114: Teaching and Assessing Writing

Join me on the podcast for a Leveling Up Coaching Episode.

How do you approach writing with students, particularly at the very beginning of their language learning journey? Today’s episode is a Leveling Up episode, where I coach Jenn, a middle school Spanish teacher in Illinois. Writing is the area where wants to level up her teaching practice. So let’s start the conversation. 


  • Revisit the percentage of each communication mode in your grading and focus more on interpretative mode at the novice level.
  • Use clear, aligned rubrics for consistent and objective assessment of Novice-level writing in language classes.
  • Consider a single point rubric
  • Foster self-reflection and revisions to support language development and boost students’ confidence in their writing abilities. Leverage the single-point rubric

Action Plan:

This Week:

  • Gather resources: Compile a list of Novice-level vocabulary and simple sentence structures suitable for writing tasks.
  • Develop scaffolded prompts: Create a set of writing prompts that guide students to construct basic sentences and short paragraphs using the identified vocabulary and structures with opportunities to go beyond the expected proficiency level

The Coming Weeks:

  • Create single- point rubrics that align with the Novice-level writing expectations to assess vocabulary usage, sentence variety, and grammar
  • Implement scaffolded tasks: Introduce the scaffolded writing prompts in class, guiding students through the process of constructing sentences and paragraphs.
  • Provide formative feedback: Use the rubrics to offer constructive feedback on students’ writing and encourage self-reflection and revisions.

You  can also be a part of Leveling Up coaching episode if there is an area of your teaching that you like to improve or enhance.  Join me on the podcast for a Leveling Up Coaching Episode.

Work with Joshua either in person or remotely.

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