ERIC Number: ED404854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Alternative Assessment: Directed Creative Writing for Intermediate Level Students.
Fidalgo, Reyes I.
Use of a directed creative writing exercise to assess intermediate language students' skills is discussed. The technique was developed for second-year college Spanish instruction as an alternative to conventional writing tests in which anxiety or lack of motivation may inhibit performance. Differences in the nature of language skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing) are analyzed and common difficulties in engaging students in their use are discussed. The technique presented here is based on development of discussion skills to facilitate transition between speaking and writing, consisting of a series of exercises including in-class review of grammatical points, peer and group revision, and coding of discourse structure and grammatical errors using a code familiar to both students and teacher. Students are told they will write a short story together. Basic story structure is explained and discourse parameters reviewed very briefly. Simple visual aids are used to generate and focus discussion on story creation. The teacher then elicits ideas and story-related structures with specific questions. Brainstorming follows, and students complete the story outside class, consulting each other as desired. Resulting compositions are more substantive and have many fewer errors, and student response to the exercise has been very positive. Contains 17 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Alternative Assessment, Class Activities, Classroom Communication, Classroom Techniques, Creative Writing, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Language Skills, Language Tests, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Spanish, Story Grammar, Student Evaluation, Student Participation, Test Anxiety, Testing, Writing Exercises
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and Literatures (19th, Youngstown, OH, March 1996).