How to start teaching proficiency: Interpersonal

How to start teaching proficiency: Interpersonal

In my mini series this week, I wanted to show how to incorporate some proficiency assessments in the beginning and into what you are already doing.  For me, interpersonal was a bit harder, but I want to continue to put this into a priority.  A huge confession on my part: I only gave two speaking assessments a year!  They seemed timely to do, and I would have to occupy the students while I was doing this.  I realize that this is not perfect for a Spanish class, and many years, I would plan to do more, but typically would fall back into my old routine.  In all reality, when I found the Interpersonal Bootcamp, my speaking assessments doubled in my Spanish 2 classes.  It was relatively easy to grade and give feedback.  While I was completing this with students, the rest of the class was either completing a Zaption or a presentational writing based on a similar topic.

Initially, this was not part of an IPA.  I did not create an overarching theme, but I used this within the themes that were in my textbook.  Since I was able to start these, I will plan on developing them throughly into full IPAs.  At the time, I started here though.

Our French teachers created an IPA where each student created a presentation for their final on an environmental topic affecting the Francophone world.  For the interpersonal section, they shared a bit about their topic, and other students asked questions.  If you have a similar presentation, you could have a roundtable interpersonal conversation to add before the presentation to incorporate into an already existing plan.

In order to prepare for their interpersonal assessment, I add a few of these ideas into my class ahead of time to help students prepare:

  • I created this interpersonal activity with a presentational portion to help my students prepare.
  • Many times students complete a Voicethread and respond to another student within the Voicethread.
  • I typically have students discuss what they did over the weekend every week.
  • One of my favorite activities is the fishbowl activity.  I typically have students complete this the day before the assessment.
  • Add a couple of pictures between transitions to have students discuss.
  • I have done variations of speed dating activities with pre written questions or pictures.
  • Amy’s Interpersonal Blitz is awesome and quick to complete!
  • I also love Sara-Elizabeth’s LinguaCafe!
  • In addition, we typically discuss what is going on in their lives at the beginning or end of class to continue to facilitate this practice.
  • I also love doing the circumlocution game where you write a word on the board behind the student, and the rest of the class has to describe the word in the TL without saying the word itself.  (I always thought this would be too difficult for Spanish 1, but even my Spanish 1A could do it!)
  • I created a Pinterest board for my Interpersonal Activities collection as well.

I also think it is important to have a good rubric for interpersonal activities.  I used the TALK rubric from the interpersonal bootcamp above, and it served me well initially.  When I start to get into the groove again, I want to reevaluate all of my rubrics.  However, again, I used an already existing rubric to get me started then I will evolve it after I have used it for a year.  Don’t get hung up on the details of a rubric!  Find one you like, use it for a bit THEN work on it when you can.

Hopefully, this will encourage you to start incorporating more interpersonal assessments and activities into your classroom.  Again, start small and keep trying!


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