For many years now I have kept testing data on the progress of my students. My students either outperform or do as well as the nonTPRS classes in the same school. The data is based on traditional, multiple choice type tests that come from thematic units of a textbook. These items include collections of vocabulary lists and grammar concepts found in the textbook En Español. Nothing about the testing data helps me understand the results of student learning like seeing student writing our experiencing them use the target language like in these videos. Every year I want these results to improve but after 174 days of school this is very good work for beginning learners.
This is a collection of Spanish 1 students retelling stories from the entire year. I use a detailed rubric but the only things that students are focused on is speaking for approximately 2:00 minutes. These results ARE typical and should be expected when using large quantities of Comprehensible Immersion and storytelling.
Here are some ways we went from INput to OUTput.
- TPRS readers: Brandon Brown quiere un perro, Pobre Ana, and Piratas.
- Class stories/short stories: Look I can talk, Bryan Kandel, and Sr. Wooly.
- MovieTalks: Día de muertos, The balcony girl, Oktapodi, Eres tú, María (1-10), and Mi vida loca (BBC).
The third TPRS novel that we engage students with is Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto. This student came in during lunch to say hello and then decided to go ahead and do a retell. I love that it was unplanned in that way. This is authentic and I think he did wonderfully with his retell!
I love that this student has fun with the story. She is laughing and making up the story as she goes in a way. This particular story is the very first TPRS novel that we used this year. Brandon Brown quiere un perro is a story that can be read very early on. We rad this is October and she is retelling mid May. Since this is an “easy” story many of my 170+ students retold it this year.
Pobre Ana is a story that we have been doing for years with level 1 students…it is a classic! Ana has many commone teenage problems on her mind. She has problems with her friends and family and later goes on to see that the culture in Mexico is different but family life there is very comparale to her own. It was the second TPRS novel used this year. This student is speaking at a pretty good rate. (This particular student is also an amazing artist and is responsible for the Bucket of Blood comic strip on the blog).
I love that Amanda is speaking with such confidence and speed. Many students were able to speak beyond the 2:00 requirement and I think this says a lot about how much language they have internalized.
This student decided to do an easy story from Quarter 1. He does a nice job stretching the story and showing what he knows. I like that he is able to narrate dialogue of the story in his own words. Throughout the year this student was always comfortabel takgn risks and pushing himself to use Spanish in fun and funny ways.
This year we wrapped things up with an assessment that included a story that we have been doing for years with other classes. Oktapodi is one of my favorite MovieTalk stories and I almost did not use it this year. I am glad I did because the writing results were phenomenal and spoken retells of this story were impressive. I used this story as part of an assessment strategy. They only heard this story twice for a total of 40 minutes before having to do a long free writing exercise of 20 minutes. I wanted to see if students can take previously learned language and use it in creative ways to extensively communicate in Spanish.
The students were exposed to about 40 minutes of MovieTalk strategies with this particular animation. It was a balance of present tense and past tense grammar. Almost all of the language of the story was recycling of prior structures and vocabulary. I love this student’s attention to detail and the fact that he retells the story in the past with such accuracy! Many of the students were not able to stay in the past tense as well as this student could. He worked really hard to make sure present tense didn’t interfer in his retell.
This is a story that we used with student actors, volleyball translation activity drawing activity, and a free write. It is a story from Bryan Kandel and the students had a lot of fun with the activities of the story and I loved using props and dramatizing it. An interesting thing about students retelling this story is that we only read it in the past but most felt comfortable retelling in the present tense.
Can students create their own stories based on what they have learned in a TPRS class? Here is the evidence. This student decided to not retell a class story and talk about something that is very important to her…her family. I can see how much she cares about her family when she talks about them!
It is exciting when students decide to generate their own stories. Often times, in a level one course, it can be a risk for students to do this. I think the risk pays off when they can speak with such confidence…I love the charisma of this student!