Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tests for Spanish Community Service Learning Courses

My Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship students wrote a take-home final exam: a cover letter for an actual job opening in a non-profit in Mexico. The course content was about creating economically sustainable nonprofits with linguisitically and culturally appropriate programming. The students did a great job matching the course concepts and work to the nature of a real nonprofit job ad.
by Ann Abbott

How do you test students in a Spanish community service learning class? That is a question that people often ask.

I have already shared one test that I gave this semester.

Final exam for SPAN 232 Spanish in the Community

Here is the take-home test that I gave in my other course--a content-based course about social entrepreneurship that also incorporates CSL work:

SPAN 332 Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship

1. Encuentra en un anuncio para un vacante que te interese de verdad.

2. Además de leer con cuidado el anuncio, explorala página web de la organización que escogiste.

3. Escribe en español una carta de presentación de dos páginas, solicitando el puesto. Sigue todas las reglas sobre las cartas de presentación, menos la que dice que deben ser de una sóla página. Te pueden ser útiles estas guías:

4. En tu carta utiliza ejemplos específicos de estas dos cosas: 1) el trabajo en la comunidad que hiciste para este curso y/o SPAN 232; 2) el trabajo en equipo que hiciste para este curso.

5. I hope this exam will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning during this course in a format that can be beneficial for your own job searches. If you take this opportunity to write a strong cover letter for the exam, you may be able to recycle parts of it in the future. Suerte!

I was very happy with the students´ exams. The vast majority of them exceeded my expectations.
In fact, I think many of the students can actually go ahead and use almost all of the letter in their own job searches. I will write another post listing the ways students can improve their cover letters.

What do you think? What kinds of skills and-or knowledge do you think these tests assess? Do you think they approximate in some way testing how we teach in a CSL course?

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