Standard 6: Assessment of Candidate Language Competence

For Spanish or Hmong-speaking candidates to demonstrate language competency, a variety of assessment measures will be used to determine that bilingual teacher candidates possess the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that are equivalent to a passing score on the CSET: LOTE Spanish or Hmong language examination.  The varieties of measures of assessment are integrated in the programs’ language coursework.  Below, Table 6 illustrates the required language courses.  Following is a brief description of the Spanish and Hmong coursework and exams that are equivalent to the CSET-LOTE.  Next, is a Competency List describing in further detail the competencies students are required to perform in the Spanish or Hmong courses in the area of listening, speaking, reading and writing, equivalent to a passing score on the appropriate CSET: LOTE language examination.  Table 7, further illustrates the Spanish and Hmong coursework verifying the “where” and “how” the candidate has demonstrated listening, speaking, reading, and writing, at the level of language proficiency equivalent to a passing score on the appropriate CSET: LOTE language examination.

Table 6. Language Courses in Order of Course Taking




Language Coursework

In order to meet the requirements for language competency, candidates must show successful completion of language coursework and demonstrate appropriate level of language competency.  As previous describe in Standard One, under the Liberal Studies Spanish or Hmong concentration, candidates are required to take specific language coursework: Spanish: SPAN 119, Span 121A, Span 134; for Hmong: HMONG 100, HMONG 101, and LEE 129.  These language courses are designed to prepare students in listening, speaking, reading and writing equivalent to the CSET: LOTE Spanish or Hmong examination and are taught by qualified bilingual university instructors.  It is required that student take these courses before entry to the Multiple Subject Program.

In preparing undergraduate students in the Liberal Studies Bilingual Concentration to transition into the Multiple Subject/Bilingual Authorized Program, for the Spanish, concentration, SPAN 119 and SPAN 121A are taught exclusively in Spanish and develop students in familiarizing themselves with major grammatical points in Spanish and the use of grammar to develop better writing skills through homework assignments, quizzes, and exams (See SPAN 119 and SPAN 121A).  More specifically, in Spanish 119 students are required to learn various aspects of Spanish grammar, including morphology, syntax and orthography, with emphasis on the proper usage of accent marks and the conjugation of verbs.  In all three Spanish courses (SPAN 119, SPAN 121A, SPAN 134) students are required to use good pronunciation and intonation and with sufficient accuracy to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, professional, and abstract topics and are able to narrate and describe in major time frames, providing detailed accounts and exhibiting good control of aspect. Students are also acquainted with the variations in Spanish dialects in the local area, as well as throughout the Spanish-speaking world.  In Spanish 121A students are required to learn to use proper Spanish to write different types of essays, such as descriptive, narrative, expository and argumentative.  They also learn other types of writing, such as summaries and reviews.  Students' work is evaluated based on essay organization and style, the use of appropriate vocabulary according to the type of essay assigned, sentence structure accents, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

For the Hmong, concentration, Hmong 100 and 110 prepare students’ language proficiency by assigning reading expository texts within Hmong traditional and modern literature.  Students also develop writing skills through signature assignments such as writing an individual story and play (see HMONG 100) and academic essays as semester project (see HMONG 101).

In addition, courses SPAN 134 and LEE 129 (Hmong) focus on improving all four-language skills of students who are preparing to become bilingual teachers.  Emphasis is placed on Spanish or Hmong as an instructional tool and on the Spanish/Hmong spoken by children in the different levels of bilingual classes at the elementary school.  These competencies are demonstrated through teacher observations, oral reports, and lesson plan presentations (see SPAN 134 and LEE 129).  Formal assessment of student’s language competency is examined at the end of SPAN 134 course and LEE 129 (Hmong) by utilizing the Spanish and Hmong Proficiency Exam (see appendix Language Exams Folder).  This assessment provides a means of measurement in identifying the language proficiency of each candidate (Spanish or Hmong) and a standard level of language expected of each candidate for certification.  The standard level of proficiency, “Intermediate” is equivalent to the passing score on the CSET: LOTE.  The standard level of proficiency, “Intermediate” will be further discussed in more detail after the review of the coursework.

Upon entry to the Multiple Subject/Bilingual Authorize Program, candidates must continue to demonstrate at least an “intermediate high ” level of language proficiency by completing remaining courses: LEE 136 Spanish, and LEE 135 Hmong.  In addition, instructors will be provided with candidate’s language proficiency levels as derived from the Language Proficiency Exam (administered during their Liberal Studies concentration (SPAN 134 and LEE 129).  By providing candidate’s language proficiency levels to instructors in these courses, instructors can provide additional support to candidates that have not reached “intermediate” level of language proficiency.  For example, these courses require that teacher candidates participate in class discussions and activities verbally in Spanish/Hmong and later written in Spanish/Hmong. The primary learning outcomes will be accomplished through readings, lectures, small group discussions of the assigned readings, and cooperative group activities.  Both LEE 136 and LEE 135 focus on teaching strategies, lesson design, instructional planning, and the selection of bilingual materials and resources.  As such, teacher candidates will have ample opportunities to further develop language skills (Spanish/Hmong), in particularly, candidates who had previously not reached “intermediate high ” language proficiency.  

In essences in both the Spanish and Hmong programs, candidates must demonstrate the ability to speak effectively in everyday situations and to react competently when asked to respond orally to a complication or an unexpected turn of events.  They speak with good pronunciation and intonation and with sufficient accuracy to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, professional, and abstract topics and are able to narrate and describe in major time frames, providing detailed accounts and exhibiting good control of aspect. Candidates demonstrate the ability to speak effectively in the target language for various purposes in different contexts, employing a variety of text types and accurately expressing ideas in culturally appropriate language across a range of content, including art, literature, politics, society, and current events, as well as everyday communications and interactions.  Finally, they are able to deliver oral presentations on a wide range of topics, employing strategies and vocabulary tailored to the speaking situation, and present narrations and descriptions that relate relevant and supporting facts in extended and cohesive discourse.

During final student teaching, language performance will also occur.  Required course, EHD 170 Field study C/Grades K-8 is a culminating course that applies theory and methods application previously learned in coursework and, at this point, promotes the candidate’s analysis of his/her own teaching within a bilingual setting.  In addition, candidates must demonstrate their ability to comprehend and speak fluently in either Spanish or Hmong with students, parents, and colleagues (see appendix Program Forms Folder).  As such, the field study placement requires fulltime student teaching five days a week in a bilingual classroom.  Special effort has been made to place bilingual student teachers in dual language programs with qualified bilingual teachers and supervisors.  However, when a bilingual setting is not available, such as bilingual Hmong classrooms, efforts are made to place the bilingual Hmong student teacher with a teacher who is proficient in Hmong.  For bilingual teacher candidates to practice and develop the academic language of either Spanish or Hmong, it is important that master bilingual teachers and teacher candidates share in all aspects of classroom instruction and management.  Bilingual teacher candidates receive ample time to work with students and to demonstrate the ability to use a variety of methods and techniques (i.e. instruction in the primary language, sheltered instruction (SDAIE/ SIOP).  

At the exit of program, candidates seeking a Multiple Subject/Bilingual Authorized Credential will meet with Bilingual Coordinator to review a) successful completion of require course work and b) demonstrated at least an “Intermediate high level” or above in their language proficiency in their specific language (Spanish or Hmong).  This score is equivalent to a passing score on the CSET: LOTE.

It is important to note that the three Spanish classes, SPAN 119 Advance Grammar, SPAN 121 Advance Composition, and SPAN 134 Spanish in Bilingual Schools and the three Hmong classes, HMONG 100 Intermediate Reading & Composition, Hmong 101 Advance Reading & Composition, and LEE 129 Hmong in Bilingual Schools are conducted in Spanish or Hmong; similarly are LEE 135 and 136.  As such, students submit their written assignments in either Spanish or Hmong and perform oral presentations in Spanish or Hmong.  Following is a list of competencies students required to perform in either the Spanish or Hmong courses.

List of Competencies
A.    Listening Comprehension

1.    Understand the differences in the organization of long oral and written passages;
2.    Distinguish the topic from the main idea from long aural or written passages;
3.    Identify the main idea of long aural or written passages in which the main ideas are either stated or implied.
4.    Identify the cause and effect relationship of long aural passages whether stated or implied.
5.    Identify supporting details and a conclusion statement in the aural or written passages whether stated or implied (who, what, when, where and to certain extent why)
6.    Understand words and phrases used in statements, questions, or commands pertaining to the basic interpersonal and interpretative, and presentational communication levels dealing with topics presented in the course.  Use basic language to communicate with Hmong/Spanish native speakers in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner.
7.    Content/Context:
Development of advanced language skills through the use of authentic materials including literal and inferential comprehension, critical thinking, study and advanced techniques for critical reading, vocabulary development through the use of context and structure by employing an array of language skills;
Topics related to the basic elements of the Hmong/Spanish elements of the Hmong/Spanish language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and the development of Hmong/Spanish language skills including the examination of various types of literary genre (poetry and prose) using appropriate register, the use of numbers from 5,000 - 10,000 within the context of a variety of topics introduced in the course.

B. Speaking

1.    Be able to analyze, the purpose and audience, selecting the method of delivery, choosing, researching, and organizing the topic, supporting the thesis, using transition, creating introduction and conclusion; and be able to speak about topics introduced with clarity, appropriate syntax, pragmatics, and organization.
2.    Be able to speak about topics using an appropriate inventory of vocabulary appropriate for the audience;
3.    Be able to produce speaking assignments using correct and intelligible pronunciation and appropriate tone distinction patterns;
4.    Be able to express themselves in speaking assignments using various types of structures, such as descriptive, informative, persuasive, special occasions; and speak for special occasions with fluency related to daily topics outlined in # A.

C.    Reading

1 .    Identify the differences in the organization of short and long written passages;
2.    Distinguish the topic from the main idea from written passages;
3.    Identify the main idea of long written passages in which the main ideas are either stated or implied.
4.    Identify the cause and effect relationship of long written passages whether stated or implied.
5.    To identify supporting details and a conclusion from the written passages whether stated or implied.
6.    Identify key linguistic markers, keywords and phrases used in written passages dealing with topics introduced during the course.  Through this process, students will be able to negotiate meaning by being able to predict the outcome, form a conclusion, and provide a generalization about the passage.
7.    Content/Context: Discrete reading skills emphasizing on sequential development of skills and strategies to engender reading for critical thinking for reading passages, and study techniques using appropriate register, the use of numbers from 5,000 - 10,000 within the context of a variety of topics introduced in the course.

Be able to read and comprehend written passages dealing with topics related to topics specified in # Aand # B.

D.    Writing

1.    Produce written communication with a clear purpose that reflects a good organization of a well-written passage.   Students use both the deductive or inductive approach that is consistent with the task and the intended audience.  Be able to construct short and long essays with a minimum of 250 - 500 words using a good organization and mechanics.
2.    Produce written communication of passages using sufficient and sophisticated vocabulary appropriate to this advanced level, which is cohesive, coherent and appropriate to the audience.  
3.    Be able to translate short and long communication assignments from English to Hmong/Spanish and vice versa with clarity appropriate syntax, pragmatics, organization, and mechanics.
4.    Content/ Context
Write long passages on topics introduced in # A and # B.


Table 7:  Verification of Spanish and Hmong Coursework equivalent to the CESET-LOTE Examination in Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing


 

The activities, assignments, and exams in the Spanish and Hmong coursework build towards developing candidates’ ability to demonstrate competencies described by the Interagency Language Roundtable Scale and equivalent to the ACTFL Intermediate High Level. Specifically, (1) Listening: Ability to have listening comprehension which is quite complete for a normal rate of speech; (2) Speaking: Ability to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics and has a good control of grammar; and whose errors virtually never interfere with understanding and rarely disturb the native speaker; (3) Reading: Proficiency in the comprehension of a variety of styles and forms pertinent to professional needs and typically able to read with facility, understand and appreciate contemporary expository, technical, or literary texts that do not rely heavily on slang and unusual idioms, and (4) Writing: Ability to write the language prose styles pertinent to professional/educational needs, while using simple low-frequency complex structures, vocabulary, and express subtleties and nuances. Writing adequately to express his/her experiences.

As previously stated, at the entry, candidate will be expected to score the “Intermediate Middle” or above (refer to table below).  The rubric informing this scale will also be used as a way to assess candidates’ language skills from a developmental perspective within their respected concentration. The formal assessment will be given to candidates upon completion of SPAN LEE 136 or HMONG LEE 135 as a final exam or, for candidates demonstrating equivalency via coursework in Spanish (minor/major), study abroad language/culture program or other professional development in language and culture, the exam will be given by the Bilingual Programs Coordinator.  Candidates will be expected to score at the “Intermediate High” or beyond to meet criteria.  The actual Spanish and Hmong exam can be viewed in Language Exams Folder. 

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