Are your Spanish students preparing to take a test to earn the Seal of Biliteracy? If so, here is a short post about what interpersonal listening and speaking skills for the Seal of Biliteracy are needed on a test like the AAPPL test. (If you’re not sure what the Seal of Biliteracy is, click HERE.)
AAPPL Test Interpersonal Skills for the Seal of Biliteracy
The AAPPL Test is one method of testing to see if students can earn the Seal of Biliteracy. This test has several sections, but today we will only talk about the interpersonal listening and speaking section.
For this section of the test, students will be having a pseudo-conversation with a recorded person. First they will see a video and the short clip will show a real person greet them and ask a question. Students will only hear/see this video clip once, and then they must record their answer. Their answer should be any appropriate answer to what they just heard the recorded person say or ask.
The part they hear generally starts off at a novice level of language, and as the conversation continues, the complexity of language increases. An important note is that students need to ask questions themselves during this activity, and that can be really challenging for students.
A student’s score will be based on their proficiency level. How far along could they go with appropriate answers and questions to what they heard their recorded conversation partner say?
Practicing Interpersonal Skills for the Seal of Biliteracy
No teacher enjoys teaching to a test. But if we are realistic, we practice for all important tests. For example, many people take a driver’s ed course before taking their driver’s license test. We do the PSAT before students take the SAT. I think it’s also important to practice for whatever test your students will use for the Seal of Biliteracy. Here are some things you can do to help your students gain the interpersonal listening and speaking skills they will need.
- Incorporate many opportunities for students to practice conversations in your classes. There are tons of ways to do this, and it is important to scaffold this task. It’s difficult, and students often need some guidance until they have had enough practice to be more skilled. I use guided conversations! (I have a blog post and some activities already created below!)
- Teach students how to ask questions. My favorite method is by using THESE task cards! I use them as a warm-up for the first 5 minutes of class, and sometimes we use a whole class just switching the cards!
- Make recording responses a regular part of your class too. My students HATE doing this, but in time, I have a much better completion rate as they soon come to learn that it’s something we will do often.
- Practice similar activities to the kind they will see on their test! I use THESE simulated conversations. Though they do not have a video recording, there is a voice recording and students must respond to what they hear. It’s very helpful for students to have lots of practice opportunities.