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Unit 10 – COME-ON, FUN Let’s have fun!

Discussing and using the assessment criteria

In this activity, students will:

  • explore the assessment criteria in relation to the achievement objectives
  • deepen their understanding of what they need to do to achieve success.

Getting started
THUMBS UP! We hope that you and your students are enjoying learning NZSL so far. You’re at the halfway mark, and this is the celebration! Let’s have fun!

In this unit, have your students use the language and cultural knowledge that they have learnt in Units 1–9 in situations where they can show their communication skills. There is a summary overview of Units 1–9 in the introduction.

Language learning is successful when your students are able to use the language they have learned automatically and spontaneously in situations that are familiar to them. At this point, they should be able to communicate effectively in NZSL in a range of situations and respond to others promptly and with reasonable accuracy.

Reviewing objectives and criteria
Students can look over the achievement objectives and the assessment criteria, which are provided in Worksheet 10.1 (Unit 10 Assessment criteria). Give the students a copy for their reference. Tell them that they will be using these criteria to assess their own performance and each other’s performances.

Play a recording of the students’ performances in a previous unit. Suggest that they apply the criteria by looking for one or two examples of each descriptor.

Afterwards, discuss this process with them. Some questions you could ask:

  • Was this an easy task? 
  • Does it make them more perceptive in relation to what they need to do to perform well?

Help them to combine their assessments to contribute to a holistic assessment of each presenter’s knowledge and skills. As well, encourage them to give feedback on specific areas that have been well achieved or are in need of improvement. As the performances are reviewed, get the students to write down the particular skills that need improvement.

How to use the assessment criteria
Please use these assessment criteria carefully. Remind your students that they are in the beginning stages of their learning.

These criteria will help them to deepen their understanding of what is required for the proficiency level they are working towards and to measure their progress towards achieving it. However, make it clear to them that it may be too soon for them to achieve levels 1 and 2 proficiency. They will need a wide range of examples across each behaviour in a broad range of situations to achieve this.

Place an enlarged copy of the assessment criteria on the classroom wall. Students often need time to absorb and reflect on assessment criteria and what they mean for their individual performances.

Preparing for assessment

The students will prepare presentations that will demonstrate their achievement of the required competencies.

They will present or perform one or more items. You decide the number of items required.

The performances or presentations can include any of the following.

  • Giving personal information, for example, introductions and talking about the family.
  • Role-plays (the students’ own work).
  • Acting out video language scenarios.

Needs and wants
Find out your students’ preferences and needs. Some students may wish to make up their own role-plays, based on their learning in Units 1–9. Others who are less confident may find it helpful to use the video transcripts of the language scenarios.

For those using videos or scenarios, ask them to vary some of the dialogue or add some extra dialogue from their knowledge of Units 1–9. In this way, all the learners will be encouraged to be creative while receiving the level of support they need.

In the early stages of language learning, having appropriate supports in place to assist students increases their motivation to continue their learning, even for those who find learning a language challenging.

Determine audience
Decide who the audience is to be. Depending on your particular circumstances, you could consider:

  • keeping this a class activity
  • arranging to present/perform to another class also learning NZSL
  • arranging to present to invited parents and community members
  • arranging a visit from the principal or other staff.

Your students may also have suggestions. They may be nervous about performing their role-plays to an audience. Arrange the programme in the way that best suits you and your school’s circumstances.

Choosing a scenario and presenting
Worksheet 10.2 (Further language scenarios) offers different scenarios that the students could choose from. Although some units are specifically mentioned, remind the students that they are free to combine language from other units as they consider appropriate.

The presentations should be around three to four minutes long and involve all the members of the group, with everyone having an equal speaking part.

Give the students time to work on their presentations so that they have the level of confidence they need to be able to present well. Monitor their engagement and give support where needed. For example, you could help them to check back through the units or play relevant scenes and clips.

Find out from the students whether they need any props for their presentations. Arrange for these to be available.

Giving a presentation

The students will give their presentations.

Video recording
Arrange for the presentations to be recorded on video. The video recording will provide you and your students with a record of their achievement at this point in time.

The recording also functions as a learning and evaluation tool, helping your students to critically engage with their own achievement and work out ways in which they can improve. Setting improvement targets helps to identify areas for future focus, both for ‘next steps’ learning and as objectives to be met in the long term.

Seting up the presentation space
Set up the space ready for the presentations. If an audience has been invited, select some students to welcome the people in NZSL as they arrive.

Get the students to give their presentations in turn.

Make sure that they feel well enough prepared so that they enjoy giving them and can feel proud of the skills they have acquired. Some of them may need a script as support. Others may have developed a level of fluency and confidence that lets them perform their role-play without one.

Tell students to round off the presentations by using NZSL to thank and say goodbye to the audience.

Assessing progress

The students will assess their progress across the outcomes to be achieved.

Look over achievement outcomes
Hand out copies of Worksheet 10.3 (Assessment record). Explain that they will review their own and the other students’ progress on the outcomes to be achieved on the worksheet.

Review the recording with the students. Use the process described in activity 10.1 for the students to assess their own and others’ performances.

Have the students work in groups and complete their worksheets. Ask them to assess the performance of each student in their group, taking one bullet point at a time. The students then tick the box that the group has agreed on. When this task has been completed, give them time to reflect on the completed assessment and to write down three areas where they now see that they need to improve their NZSL knowledge and skills.

Give more time for learning or move on?
You will know from the outcomes of Unit 10 whether your students need more time to consolidate certain aspects of their learning in Units 1–9 or are ready to advance to Unit 11.

Consider to what extent the activities in Units 1–10 could be exploited further to reinforce your students’ learning in the particular areas (knowledge or skills) that they themselves have identified as needing further attention. In this way, your students can engage with the next phase of their learning with confidence.

Repetition, with adequate variation, is the key to successful language learning.

Promoting NZSL school-wide
Consider ways to further promote the teaching and learning of NZSL in your school.

With your students’ agreement, you could show the video of their presentations at a school function, such as a parents’ evening. This would showcase student learning in a positive way and would help to promote the learning of NZSL in your school and its community. Or your students may be keen to make their presentations to a wider student audience, for example, at an assembly.

You may already have been in contact with members of the Deaf community in your local area. Inviting them along to a class can contribute to the students’ learning. If your students engage with a first-language speaker of NZSL and make themselves understood, they will gain a real sense of achievement.

Learners need to have opportunities for sustained conversations with other users of NZSL, and they need to be exposed to language role models in a variety of situations.

The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) page 14

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