An Easy and Effective Listening Assessment

Short and sweet is the goal of this post. If you have followed me in the past, you know that brevity is not my strongest suit but today let’s hope.

I wanted to share an easy and effective way to test listening comprehension using a simple Quizlet derived “Test.” This means there is very little work for me.

To begin, I use Quizlet and love the many resources available to students by me just creating a new structure/vocabulary set. For the students, there are games, flashcards, practice tests, Quizlet LIVE as an in-class game, and now it even speaks to you in pretty good Spanish. For me as a teacher, I love that I can have class-pages, upload sets to Google Classroom, combine sets to easily create new ones and comprehensive lists for games like Quizlet LIVE or Around the World, and make tests in four formats: three types that allow for easy grading (which is great) multiple choice, true/false and matching, and also, fill-in, where students have to write.

This past semester I have taken advantage of the multiple choice format for listening comprehension quizzes. Here is how:

Using a Quizlet set (often my Comprehensive “On-going” quarter list), I generate a few “Quizlet multiple choice tests” with responses in English and print them out (FYI although the online version has bubbles for the multiple choice responses, they print with A, B, C, D). Making many versions of these tests happens with just the click of a button, so I then have tons of multiple-choice questions to chose from like this:

Target Language Structure: “Quería ser”

A) he liked to 

B) he wanted to be

C) he needed to be

D) he wants to be

Then to make the listening assessment, I cut out the ones I want to use and stick them on a sheet of paper. Using a black marker (which is easier for me than white-out) I remove the “Target Language Structure” for all of the chosen multiple choice questions. Then I provide my students with a bubble/scantron sheet – we use the wonderful but I know there are so many other options for all teachers available.

When I give the assessment, I just make up sentences on the spot in target language and have the students choose the correct translation from the four choices. I do try to jot down my sentence so I can repeat it two to three times. So following my example above I would say in the target language “In his past, he wanted to be an artist” and students would bubble in “B” as the correct answer. To differentiate this, you could use more or less developed sentences.

What I have loved about this is the assessment reflects the structures I have taught and provides a quick listening assessment that is very simple to grade using a scantron/bubble sheet. It is not my only form of listening assessments for the quarter, but it is one that captures what has been taught. It has been win-win all around. Short and sweet!

2 thoughts on “An Easy and Effective Listening Assessment

  1. Rebecca Moulton

    Hi Gary, good idea! I love double duty. I’ve been using Quizlet for a long time although this year my students are not as good as in past years to use it to reinforce or review what we do in class. Our HS has a problem with chronic absences so at least I can offer that as a tool. If they don’t use it to study, at least it is easy for me to print a copy of the current vocab! One thing I’m trying to do more of is phrases/short sentences. Have you tried clicking the star to choose the ones you want–or is it better to have other “possible answers”, and then just cut and paste? (I’m a big cut and paster!) Becky


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