Even if you don't teach AP or have it in your school, this post will be helpful because it is basically about Spoken Interpersonal Communication
and some ways to assess it.
If you teach AP and your lower levels are not specifically prepping kids for that test, it can be shock
when all of a sudden, students have to prepare and practice for this section of the AP exam!
This section is challenging
for a variety of reasons:
- It is odd to interact interpersonally without seeing the person... our students are not having a lot of phone conversations!
- Students have to try to fill up 20 seconds of time five or six times.
- It is very possible that a students says something and then the next questions asks about that very thing. That can freeze up many students!
- Students have to put themselves in the shoes of someone else.
- Students have to think on their feet and be creative.
- Students have to understand the prompt and pay attention to how to respond. For instance, these are things they might have to do: salúdala, explica, sugiere, invítala, comenta, responde negativamente, despídete etc.
- Students also have to show off some advanced vocabulary and advanced grammatical structures.
So, what can we do in lower levels
to get them ready for this? Or forgetting about the AP test, how can we get them ready for interpersonal communication in general in the real world? The answer is pretty simple: have them do conversaciones simuladas throughout all levels.
But... how do we do that?!?
Basically, students have the conversation as if they are a character in the story and/or as if they are talking to a character in the story.
However, there are a lot of differences from the AP Exam (obviously!):
- For the first couple of conversaciones simuladas, students do them at home (or in our TASC block) and they can listen to the prompt as many times as they want. Eventually, I will put them on a time limit and do it in class.
- We go over the situation together in English... trying to lower that affective filter.
- They have lots of time to look at how they have to respond.
- They can re-record as many times as they want. I do explain what interpersonal communication is though and I tell them that I want this to be rather quick with, ideally, one recording.
- They don't have to fill up 20 seconds! I do tell them that eventually, that is the goal, so some might try.
- It is actually kind of fun and easier because it is related to something (a story) that we have spent a lot of time on.
- The voice they are hearing is me, so it is also easier.
- The rubric is a bit simpler than the AP one.
Here is an example for the story/song "Sigo buscándote"
. Depending how you set up your recording, you can do two things: give students this document (click here or see below)
and use Flipgrid to record (click here for post about how to do that)
(or any other platform that you use) or just put all that information on the recording platform that you use.
I use the Voces Digital platform
(much easier than Flipgrid!)
, which has its own curriculum, but you can add things to it that have nothing to do with what is in there! The student view looks like this:
And this is what the teacher correcting page looks like:
Here is the teacher script
. It might only really make sense if you read the story for "Sigo buscándote"
. The teacher records his/her voice saying the prompts.
As we move forward in the class, students will do more of these and they won't be hearing my voice. For example, we will a unit in Nuestra Historia 3 (Voces Digital) called "En los tiempos extremos". After reading (and doing lots of activities with) a story called "La esperanza entre los escombros", they will have to do this conversación simulada (which won't be my voice):