview she was only 14, so I said she was a baby. But I added that she was not a normal baby, but an intelligent baby. All of those words are cognates in Spanish, so the discussion was immediately comprehensible. We could have fun with Piper using those words.

USING ENGLISH. For low frequency vocabulary, I allow students to use English, so the terms “d-line” and “cornerback” show up. That is OK. We are trying to find out about the kid, not show how much WE know by using vocabulary that is rarely used. Words such as “likes and “plays” are much more important to know in the TL.

MISSPELLING. The word “diez” is spelled correctly one time and incorrectly two times. The word “hay” is spelled correctly one time and incorrectly one time. The word “juega” is used right once and written wrong by adding an –s once.

MISSING DETAILS. It is interesting to me that not all of the details we talk about in class show up on the quizzes. Students have had a lot of comprehensible input on these students in the last week. I slowly and expressively interviewed each one. I “reported back” to the class. I reviewed. I verified information with the interviewees. I asked questions about them, and had students voluntarily say information they remembered about them, all in the TL.  But not all of this information and language showed up on the quizzes.