Story-based Speaking Assessment

I’ve used several methods for evaluating speaking over the years.  I tried something new recently, and I was pleased with the results.  It is similar to a homework assignment that students completed earlier in the year.  The level of student intimidation was rather low, and reading was integrated.

1. I distributed stories to each student.  I used readings that I had created from previous years from my Readings Database.  The stories were new to the students, but I believe this activity would work even if the students were given stories they had read earlier in the year.  It also works with novels/readers.   This is a great step for differentiation.  Give more challenging stories to stronger students.

2. Students had a few days to read their stories.  They could ask me questions on any day BEFORE the assessment day.

3. We went to the library on the assessment day(s).  The class was working on computer tasks while students came to me for one-on-one interviews.  I asked them comprehension questions and extended the conversation where possible.  They were scored according to their fluency (how quickly and smoothly they could respond), content (knowing the answers) and accuracy (using the right words when responding).

It’s a pretty simple activity, but I found it an effective way to spend some Target Language time with each student.

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4 Responses to Story-based Speaking Assessment

  1. wileenie says:

    I like this idea! Quick question: could the students refer to a copy of the story while you were asking them the questions? Or was this from memory? Thanks!

    • bryankandel says:

      Good question. I allowed them to bring their paper to the interview, but part of their grade was based on “fluency and speed of responses”, so reading the story to search for answers would be a deduction of points. Most students responded without even glancing at the papers.

  2. Josiah Guzik says:

    Hi Bryan, This looks like a great assessment resource. What did your rubric look like in terms of categories? Was it based on the ACTFL proficiency levels or more geared toward proficiency in a CI classroom?

    • bryankandel says:

      Hi Josiah. I honestly don’t remember the exact rubric for that assessment. Typically, they are more geared toward proficiency in a CI classroom with emphasis on amount of content, comprehensibility, accuracy, and fluency/flow.

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