Connect – April 2017

Teresa Sanhueza

Teresa Sanhueza decided to incorporate multimedia into her Spanish 303: Spanish Conversation course.

I have taught Spanish Conversation for about 8 years now. We only have one conversation class in our curriculum but it is not nearly enough to make the students acquire the language and use it at an intermediate-high level. Through the years, I have developed different units to complement the students’ formal learning. My latest unit has been a ‘Language practice unit’ in which I have made the students to do 9 hours of extra language practice, and I am hoping that technology might help extend those hours of conversational practice. I wanted to make the class more fun, enhance student learning, give the students additional opportunities to practice the language on their own, and at the same time, enable students to communicate effectively in personal and professional setting in Spanish.”

After a search, Sanhueza decided on two tools: StoryboardThat and VoiceThread.

StoryboardThat

After reading a chapter on various controversial topics, students are tasked with creating conversational exchanges of at least seven panels, between at least two characters, discussing those issues using the relevant chapter’s vocabulary.  Below, Beyoncé and Albert Einstein discuss whether art or science is more important.

a Screen capture of a cominc created in StoryboardThat

After creating the cartoon, and as part of the assignment, students will reflect on what the did and explain why the created the comic as they did. They are then graded on the following rubric:

 

High

(A, A-, B+)

Medium

(B, B-, C+, C)

Low

(C-, D, F)

Vocabulary The student uses 70%+ of vocabulary words The student uses 50%-70% of vocabulary words The student uses less than 50% of vocabulary words
Grammar

(especially ser and estar, verb tenses, prepositions, gender of nouns)

The student uses correct grammar The student makes occasional grammatical errors that make the cartoon less understandable The student makes substantial grammatical errors, cartoons is not understandable
Length The student creates seven or more slides The student creates five and seven slides The student creates less than five slides
Creativity The student develops an engaging and complete script for their character’s conversation The student develops a complete script for their character’s conversation The student develops an incomplete script for their character’s conversation
Format The student submits an attractively formatted assignment The student submits an assignment with some formatting and organizational issues The student submits a poorly formatted and organized assignment
Organization

(beginning, middle, end)

The student composes a structured conversation The student composes a conversation with structural issues The student composes an unstructured conversation

 

To improve their Spanish pronunciation, students will use Voicethread to listen to at least five questions on their chapter readings and then record and submit themselves responding verbally.

a screenshot of a Voicethread response prompt.

Voicethread for Chapter 1: El científico y el artista

Student responses will then be evaluated on the below rubric:

 

High

(A, A-, B+)

Medium

(B, B-, C+, C)

Low

(C-, D, F)

Responses The student answers to all five questions The student answers to four questions The student answers to three or less questions
Pronunciation The student pronounces 80%+ of vocabulary words correctly The student pronounces 60%-80% of vocabulary words correctly The student pronounces less than 60% of vocabulary words correctly
Grammar

(especially ser and estar, verb tenses, prepositions, gender of nouns)

The student uses correct grammar The student makes occasional grammatical errors that makes the response less understandable The student makes substantial grammatical errors, response is not understandable
Structure The student answers in complete sentences n/a The student gives one word answers
Fluidity The student speaks naturally with few pauses (thinking pauses) The student occasionally pauses in the flow of the conversation (lack of vocabulary) The student is literally translating from English (very slow pace, unnatural production and inaccurate vocabulary)
Comprehensibility The student understands the questions and can develop an appropriate response The student understands most of the questions and can develop an appropriate response The student doesn’t understand the questions and cannot develop an appropriate response

We’re hopeful that the work Teresa is doing will help students spend more focused time developing their language skills and pronunciation outside of the classroom, and we’re excited to hear more as she implements some of these steps.

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