Languages Support Materials
The central purpose of assessment is to understand where students are in their learning. Assessment refers to the broad range of strategies teachers employ to obtain information about their students’ skills and understandings, and ranges from asking students questions during a lesson to giving students a formal standardised assessment.
The assessments need to provide information about the depth of students’ conceptual understandings as well as their accumulation of knowledge. They should support teachers in identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses, and provide detailed diagnostic information about how students are thinking, so that the teacher is well placed to know what students have mastered and what they need to learn next.
Year 7 Languages
Assessment Principle 6 Assessment should lead to a school-wide evaluation process
Italian: Second Language Benvenuti all’anno sette! (Welcome to Year 7!)
Languages/Italian: Second Language/Communicating/Socialising/Informing/Understanding/Systems of language/Language variation and change
Initiate and participate in spoken and written interactions with peers and known adults, using rehearsed descriptive and expressive language to talk about, give opinions, share thoughts and feelings on people, social events and school s experiences, for example, Le materie che studio quest’anno sono l’inglese, l’ítaliano, la matematica,...; La professoressa di matematica è molto simpatica ma il professore di educazione fisica è qualche volta troppo severo
Access and summarise key information and supporting details from texts related to aspects of their personal and social worlds
Extend knowledge of context-related vocabulary and additional elements of grammar, including:
Continue to build a metalanguage to describe grammatical concepts and to organise learning resources
Understand the structures, conventions and purpose associated with a range of texts created for information exchange or social interaction
Identify features of Italian that vary according to audience, context and purpose in familiar spoken and written texts.
Nature of the assessment
Written responses in English to information provided in a written text.
Written text in Italian in the form of a teacher profile.
Purposes of the assessment
To evaluate students’ ability to comprehend written text and summarise the information accessed. It also establishes information on their ability to write in Italian, using rehearsed descriptive and expressive language, to give opinions, share thoughts and feelings on their school experiences.
Stage in the Teaching sequence
At the end of the learning sequence as a summative assessment.
Students have been:
- taught context-related vocabulary
- exposed to a variety of text types, allowing them to view, read and analyse information pertaining to school experiences
- taught grammatical items, including: understand and use the present tense, including some irregular verbs; understand the perfect tense and specific phrases in the imperfect tense
- taught the textual conventions of a profile, and provided with opportunities to practise them.
The teacher provided the task to the students and explained that there were two parts to the task. In Part A, students were to read the stimulus text provided before attempting to respond in English to questions. Through this part of the task the students were able to demonstrate their comprehension of information in a written text.
In Part B, the students were to demonstrate their ability to write in the Italian language about one teacher who made their transition to Year 7 easier. This profile would be included in the teacher profiles section of the school newsletter for Transition Day, designed to help Year 6 students get to know the teachers at the school. The students were advised to write approximately 50–70 words in Italian and could access their dictionary to look up any unfamiliar vocabulary.
Students had previously engaged with texts and classroom discussion based on school experiences. The teacher explained that the purpose of the assessment task was to show their understanding of the information in a written text and then to use the text as a stimulus to write a profile of a teacher who had helped them in their transition from primary to high school.
Using the information
The teacher used the marking keys to determine the students’ ability to comprehend information in a written text and to write in the Italian language. The teacher’s observations were used to guide further lesson planning and to inform end-of-semester reporting.
As the written profile was open ended, there was the opportunity for all students to demonstrate some learning in the Italian language. Some students responded with short, modelled sentences and few details; others responded with descriptive and expressive language to give opinions and share thoughts and feelings on the teachers they described.
A selection of the teacher profiles was submitted to the school’s newsletter editor. The profiles, along with articles developed and photographs taken by students involved in other activities across the learning areas, were included in the school newsletter provided to prospective students on Transition Day.