We Teach Languages Episode 65: Preparing Students for Tests with Savas Savides and Dongbing Zhang

In episode 65, Stacey brings in several guests to discuss preparing students to take those big, standardized tests that students around the world take to certify their language ability, a practice that comes some benefits but also some challenges. We will revisit some previous episodes, and hear from two guests that are new to the podcast, Savas Savides, an educational consultant in Greece, and Dongbing Zhang, a PhD student in Australia who has also taught English in China.

 

Or listen on iTunes!

_________

Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Savas Savides has worked for a number of private language schools in Greece, and has also worked as a test center administrator. For the past 18 years, he has been an educational consultant for international publishers (like Oxford University Press and Pearson – York Press), and a teacher trainer. Savas blogs about all things education at www.brightclassroomideas.com.  He can be reached via Twitter @BrightClassIdea or by email.

Dongbing Zhang is a PhD student in Australia. Prior to starting grad school, he was an English teach in China. If you want to reach out to Dongbing to ask him questions, you can find him on email.

Previous episodes connected to this topic…

…the previous series on the Seal of Biliteracy: Episodes 62, 63, 64

Episode 23: Performance Assessment, Can Dos, and ACTFL resources with Paul Sandrock

Episode 25: Responding to a Listener Comment on Tests

Episode 52: Story Listening and Efficient Acquisition with Beniko Mason

Episode 58: Principles of Outstanding Language Teaching with Steve Smith

 

Some useful sites on standardized testing in the countries mentioned…

…the US: AP exam, AAPPL exam, TOEFL

…Japan: new plans for standardized testingthe tests accepted for university admission

…UK: GCSE, A Levels

…China: CET (which includes, as Dongbing mentioned, band 4 and band 6 tests, news plans for standardized testing in China

…Greece: Savas mentioned in the interview that there are currently 23 different English tests in Greece, and here’s an interesting paper I found online about Greece’s foreign language testing

CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning 

 

The Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR)…

An overview

A detailed look

A comparison between CEFR and the US/ACTFL proficiency levels

 

blurb 65a

We Teach Languages Episode 52: Story Listening and Efficient Acquisition with Beniko Mason

In episode 52, Dr. Beniko Mason joins the podcast to talk to Stacey about Story Listening and the most efficient way for learners to acquire language. In her four decades of teaching and researching, Dr. Mason has produced both impressive research as well as impressive results for her students. Be sure to check out the show notes to find links to her publications and current projects.

Or listen on iTunes!

_________

Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Resources from the show…

…You can learn more about Beniko Mason and her work at her website.

… Storiesfirst.org is a resource for those interested in using Story Listening. Stories First Foundation was founded by two teachers, Claire Walter, a French and ESL teacher in Tennessee, and Kathrin Schectman, a German teacher in Erlangen, Germany.

…There is also a Facebook group Story Listening for Language Acquisition

…Beniko has published extensively. You can find a list of her publications here on her website, and Dr. Stephen Krashen also has several of their co-authored papers available on his website for download.

…Dr. Krashen and Dr. Mason have Story Listening workshops coming up this summer. You can find more information here: https://storiesfirst.org/learn/

Getting Started with Story Listening 
Learn the how and why of Story Listening in this one-day workshop with Beniko Mason and Stephen Krashen

Place: Los Angeles, CA 

Date: June 18, 2018
Time: 9:15 AM – 4:00 PM

Place: Portland, OR
Date: June 20, 2018
Time: 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Place: Syracuse, NY
Date: August 9, 2018 
Time: 9:15 – 4:00

blurb 52a

 

We Teach Languages Episode 35: Teaching English and French to English-speaking Students with Laura Parker

In episode 35, Stacey talks with Laura Parker about her experiences teaching both English and French to native English-speaking students. Laura discusses the overlaps between the two types of language teaching and some the challenges that ELA (English Language Arts) teachers face in the US high school context.

_________

Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

You can find Laura Parker on Twitter @LauraErinParker or on her blog

People mentioned on this episode…

…Stephanie Schenck @SraStephanie

…Lisa Shepard @mmeshep and episode 14

The book We Were Liars and To Kill a Mockingbird were also mentioned.

blurb 35a

We Teach Languages Episode 34: Assessments, Affect, and Proficiency Goals with Raul Rosales

In episode 34, Danielle Dorvil interviews Professor Raul Rosales Herrera, Associate Professor of Spanish at Drew University. Raul discusses his perspective on excellent language teaching and the goals he and his institution have set for students.

 

_________

Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

You can find Raul Rosales on his faculty page https://users.drew.edu/rrosales/

Previous episodes mentioned on this episode…

Ep 14 with Lisa Shepard

Ep 32 with Walter Hopkins

You can find the ACTFL proficiency guidelines here https://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012

Blurb 34b

We Teach Languages Episode 25: Responding to a Listener Comment on Tests

In episode 25, Stacey responds to a comment from a listener about whether tests have any place in the language classroom. Stacey recalls some previous interviews in which tests were discussed, and gives two examples of how tests might be applied effectively to help students interpret and retrieve language.

_________

Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Previous episodes referenced in this one…

Episode 9 with Claire Knowles

Episode 14 with Lisa Shepard

Episode 23 with Paul Sandrock

Episode 18 with Catherine Ousselin

Resources on tests…

Overview of the theory and research behind retrieval practice by Brame & Biel (2015)

…Research by Barcroft on retrieval practice here and here

 

blurb