Are your Spanish students preparing to take a test to earn the Seal of Biliteracy? If so, here is a short post about what writing skills are needed for the Seal of Biliteracy when taking the AAPPL test. (If you’re not sure what the Seal of Biliteracy is, click HERE.)
AAPPL Test Writing 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 writing section.
In the writing section of the AAPPL test, students see a series of prompts. The prompts are in English, and they start with basic tasks, like creating lists and talking about very high frequency topics. After students finish writing their response to a particular prompt, a new one comes up. They become more complex and use different time frames.
Students are expected to:
- Write in complete sentences
- Show some skill in the correct use of verbs in the time frame required
- Add detail as much as possible
- **Ask questions**
The questions are where many students lose points- they don’t know how to write logical questions or they simply forget to do this part!
Practicing Writing 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 succeed.
- Encourage them (in every year of Spanish) to learn as much vocabulary as they can! It’s the MAIN ingredient to effective communication!
- Create practices that mimic the kind of test your students will take for the Seal of Biliteracy. (or save time and use mine HERE!)
- Give direct instruction in formulating questions.
- Give examples of pretend student responses. Show them the difference between one that scores at the Novice level vs. the Intermediate Low level. Ask students to reflect on what score they think samples deserve and why.