Reflection on Lang Dept TAI Term 1 2015

Problems – student surveys

Student surveys not completed by all students (6 out of 12). Survey analysis below. This analysis shows that most students feel they can learn up to 20 words a week, they feel that vocab learning is very important in learning a language, however are only mildly interested in actually learning a new word when presented with it. The preference was for learning words in context with learning words individually close behind (as done with LP) Most students found a variety of learning methods best, with use of cognates, guessing, and context trumping looking up words. Most students mentioned using words in sentences as essential for learning, with only one mentioning LP as a useful tool for learning and remembering vocabulary.

The second survey looks at a specific topic and Lang Perfect learning modes. It shows that students prefer Spanish to English (this is the easiest mode), that only 1/3 of students are using the aural mode effectively (hearing and repeating the word); that most students feel that 15-20 minutes a day on LP is required for learning; and Language Perfect being the perceived most effective mode of learning (closely followed by teacher, word reference and context).

Problems – letter home

There was no opportunity given for parental response. In future it would be a good idea to give parents a survey link to gain their response and also to provide student login details and link to LP learning site so that parents can have a go themselves.  This would be more conducive to gain their understanding  and support for student learning outside the classroom.

Problems in delivery and completion:

  1. tests not working on ipads initally
  2. student absences were consistent and prolonged in this term
  3. teacher had to learn how to set up homework tasks and tests
  4. student have not yet adopted the rhythm of practice then test on Friday
  5. student resistance to independent learning meant poor task and especially test completion
  6. Attempted to set up similar cycles with other senior levels including VCL.

Problems with department collaboration:

Time – there is no time allocation for yet another PD requirement from us, which means that all other dept business is either neglected or we have to allocate other meeting times to attempt to work through the research requirements for this inquiry.

Numbers – we are a small and fragmented group of specialist teachers, therefore not everyone is taking part in the TAI although they were involved in initial planning.  In effect half of the dept staff have withdrawn to do inquiries in other departments where they teach the majority of their classes or to do an independent TAI. This left two language teachers attempting a dept TAI with little ability to delegate or share responsibilities.

Problems with support :

  •  We have been given no support in planning an effective TAI. As a result we have undertaken a difficult and time consuming research process, which may or may not benefit further learning.  Collaboration with other departments to see what they were doing (beyond an idea in a template) would have been effective in helping formulate a better enquiry in terms of practicality and outcomes.
  • The time frames have been tight, with constantly changing criteria and expectations.
  •  It would have been much better to start with an individual teacher inquiry to be documented and appraised
  • There have been no templates provided for effectively appraising this TAI so we have adopted an example provided by Lucia Ju.

Reflection and conclusions

  1. Due to only two teachers being involved we have resolved to focus only on Y11 use of Language Perfect and feed the results of this inquiry into department to consider LP use at other levels in 2016.
  2. In consultation with colleagues, found that while Maori had not yet started the TAI learning cycle due to an injury and late start in teaching this term, Japanese had chosen to do both homework tasks and tests in class. This ensured completion at least by attending students, and provided better data.  We have concluded that we will all allow students time in class for tests and/or review/homework tasks.  As we are tasked with creating independent learning habits, I will make clear to students the expectation that they learn the vocabulary with LP before the test.
  3. Tests will therefore now be administered in class at the beginning of class each Friday.
  4. Surveys will also be completed in class for future terms.
  5. A further letter home with analysis of LP, opportunity to trial it personally, and a survey link to encourage parental support and understanding should be sent in Term 2.
  6. Data analysis for each student should be shared with them – via projector in class. Students should be aware that their attitudes and learning regarding vocabulary are being investigated to motivate them to participate more.

Data Analysis Dept TAI Term1 2015 Data from Lang perfect – see also data post

Data analysis

Completion data is 0 for one student without internet access and two students currently on exchange in Chile.

Completion is low, with only two students with over 50% completion of both homework learning tasks and tests.

Students who completed homework tasks generally scored high on tests, up to 100%. This reinforces the platform as an appropriate tool for vocabulary learning. This is borne out  by first student portfolio submissions, where students with high levels of completion and attainment obtained higher levels of achievement in spoken and written tasks.

Individual student data is also available on Language Perfect which shows clearly that many students did not attempt tests, although they completed homework tasks.

‘Not started’ data reflects duplicate tasks as there were some issues with learning how to set up tasks and complete tasks on the site on the part of both teacher and students.  In addition, students were not able to access tests on their ipads, a fact which LP staff neglected to inform me of. Fortunately, when informed of this anomaly, LP posted an app fix within a week so that from week 4 students were able to complete these tasks on their devices.

More specific information regarding difficult words and student success rates are available here. This shows that while most students attempted the homework tasks, the tests were accessed by only a few. This was due to the tests being offered for a limited time.

Individual student data is also available on Language Perfect which shows clearly that many students did not attempt tests, although they completed homework tasks.  However, for the tasks and tests they did sit, words they did not succeed at are highlighted, giving teacher insight into which words are more difficult for each student. This is also provided for the class as a whole  in task completion reports. An example is given below for the -er verb review homework task. This data will allow me to review the most difficult words in class after the test with different activities

Here are the top 11 questions your students found the most difficult:

Question Title Students Attempted Question Number of Attempts Average Accuracy (%)
empezar a => to begin 6 25 52%
aparecer => to appear 8 29 55%
resolver => to solve 7 21 57%
temer => to be scared 6 29 58%
parecer => to seem 6 18 61%
perder => to miss 7 29 62%
envolver => to wrap 7 24 62%
caber => to fit 7 23 69%
traer => to bring 9 40 70%
valer => to be worth 8 40 70%
devolver => to return something 7 27 70%



Y11 Data Term1


This task completion data shows poor student completion of both homework tasks and tests set.



This data shows tasks set and when, with overdue submission at times exceeding any completion when due.







Y11Term1LangPerfStudentResults_15 This excel spread sheet provides data on individual student task attempts, completion and achievement. This data shows that while most students attempted most tasks, they did not all complete them and only 10-20% achieved 100% in any task.

‘Not started’ data reflects duplicate tasks as there were some issues with learning how to set up tasks and complete tasks on the site on the part of both teacher and students.  In addition, students were not able to access tests on their ipads, a fact which LP staff neglected to inform me of. Fortunately, when informed of this anomaly, LP posted an app fix within a week so that from week 4 students were able to complete these tasks on their devices.

Y11 Spanish 2014 Data Reflection

Y11 Spanish 2014 TAI report to M.Quigley Associate Principal, OC

What did you do that was different? Focus on digital teaching differences.

Hadn’t taught this year level for 2-3 years. Introduced blogs for publication of drafts and final written texts & conversation videos for internal assessment portfolios.

Used Language Perfect for vocabulary learning, focused on verbs

Used topic and task based teaching to cover grammar and language – students then wrote or conversed about the topic.

Taught some grammar more incidentally than directly  eg periphrasal verbs

What happened as a result?

Results: increased percentages at NA/A level but also increased percentages at M/E level when compared with 2013/2012.  Important to bear in mind that our numbers are so low that statistical percentages don’t really tell us much, for instance 3 students who did not submit sufficient work received NA for 90910, Interact, giving a 20% NA rating for this standard. Ethnicity has little impact with one student identifying as Asian, and gender no impact with 1 student identifying as male.

National statistics comparison:

  No Students NA A M E
National 2014 8.1% 27.5% 32.5% 31.8%
Decile 9 2014 6.4% 22.7% 31.2% 39.7%
OC 2014 15 15.6% 18.8% 29.7% 35.9%
2013 13 3.7% 40.7% 31.5% 24.1%
2012 13 2.1% 29.2% 52.1% 16.7%


Student voice was positive regarding Language Perfect as an online vocabulary learning platform; overwhelmingly negative on blogs for publication. Students find them unrewarding in general.

Where to next?

Continue to use Language Perfect as a focus for Languages dept TAI this year, but extend this tool with weekly tests based on vocabulary lists created by individual teachers which concentrate on specific groupings and sets covered in classwork. Test results data provided by LP analysed to determine effectiveness in terms of vocabulary acquisition and retention.  This should feed into better results in external examinations involving listening and reading.

Introduce Cuaderno de vocabulario to support and extend LP learning/classwork with vocabulary.


Continue to use blogs, but link these externally to other Spanish classes – Cynthia Voigt and Sharon Birch’s classes in US, Farmlands School in Chile and Colegio Anunciata in Leon, Spain to share other student’s learning. This year we have been invited to participate in a video exchange with colegio Anunciata.

Increase focus on blog itself as a webpage showcase not just a medium for submission. Introduce more reflection on blogs or using survey apps at the end of each task. Picked up on idea of asking two students to record their thoughts on a unit/task/activity on my iphone to get more student feedback on vocabulary learning.

Reflecting on BYoD Teaching 2015 Term 1

Teaching with BYoD  Beginning 2015


Aspect of teaching with BYoD Description of where I’m at now Description of where to now for me specifically

Are available to students and parents online (Ultranet).

All resources available on Ultranet for all Spanish courses.

Planning documentation on T drive for management or staff use.

Refining use of Ultranet and augmenting with Google Drive and blog.

Providing course time of 1-2 classes to introduce each course to their Ultranet locations and resources using an appropriate activity.

Learning Activities.

(Where are you on SAMR?)

Redefinition – courses are ebased, with some use of paper for cognitive learning through motor skills (cultural maps)

Students increasingly use online sites for listening and grammar exercises as I find these. Moving away from teacher delivery of powerpoints to making these and other online resources readily available for student use.

Innovate to overcome student resistance to independent learning activities. Provide scaffolding but insist on completion.

Try more flipped classroom – students are catching on to this idea as other teachers use it.

Plan and introduce tasks from beginning of course which force students to use the resources provided to complete them.


Your role in the classroom.

Are you finding yourself free to move about the room working with students?

(Not a serious suggestion: Could you survive without your teacher desk?)

Only part of the time. Continue to develop more TBL activities and include pretests and post tests so students can assess their own learning from the task.
Student Work

What sort of ‘artefacts’ are your students producing in their learning?  Word docs, PowerPoints, Movies, Blog etc.

Recordings with phones and cameras. Documentaries, infographs, pamphlets, powerpoints, prezis, blogs for publishing, vokis, animotos.

Cultual maps and calendars, alebrijes and Calaveras, masks and piñatas, food.

Move from physical production of calendar to eCalendar? Perhaps discuss this with students or present it as an option – some people prefer a physical artefact of learning and there is evidence suggesting that hand produced work is better retained in working memory. (Visible Learning, Hattie)



Are your students given opportunity to:

•     work at their own rate (with pressure from you)?

•     choose (within your guidelines) specific material / context / pathway to follow in order to achieve Success Criteria?

•     choose (within your guidelines) on how to present/share their work?

Most language assessments and activities present students with a matrix of assessment and presentation options. Students work at their own rate, but deadlines still need to be met, which often have to be flexible as student rates are usually slower than required. Differentiation through content – stations and activities present for students in particular at senior level to work at what interests them within a specific topic.

This requires a significant effort and time to produce the required range of resources and plan setup which has not yet been available to me due to increased administrative, appraisal, and departmental demands.

Student Collaboration.

Are the students given the opportunity to collaborate in a structured way?

Yes, students often work in groups or pairs to complete activities or produce work.

However, I have found that students are now partitioning out portions of the work, and therefore not learning anything beyond their small part. While this may mimic workplace situations, the lack of comprehensive learning of a topic is marked.

Some attempts at collaborative work eg Jigsaw, have been disastrous. They need a lot of thought to work successfully.


Design collaborative projects that require whole group learning. Continue to try Jigsaw methods.

Learning Intentions and Success Criteria.

How are your students reflecting on their learning, level of thinking and setting goals when they are working independently.

I found in past years that too much focus on reflection both lost time on content and altered focus on L2 acquisition, as it has to be done in L1.


Class and Individual SC are clearly reviewed in class openings, as they are written in Spanish and students must interpret these. This provides time for students to internalize class goals.


Reflective learning pathways are provided in assessment documents for students to complete.

Continue to ask students to verbalize personal goals during class intros and reflect on these during plenary.
Term 2

What can you trial in term 2?

What activity will students engage in?

What specific technology will support this? (Book Creator, WordPress, iMovie…)

Teaching language (grammar and vocab) through culture – focus on Spain at two levels simultaneously. Supported  by online games to learn autonomias, online resources to create cultural maps, and create infographs and advertisements about regions of Spain and NZ. (iMovie, Class Pinterest site, Youtube, infograph creator sites, Edublogs, Ultranet etc)



Student Reflection on Vocabulary learning

Students were asked to complete a summary of their own learning based on Language Perfect statistics provided to them at the end of each term.

Language Perfect Summary for my course Level 1 Spanish 2015


Week 2 Día de San Valentin      
Week 3 -ar ending verbs      
Week 6 -er ending verbs      
week 7 -ir ending verbs      
Week 8 Reflexive verbs      
Week 9 Daily routine      


Language Perfect Summary for my course Level 2 Spanish 2015


Week 2 Día de San Valentin      
Week 3 El amor      
Week 6 L2 Verbs      
Week 8 L2 Verbs      
Week 9