One of my other big changes for this semester was the introduction of Google Voice. This is a listening and speaking activity that the students are required to complete every week.
After spending two years trying to find good listening for Spanish III and beating my head against the wall, and always trying to find more ways for the students to do graded speaking assessments, I have finally found the answer....Google Voice.
So true, listening to me (una gringa) does not replace authentic listening, I am able to tailor the listening to what we are working on and where I think the students' deficiencies are. Also, it is a very convenient way for me to assign speaking tasks.
The first week, I asked students to just simply leave their name and class period, and only half of them did it. <sigh> This week they have a listening prompt about how their vacation was, etc., and they are due on Sunday night, and as of 9:42 on Saturday, exactly 6 students have done it. So, I think that there is going to be a transition period for the kids to get in the rhythm of doing it, but the ones I have heard actually aren't too bad. I know that the kids are preparing what to say in advance, but that doesn't even really bother me....at least they are speaking.
This is not going to replace the authentic listening we do in class, nor will it replace conversation questions that I expect the students to work on in class. This is just a good way for me to keep them practicing and be able to continually assess their work.
Now I just have to find a way to organize it all ..........75 students doing this (with a lot of hang-ups and call backs) is not easy to organize and I am terrified of deleting anything!