Scholarship Manager

We need to review and select candidates for our two scholarship: Fita Rivas (Spanish) and the Elizabeth Baylor Neatrour ’54 and Mary Ellen Stephenson Memorial Scholarship (French). To get started, go to the main page for the Scholarship manager 

And choose “log in” with your UMW credentials. Then choose “My Committees” from the Dashboard:







Next click on “Details” to open And choose Foreign Languages Committee:

Next choose the scholarship to review, French or Spanish:

Although candidates can be rated within the program, I would prefer that each section work together using the materials that the students provide, and send me your top name, or possibly top two names if two candidates are really close.


Interpersonal Speaking Assessment

Below is a sample assignment to assess Interpersonal Speaking skills for the Intermediate Level. The assignment is for Spanish, but could be adapted for any language:

SPA 202 or 205


Speaking project A Simple Social Transaction

For this Speaking Project you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to handle a limited number of uncomplicated communicative tasks by creating a dialogue. You will participate in a role play with a partner by asking and answering questions in the following situation:

While you are visiting Washington, DC, you attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. At the festival you run into a friend from high school who has attended the festival several times. Strike up a conversation by greeting one another and reminisce about the great times back in [HS name & place]. In your conversation, include 6 different questions to find out information about the festival that will let you enjoy it to the fullest. (ACTUAL ASSIGNMENT LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS TO RESEARCH)


For this interactional project you will be evaluated in your ability to perform tasks such as descriptions, comparisons, reactions and recommendations, and narration in different time frames, etc. You will also be evaluated on your ability to demonstrate what you have learned throughout the semester, on lexical accuracy, and on language control including: grammar, fluency, and pronunciation. Each team is asked to practice in a conversational dialogue of 6-8 interactions[1] per student.  Also, keep in mind that in light of the evaluation criteria, students should choose topics which allow them to use grammar and vocabulary studied in class.

Students will record their conversations using their video recording app. The conversation should be planned but not scripted. Practice will be important so that students do not sound as if they are reciting a script but rather engaging in an exchange of ideas. It is key to keep in mind that this is not an interrogation where one student asks and the other responds. Such format will lead to a grade of 0 (zero). Students will be able to have one flash card in front of them, but they will not be allowed to read entire sentences [if that happens, your grade will be 0 (zero)]. Rather, each student will follow the technique of READ, LOOK UP, & SPEAK in such a way that we can mimic a real conversation.

Proficiency Rubric  –Intermediate Low

Interpersonal speaking skills (Note that this Rubric is available in Canvas for UMW MLL instructors. Substitute “Interpersonal Speaking” in Step 6 of the instructions here: 

Criteria Description Exceeds Meets Dos not meet
Communicative Functions


Describes, Compares, and Narrates in different time frames, Expresses likes and dislikes

Makes recommendations, Talks about the future

Cultural Awareness


Demonstrates some cultural knowledge of the regions studied. Uses some culturally appropriate vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Uses some gestures and body language of the target culture
Fluency and Pronunciation


Uses pronunciation and intonation patterns which can be understood by a native speaker accustomed to interacting with language learners. Makes false starts and pauses frequently. Recombines learned vocabulary and sentence structures demonstrating full control of present tense and evidence of some control of other time frames


May use paraphrasing, question-asking circumlocution, and other strategies to avoid a breakdown in communication. Recognizes and uses vocabulary from a variety of topics.


Uses and recognizes vocabulary from a variety of thematic groups.
Language Accuracy


Able to create a dialogue about familiar topics in present tense using simple sentences and/or strings of sentences. Recognizes some of their own errors and make appropriate adjustments. Exhibits a decline in grammatical accuracy as creativity in language production increases.
SOL Students can participate in conversations using a combination of simple and complex sentences when talking about course-related themes, such as current events, social issues, popular culture, literature, music or history.


Meets Does not meet


**It is expected that all members in a group participate actively and equally for the benefit of all.

[1] An interaction here consists of a series of sentences that lead to a conversation. In English, an ideal sentence should contain at least 17 words. You and your team must make an effort to express thoughts in Spanish that have similar length.

How to use Canvas Rubrics for MLL outcomes assessment

Below are some instructions and visuals for how to use our common department rubrics for General Education assessment of the Student Learning Outcomes for modern languages. Our first SLO that we will be assessing is on writing, evaluating a paragraph that students write in class without the aid of dictionaries or textbooks. Here are 10 steps to guide you through it, plus some advice on how to use it for a grade (or not).

Step 1: Create an “Assignment” in Canvas

Canvas step 1

Step 2: Give the assignment a name (like “Writing Assessment”) and choose “No submission” since they will be writing the composition in class and turning in hand-written paragraphs

Canvas Step 2

Step 3: Choose “Save and publish” at the bottom of the page

Canvas Step 3

Step 4: Add a rubric to the published assignment

Canvas Step 4

Step 5: Select “Find a Rubric” at the top of the “Create rubric” box

Canvas Step 5

Step 6: Under “Find existing Rubric”/ Modern Languages/Presentational Writing,

select “Use This Rubric” at the bottom.

Canvas Step 6

Step 7: When you are ready to enter student results, choose “Speed Grader” from the assignment that you created

Canvas Step 7

Step 8: For each student, select “View Rubric”

Canvas Step 8

Step 9: Fill out the rubric and the Student Learning Outcome and “Save”. Note that you can click on “View longer description” in the Criteria column for a more detailed description of each evaluation area.

Canvas Step 9

Step 10: Click the arrows on the top blue bar to advance through the students in your class. That’s it!

Grading: If this composition is also for a grade, you can also use this rubric as the grade by editing the Rubric after step 6 and selecting “Use this rubric for assignment grading”

Canvas Step 6b

Canvas Step 6c

You will need to give the assignment a value (4 points) in Step 1 above.

If you already use Canvas grading but want to assign a different value for grading, you can either just assign the grade directly in box above the Rubric (note, this also requires giving the assignment a point or percentage value in Step 1 when you set it up, which can be different from the rubric):

Canvas Step 8c




Or you can create a new assignment in Canvas and grade as you usually do. If you don’t plan to count the grade for this particular outcomes assignment, you’ll also need to “mute” it in your gradebook:

Canvas Step 10


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For Next Year’s Freshman

For Next Year’s Freshman

This should take about 10-15 minutes. I’d love for you to forward the letters to me afterwards. I may use so them for new student materials.

Have students write a letter to next year’s freshmen. Suggested topics to cover:

1. What is one idea you learned this semester or last that got you really excited?

2. What is one thing that changed how you viewed the world?

3. What was your biggest mistake?

4. What have you done to correct your biggest mistake?

5. What was your biggest success?

6. What is your learning style?

7. How have you changed?

8. What would you tell entering UMW freshmen?