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.