ESL Speaking Rubrics

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  • 0:00 Rubrics for All Ages
  • 0:46 Elementary Speaking Rubric
  • 3:04 Advanced Grades and Adults
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Howells

Lisa's teaching experience includes various grades and subjects K-8 and postsecondary. Her Master's degree is in Education and Administration.

Rubrics are used to assess ESL student speaking competencies with the goal of students working toward mastery. Rubrics differ some when assessing students of different ages.

Rubrics for All Ages

In this lesson, we'll look at three different rubrics to reflect changes that occur in assessing students of different ages in the ESL classroom.

Keep in mind that rubrics should:

  • Reflect the objectives and content covered in the classroom.
  • Assess competency; students should always be working toward mastery.
  • Using multiples measures to increase the accuracy of the assessment, including different types of speaking and occasions on which speaking is assessed.

Numerical scores may be used for each category to derive a final score for the assessment. Emerging=1, Beginning=2, Intermediate=3, and Advanced=4.

Elementary Speaking Rubric

Here are some suggestions for speaking rubrics of elementary school students.

Emerging Beginning Intermediate Advanced
Pronunciation The student struggles to pronounce words. The student is inconsistent in their pronunciation. Some words are pronounced correctly, and others are not correct. The student's pronunciation is clear, with few errors. The student's pronunciation is exceptional and mirrors a native speaker.
Fluency The student has great difficulty correctly putting words together in a sentence. The student demonstrates some fluency and is able to construct a simple sentence. The student is able to respond to the prompt with few errors and relative ease. The student speaks clearly and articulately with no hesitation.
Comprehension The student's speech does not reflect comprehension of the topic or prompt. The student's speech reflects basic comprehension, but with frequent errors. The student's speech reflects strong comprehension of the topic or prompt with few errors. The student's speech reflects a clear understanding of the topic or prompt and includes details.
Content The student's content is not relevant to the prompt or question. The student's content has some relevance to the topic, but incorrect words are used. The student's content is relevant to the topic, with few errors. The student's content reflects deep understanding of the topic.
Word Choice The student is only able to speak a few words; none relate to the topic. The student's word choice is very basic, with a few errors. The student's word choice enhances his or her response to the topic or prompt. The student's word choice reflects a sophistication in speaking, similar to a native speaker.

You can use basically the same rubric for intermediate and middle grades, but adjust them to the content, age, and skill level.

Advanced Grades and Adults

For advanced grades or adults, try the following rubrics.

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