The way that we assessed was in four areas: Reading, Writing, Listening, & Speaking*
Students took a passage from the novel and translated into English.
Students listened to sentences from the book and translated into English.
Students also matched some pictures from the teacher's guide with sentences from the book. (to show a lower level if the translation of the selection was too hard)
Students had two options:
1. describe 5 of 9 pictures from the book (teacher's guide) in Spanish.
2. write a new ending to the book
Here are a few samples that I enjoyed. Keep in mind this is Spanish 1 and whether or not you are impressed with their abilities in the language to spontaneously produce, I am. ;-)
(click to enlarge)
We used to do Google Voice (where they left me a message). This basically meant I would be listening to them and grading them outside of school for a week or two. And a lot of the students didn't like this method because they were talking to an answering machine and as soon as they messed up they just wanted to hang up and call back.
So I decided to do stations (re-reading last two chapters, memory, "who am I", write about the picture, etc). The final station was with me.
In the station, they were allowed to choose two events from the book (on cards) and two characters to talk about (on cards). Once they chose, we went around in the circle and talked about the cards.
It was actually quite nice and the grading was more immediate for that section. Many of the students enjoyed it more as well because they could help each other with a word if that was all they needed. I used a scoring system with tally marks for sentences. Half points were for incomplete sentences or repeated sentences. If they helped someone, had a complicated sentence or used words we barely used in class, they would get a tally mark and a star. These all helped me determine by the end more or less where the students were at. I would like to create a generic rubric of some sort in the future to be able to return to the kids.
*I do not believe that speaking should be assessed in such early levels, simply due to a lack of input. However, our administration wants to see the kids speaking more Spanish and some in my department would also like to see that it is assessed.