Tprs assessments

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Deb Read

TPRS Assessments

TPRS is based on constant informal assessment (teaching to the eyes) and the subsequent adjustments we make in the questions we ask and the repetitions of material we give them. While informal assessments may be all we need for students to acquire the language, we also need to prove to the world that our students are making progress in our classes.

Ideally, students would learn a language for the pure joy of being able to communicate with others. No formal assessments would be necessary because students would have the intrinsic desire to improve. In the real world, though, we teachers have to provide proof of a student’s abilities in a concrete format for parents, administration and others to refer to.
Below is my own brainstorming. Hopefully others in the session today can add ideas to what I have listed.
Listening Assessment Ideas:

  1. The teachers says a statement and the student acts out that statement.

    1. Example: John, stand up and walk to the door.

    2. Example: The boy is sad.

  2. The teacher tells/reads a story and the students answer questions on a sheet in front of them.

  3. The teacher says the vocabulary word or phrase in the target language and the students write down the English meaning.

  4. The teacher says a phrase and students choose the best rejoinder from those on a paper in front of them.

  5. The teacher says a sentence and students choose the picture described from those on the paper in front of them.


Reading Assessment Ideas:

  1. Students read sentences or stories in the target language on a quiz paper and then answer multiple choice, fill in the blank or essay questions about the story.

  2. S
    ©2007 by Debra A. Read
    tudents read a story in the target language and then retell the story verbally in English.

  3. Students read a story in the target language and then decide on an appropriate ending from choices on the paper.

  4. Students read a story in the target language and then create their own ending in the target language.


Speaking Assessment Ideas:

  1. Students retell the class story.

  2. Students use current vocab to create their own story.

  3. Students describe a picture.

  4. Students role play a situation using target phrases.


Writing Assessment Ideas:

  1. Students translate words or phrases from one language to the other.

  2. Students use given structures to create their own story.
  3. Students write a story of a given length.

  4. Students write on a specific topic or situation.

  5. Timed-writings/Free writes.


Ideas for Free Writes (take one, two, all or none — just suggestions):

  1. For first year, give them 10 minutes to write 100 words. The number of words is the percentage.

  2. G
    ©2007 by Debra A. Read
    rade according to personal improvement over previous timed writing.

  3. Give some points for fluency and some for accuracy. This is similar to the ISTEP rubric for grading the English essays. They get 6 points for grammatical accuracy and 4 points for communicating ideas.

  4. Allow students to write as long as they need to reach a specific number of words. Encourage them to take their time to polish their writing.

  5. Allow students to use notes and dictionaries or other helps to improve their writing.

  6. Allow for peer evaluations.

  7. Discuss what your English department does and see if you can reinforce the same skills for writing in your class.

Idea from Julie Baird:

For me a mini-story is a testing story.  This means that the students will need to answer T/F and short answer questions about the mini-story in addition to a vocab section.  Because there are questions about this particular story, I know students will get confused if we change any of the "facts" of the story. Students may add additional details but not the facts.

How I normally teach a mini-story is that I put the transparency on the overhead and cover up all but the first frame. The students then ask me questions or give me statements about the frame and I confirm or deny the facts.  When we have lots of details for the first frame, I uncover frame 2 and continue by having them ask me or tell me statements about what they see.
There is a lot of language that occurs this way. Kids will ask or make a statement. I will repeat it and then confirm or deny it using full sentences. I'll repeat the info we already have. If the students miss something I'll start asking questions.
I also count this as an oral/speaking quiz grade. I hand out paper that has 10 squares on it. I also pass around stamp pads and stampers.  As students ask questions or make statements I'll tell them they get a "Stempel, Doppelstempel, oder einen dreifachen Stempel" (a stamp, double stamp or triple stamp). Their goal is to fill up the 10 squares on their sheet.
I do our mini-stories this way for several reasons...

1) it's a change in the routine without disrupting CI

2) students can tell that we are towards the end of a unit (this is important in THEIR brains)

3) students know that this story is one they need to remember

4) it allows students the opportunity to speak which tells me what vocabulary or structures still need to be reinforced

5) it prepares them for the bigger speaking test that will happen at the end of the chapter.

©2007 by Debra A. Read

I don't recommend doing this if you as a teacher are still struggling with asking a story yourself. Your students need to have heard lots of CI and lots of circling with lots of details added before they can do this themselves. However, if you need a change of pace and want to have the students be more active in class, then having them guess what is happening in the pictures is a good activity to do once a while. I don't do it more than once a month.

Blaine said to just ask the mini-story because TPRS has evolved from telling a story to asking a story. If you aren't testing over the mini-story, then ask it. I do the above because it is a testing tool for my students.

* * * * * * * * * *

Julie Baird

3 Important ULRs:

  1. moreTPRS Yahoo Group:

  2. Indiana TPRS Yahoo Group:

  3. My website for freebie materials:

©2007 by Debra A. Read

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