SP212 — español V — invierno 2016–2017

Examen oral

As the date of the oral exam approaches I will post a signup sheet outside my door. It will have times in 15 minutes time slots for a variety of dates in the final weeks of the term. You will need to sign up for a time slot.

Here is information about the format of the exam and the grading:

As part of your evaluation for SP211 and to demonstrate some of the skills you have learned during the term, you will have an oral exam, which will consist of a structured conversation with me in my office during the final weeks of the term at a time you sign up for. Each exam will be about fifteen minutes in length.

In the words of scholar Leo Yoffe, who has studied oral language examination in detail “Tests, by their very nature, can provide only a limited range of interactive contexts. Designing an evaluative mechanism which would assess all competencies (discourse, grammatical, sociolinguistic, and strategic) in all settings (from very formal to very informal) and on all contents (factual, hypothetical, and abstract) is a virtual impossibility.” Although tests are artificial situations not frequently encountered outside of school, this test is designed to see if you can use skills that are frequently needed in daily life.

During the oral exam you may be called upon to talk about personal information, such as discussing your hometown and family, activities and hobbies, etc. You may be asked to describe a picture you are shown. You may need to use your imagination to describe what someone may have or could have done. You may need to engage in role-playing. You should be prepared to use structures, forms, vocabulary and communicative strategies we have studied and practiced during the term. If you can't remember or don't know a word you need, then describe, paraphrase, or think of a way to communicate your idea without using that particular word… in fact, this is a useful communicative strategy that I will be looking for. Remember that it is OK use gestures; they are a natural part of oral communication.

To prepare for the test you should practice the skills and scenarios outlined above. We will do some practice with them in class, such as the five minutes of fame activity and much of the small group work that we do, but outside of class use of these skills will help them grow. You may use your practice as an activity for your weekly actividades de idioma. You should not prepare and memorize sentences or passages in response to questions you think you will be asked. This often results in unnatural speech patterns and a lack of communication. You may wish to learn or review vocabulary you may need to talk about the topics named above.

You will be graded in four general areas according to the following rubric, based on 100 possible points. It is not easy to get an A, but it is not easy to fail either. You are not graded on number of mistakes per se, so not saying very much in order to avoid making mistakes will not result in a high grade; if you're only saying a little you're not communicating very much so your grade won't be very high. To put it another way, the test doesn't start you out with a perfect score and then mark you down for mistakes, it starts with nothing and adds points for things you do right. Doing things wrong just makes your score add up less high.

Tips: warm up — use the time before the start of your exam to warm up and get your thinking switched over to Spanish… read, converse with a fellow student, or simply formulate your inner narration in Spanish as preparation.

Grading rubric for oral exam

23 - 25: Little or no difficulty in understanding utterances at an appropriate level for this class.
20 - 22: Occasional difficulty; requires infrequent repetition or rephrasing
17 - 19: Moderate difficulty; requires frequent repetition or rephrasing
15 - 17: Serious difficulty; even with frequent repetition or rephrasing
0 - 15: Extreme difficulty or lack of comprehension

Comunicación y Vocabulario
23 - 25: Makes good use of communicative strategies when needed; strong communication and vocabulary
20 - 22: Makes strong use of communicative strategies when needed; good communication and vocabulary
17 - 19: Makes occasional use of communicative strategies when needed; occasional problems with communication and vocabulary
15 - 17: Makes poor use of communicative strategies when needed; frequent problems with communication and vocabulary
0 - 15: Makes no use of communicative strategies when needed; very frequent problems with communication and vocabulary

Pronunciación y Expresión
23 - 25: Produces speech easily understood by a native speaker not accustomed to dealing with non-native speakers. Speaks fluidly and with accurate pronunciation and naturalness.
20 - 22: Occasional inaccuracy with pronunciation and naturalness which does not distract or impede comprehension.
17 - 19: Occasional inappropriate pauses, moderate inaccuracy with pronunciation or naturalness which may distract or impede comprehension.
15 - 17: Frequent inappropriate pauses, frequent inaccuracy with pronunciation or naturalness which may distract or impede comprehension.
0 - 15: Great inappropriate pauses, great inaccuracy with pronunciation or naturalness which may distract or impede comprehension.

23 - 25: Good control and accuracy of all expected structures (such as when and how to use indicative or subjunctive) and morphologies (such as how to conjugate verbs). Appropriate syntax (word order).
20 - 22: Occasional difficulty with structures, morphology and syntax, but errors do not impede communication
17 - 19: Moderate difficulty, or difficulty which occasionally impedes communication
15 - 17: Frequent difficulty, or difficulty which frequently impedes communication
0 - 15: Extreme difficulty and impediment of communication

Actividades de idioma

Any of the activities listed on the syllabus or on the "how to study" page of this website are acceptable as part of your 1 1/2 hours of weekly out of class work, such as:

You should do an activities write-up for each session of work you do. There may be several write-ups needed to cover a 1 1/2 hour period. In total, your entries for the week must add up to at least 100 words.

Format: In your write-up you should tell:

Your entries may be either typed or neatly handwritten. 

Sample entries:

Jaime Fulano
martes, 10 de septiembre
0.5 horas (12:00 - 12:30)
almuerzo y conversación con Jeff y Linda
Comimos hamburguesas con papas fritas. Las papas fritas estaban horribles; no sé qué pasa en la cocina últimamente. Las hamburguesas, como siempre, excelentes. Halbamos del partido de fútbol (no fútbol americano sino fútbol fútbol.) Jeff es miembro del equipo de Rose. Ganaron el último partido 1-0 y Jeff casi marcó un gol. Aprendí una nueva palabra: empatar (= to tie; to get the same score.)

Jaime Fulano
viernes, 13 de septiembre
1.0 hora (8:00 - 9:00)
Vi la película "Drácula" (versión original en español de 1931)
Ya que hoy es "viernes y trece" decicimos ver la V.O. [Versión original] de Drácula en español. La vi con Bill y Jennifer. Ellos no hablan español así que la vimos con los subtítulos en inglés. Todos decidimos que el Conde Drácula se parece muchísimo al "Count" del programa "Sesame Street." Su sonrisa es muy cómica... no inspira el terror para nada. Es difícil superar la actuación del famoso Bela Lugosi de la versión en inglés. Aprendí varias palabras, como estaca (stake) vampiro (vampire) y murciélago (bat). Las diferencias con la versión en inglés son muy interesantes. Aunque la versión en inglés es muchísimo más famosa, yo prefiero algunas escenas de la versión en español.

Tus cinco minutos de fama

En el año 1965 el artista Andy Warhol dijo "En el futuro todo el mundo será famoso durante quince minutos." Pues en esta clase todos tendremos nuestros 15 minutos de fama, aunque sólo durarán cinco minutos: Durante 5 minutos cada estudiante tendrá que responder a las preguntas que los otros miembros de la clase se le hagan. No hay ninguna restricción sobre qué tipo de preguntas tus compañeros de clase te pueden hacer. (En realidad, no tienes que contestar preguntas muy personales si no quieres, pero por lo menos debes decir algo.) Un/a solo/a estudiante tendrá sus minutos de fama en cada sesión de clase (salvo los días de examen u otra actividad que dura mucho tiempo.) Si por algún motivo no quieres participar en esta actividad, debes decírselo al profesor durante los primeros días de clase.