Following the initiative of Chris Stolz, Mike Peto, and Mike Coxon, I’ve scanned some student work to share. These 10min timed Fluency Writes are all from Latin I students with anywhere from ~20 to ~100 hours of Latin. The word counts range from 41 to 117, though aren’t necessarily all linear with respect to class time in Latin.
I use this format for Fluency Writes (adapted from Scott Benedict’s Free Write paper). Kids do an analysis of their work once or twice per year (midterm?/final) using this sheet (adapted from someone on LatinBestPractices, though I can’t find the file).
I should say that this was the first complete year of me teaching with CI, and I didn’t do a stellar job. Although I feel strongly that we can’t control acquisition rates, I am far more skilled at delivering CI now, which means that results like these will only get better, especially with general improvements to classroom MGMT, grading, and assessment.
I’ve provided commentary on the first five since they nicely represent what I see in the others.
Cubiculum – 41
This simple description of the room was an early year product back in the fall of 2014 (~20 hours of Latin). We use in cubiculō quite a bit, so this student hasn’t picked up the subject form, cubiculum. Still, he shows signs of solid noun-adjective agreement understanding (e.g. telephōnulum callidum, multa telephōnula, computātrum meum, etc.). The last sentence is great, too. He even got that duo, for some weird reason, isn’t the expected dua. Note also that plural habent. Not a story, but definitely a list of things in the room. This is a good example of ACTFL’s Novice Mid within the first few weeks. Clearly, a student with high aptitude, yet this shows the power of “micro-fluency” when teaching with CI, and TPRS.
Aliēnus – 54
Uses past auxiliary, but verbs are in present. Word order and 1 to 1 English to Latin translation (e.g. spectat sīcut aliēnus = looks, like, an alien) shows that the student is searching for ways to express an idea instead of just writing Latin he/she knows. The est pulsat (= is punches, or is is punching) at the end is such a classic indicator of this. Students really, really want Latin (and probably other languages) to have a single word for each English word. Endings haven’t been acquired, but the student has picked up the idea of [verb] + ad to express motion towards. We see that pugnāre was picked up in the infinitive form since we had it as vult pugnāre (=wants to fight). Here, the student is trying to recombine parts of phrases to express a new idea. This is a hallmark of ACTFL Novice High. Although I think I could do much better as a deliverer of understandable messages, this is pretty good for year 1 spring (~60 hours of Latin).
AvisVir – 100
Here is a Fluency Write from spring (~80 hours of Latin). This student has been noticing macrons, and even some endings. She attempts to write accurately, though writes inconsistently. I see that she is trying to use dē to express “of.” This is interesting because another student’s name, Evelynae, clearly has the genitive case –ae expressing “of.” The phrases dīxit eī (=said to him/her) has been picked up. This student was paying attention during stories. Overall, this is more difficult to understand than others, but does fall within ACTFL’s Novice High.
Ninja – 114
This class story retell was the final Fluency Write of the year (~100 hours of Latin). It is quite good with only minor errors, which is far beyond what I expected. Interesting how after the initial past tense, this is retold in historic present. This represents the lexical approach I took; we began most stories with ōlim erat, yet other verbs weren’t exclusively used in their past form as much as that phrase. If this weren’t a retell, it might be classified as ACTFL’s Intermediate Low.
Ninja – 50
Notice how the same story retell is less than half the word count as the other student. Science tells us that kids develop in a predictable manner, but at different speeds, and I am reminded of that when looking at student work. This student hasn’t picked up on endings, but conveys the main idea. We’re in ACTFL’s Novice Mid for this one.
Oceanus Joe – 96
(~30 hours of Latin)
Fēlis Ūnae – 77
(~40 hours of Latin)
Mōnstrum et Lūna – 47
(~40 hours of Latin)
Untitled Sponge Bob – 57
(~70 hours of Latin)