Assessing Oral Language in the French as a Second Language Classroom

Oral language is tricky to assess because you need an opportunity in class to listen to each child speak. This becomes especially tricky if you are in a socially distanced classroom or are doing distance learning. If this is you, skip right to the flip grid section! 

Readers Theatre or Plays

Have your students perform plays or Readers Theatre. I love to use the AIM plays for this. Not only will this allow you to collect some formative information while students rehearse, but the actual play performance itself makes a great summative assessment.

Tip: If you are in a socially distanced classroom, have students perform the AIM plays individually with puppets!


I STRONGLY suggest using a checklist for formative oral assessments. While students are practicing their play or readers theatre, you can walk around the room with a clip board. Simply rate each student on a scale of 1-3. 3 being AMAZING, 1 being NOT SO HOT. 

For summative assessment purposes, I prefer to use a rubric. I think that rubrics are important when assessing plays because each role in a play has a different level of difficulty. You wouldn’t want to give a student who has chosen the easiest role a better mark simply because they have fewer tricky lines. 


FlipGrid is an awesome digital tool that allows students to record short videos. Students can record a quick video of themselves responding to a question of your choice. For instance, you might post “Bonjour, comment ca va?” Students would then not only have to read your question and understand it, but film an appropriate response. Flipgrid is great because you can go through the videos when it is convenient for you. Since it’s a digital tool, it’s also perfect for distance learning. 

Conversation Musical Chairs

One way to encourage conversation in your FSL classroom is through conversational musical chairs. Start by playing some music. As the music plays, students walk or dance around the room. When the music stops, they need to find a partner (a different partner each time.) Partner A asks the question and Partner B responds. Then they switch roles. You can check out some awesome conversation prompt slides here! 

I hope that you feel more prepared to assess French oral language, no matter what your teaching assignment this year!

3 Tips for Assessing Oral Language in the French as a Second Language FSL Classroom

Share it:

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter

You might also like...