Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oral Assessment

It can often be difficult to give detailed, individualized feedback to students about their oral skills in a class dynamic. Thus, I like to plan this activity for a slower week where some class time (as well as some office hour time) can be scheduled to meet with the students individually. This can either be done as a form of oral exam or simply as an activity to improve their oral skills.

Have the students prepare a brief conversation about a selected topic (ideally including recent vocabulary and grammatical constructs, making this part of the process a good communicative activity in and of itself). The students then call and leave you a voice mail with their conversation (Google Voice can be useful for this purpose). When you meet with the students, play back their recording and have them first evaluate themselves, giving them the important opportunity to recognize their own errors and areas of improvement. Afterwards, give the students your assessment and suggestions for improvement.

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