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Speaking tests at KS3

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by skthing, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. skthing

    skthing New commenter

    Hi, perplexed middle school French teacher here!
    I'd like to find out how other schools assess speaking skills at KS3.

    We carry out an end-of-topic speaking test for year 7, and would like to do something similar for year 8, but it is so hard to get through all the pupils, while giving the speaker my full attention, the time they need to gather their courage and speak, feedback, and keep an eye on the rest of the class while they do whatever task I've set them!

    I was wondering how other schools manage speaking tests. It is so valuable getting to hear the pupils speaking out loud - more than just the odd sentence - but seems impossible to manage practically.

    I would love to be able to have time out of class with cover to have time to listen to each pupil, but I don't think I'd be allowed!

    Merci beaucoup en avance
  2. ChocolateChunk

    ChocolateChunk New commenter

    Dear Sarah,

    I can only assume that your class size is around 30.
    We have started to implement the GCSE Photocard in our lessons this year for Year 8s. This is the format that we adopted for their 'Speaking Exam' in Module 3 and we were supposed to do one as well in Module 5. We modeled developed sentences and worked as a class first. It would help them as well with their writing as they need to justify their answers and provide opinions as well.

    We would borrow the laptops/iPads from the schools for 3 lessons and students would work independently whilst they all come individually to your desk to be assessed. It is not an easy task as you need to keep an eye on the class whilst ensuring that the person being assessed is given a fair chance to do well.
    For the "independent work", we would send a lesson light with content but more focused on skills and the correction would already be included. Therefore, students could self-assess and progress at their own pace. We had to, naturally, check the work at the end to check how much work was completed and that some students did not see it as an opportunity for coasting.
    For the Speaking task, we created 6 Photocards and printed enough for 30 students, students could not copy as the peers in their vicinity would have a different card.
  3. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Ask all pupils to speak with a partner. Then swap them all to another partner. Do this several times. Each time, encourage them to speak more and with less and less support. You are there and listening to what is going on. You know who isn't doing it properly and you pick up on problems. Keep doing this, swapping partners over and over. Maybe at the end they go back to the original partner to show how much they have improved. Then ask the pupils to give you information (on a form) about how independently they could speak, how fluent they felt, how much they could develop their answers, how much they could naturally respond to their partner's questions. The information they give you alongside your observations, will give you a very accurate, and usually slightly too self critical, idea of how they are doing. Works well.
  4. pascuam49

    pascuam49 New commenter

    By using a virtual learning platform (Moodle and Education Perfect are the ones we use) students can upload their audios. Some platforms are easier to use than others and they allow you to give oral feedback too. You will still need to use your own time to assess them but at least you get to listen to every single student even if it is once a term!

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