Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Who is This" Assessment

This is a quick assessment idea which I learned from my colleague Bob Patrick. Recently, our Latin 2 students were finishing up a story, so Bob implemented this listening assessment involving characters from the story with his class, which in turn, I used with my students. If your class is reading a story with at least three characters who do a number of different things, then this is a great way to assess students.

  1. In the target language, create a number of sentences that describe different characters in the story. I have found that 8-10 sentences is a good number.
  2. Each sentence should start out with "this character" (in Latin, haec persona) - I used actual sentences from the story since those sentences were with what students were most familiar.
  1. Write the character choices on the board.
  2. On a sheet of paper, have students number 1-8 (or however many sentences you have created.
  3. Explain to students that for each of the sentences which you will read aloud, their job is to determine which character this sentence describes and to write down that character.
  4. Read each sentence 2-3 times very slowly, as students write down the character about whom the sentence describes.
  5. At the end, read each sentence again so that students can check their responses. 
Latin Example - this was based on a story from a Movie Talk (Broken: Rock, Paper, Scissors)

a) forfex             b) puella chartacea          c) saxum

Question #1 - haec persona credit puellam chartaceam esse pulchram.
Question #2 - haec persona occidit multas arbores.
Question #3 - haec persona vult fugere cum puella chartacea.
Question #4 - haec persona occidit puellam chartaceam.
Question #5 - haec persona magnos sonos facit.
Question #6 - haec persona non vult fugere cum saxo.
Question #7 - haec persona occidit forficem.
Question #8 - haec persona fugit cum saxo.

  1. This was indeed a very quick assessment - it took less than 10 minutes.
  2. This is a great activity to assess listening comprehension in a very low-key way.
  3. I was surprised at how well my students did on this. You need to understand that when I was learning Latin in high school and in my college and graduate courses in Latin, I NEVER heard it spoken. Because I am implementing Comprehensible Input in my Latin classes with lots of repetitions in active Latin, for my students to hear Latin does not seem that big of a deal for them.
  4. Afterwards I asked students what they thought of it. A common response - "It was really easy, since we have gone over the story so many times..."

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