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Oral Interview

Problem Scenario

Solution Questions




4 months

8 months

1 year











L1: At the date of arrival, Rosa has an informal understanding of vocabulary words in Spanish.  For example, some words she knows are “dog” “house” and “gate”.  She had just started kindergarten when her family moved so she didn’t get the formal vocabulary teaching from a classroom.  When she lived in Puerto Rico, her family used Spanish in daily life so she learned words from them, not a teacher.


L2: At this time, Rosa can speak a little English, but only words like “yes”, “okay” and “hi”.  She is unable to carry on a conversation in English and can only reply with a one-word answer.


L1: Rosa’s vocabulary has increased a little since she arrived. She now uses words of feeling such as “happy”, “hungry”, “cold” and “hot”. Her L1 vocabulary is increasing due to exposure from her older siblings and parents. She has still not received any formal training in Spanish. Rosa is only using what she hears from family members.


L2: Rosa’s L2 vocabulary has also increased a little, but she is starting to pick up words from other children and her siblings  such as “good morning”, “fine,” and “thank you”. She can reply with two words now, but still cannot carry on a conversation.

L1: Rosa can start to understand some words in a social conversation (like when her parents and siblings ask her questions). 


L2: Rosa is observing a tremendous amount from her classmates.  She is now responding in three to four word phrases like “go to bathroom”, and “drink of water”, but still she cannot carry on a social conversation with the teacher and other students.

L1: Rosa now understands many words her parents use in casual conversation. Rosa’s formal training in Spanish was limited to her time with her parents and adult family members. Her vocabulary is still limited because she is getting the two languages mixed up. 



L2: Rosa now understands many words and even slang her peers use in casual conversation. She is also an active participant in casual conversation with her siblings and peers.



Type and length of sentences

L1:  Rosa can speak small sentences in Spanish.  She is able to communicate with five and six-word sentences with her friends and family.  She has correct word order in her native language.  Uses questions and statements correctly.


L2:  Rosa does not understand word order or sentence structure.  She is unable to form a sentence in English.


L1: Rosa speaks longer sentences with maybe 7-9 words in a sentence. She is capable of having conversations and speaks clearly and correctly.


L2: Rosa still does not understand word order and is unable to form a complete sentence in her L2. She attempts to but it is mainly a struggle.

L1: Rosa can now speak with full and complete sentences in her native language.  She is also now able to take part of those social conversations with her parents and siblings.


L2: Rosa’s incomplete sentences are a little more understandable.  She is starting to understand word order but is still struggling with it.  She is still speaking and responding in phrases.

LI: Rosa is very fluent in informal conversation at home. However, her parents and siblings are often correcting her Spanish. 



L2: Rosa’s peers can understand her clearly.  For formal sentences, Rosa is often using “spanglish” and using Spanish and English interchangeably.

Stages of:



past tense

L1:  Rosa doesn’t have a problem with negation.  She knows when to use the word “no” in conversations.  She can ask questions and use the past tense (informally) in daily conversations.


L2:  Stage 1 (No+X).  Rosa puts the word “no” in front of everything.  For example, “no cold”.  She can understand simple questions in English like, “What is your name?” as long as there is a one-word reply required.  She knows what the past tense is in her native language but doesn’t know how to use it in English.


L1: Rosa is capable of using negation correctly in Spanish. She can also answer and ask questions in past tense. She is at stage 4 in her L1.  Her fast development of her L1 is due to the outside tutoring each Sunday.


L2:  Rosa has much trouble with forming questions and answers in past tense. She is in the middle of stage 1 moving into stage 2, using no, not and don’t. She can answer simple questions but usually she can answer 2 word responses.

L1: Rosa definitely does not have any sort of problem with the use of negation in her native language.  She has progressed with in her stage 4 and working towards stage 5 already.  There is no problem with asking questions and using past tense correctly.


L2: Rosa is still struggling with forming her questions.  She can make phrases out of them now, like, “You hungry?”  She is still having a problem with the use of past tense.  She will add “ed” onto the word when it is not needed.  For example, she will say,

“I broked it”.  Although she is now in stage two, using no, not, and don’t, she is struggling with the use of them.  For example, “no hungry”.

L1: Rosa has mastered correct negation.  Her increased exposure to Spanish and the constant corrections from family members has increased her using correct past tense.



L2: Rosa has not been observed using “no” before verbs any more than the other children in her class. Her question formation no longer confuses her peers however her teachers often correct her questions and verb tense in her writing. 


L1:  Proficient in pronunciation of simple words used in daily life.


L2:  Student can only reply with one-word answers. She finds it difficult to pronounce most English words and is afraid to say them wrong.  Doesn’t communicate in school.


L1: Rosa is able to pronounce words properly in her native tongue.   Again, her fast development of her L1 is due to the outside tutoring each Sunday


L2: Rosa still cannot pronounce words in English. She has difficulty with words but can usually say two or three words. She has started to say a couple of words here and there to fellow classmates who have become her friends.

L1:  With the continuous use of her native language at home, word pronunciation in her native language is not a problem for her.


L2: Rosa’s friends are helping her tremendously.  Although she is still struggling with the pronunciation, she has found herself comfortable with trying to practice the pronunciation of her two to three word responses with her new friends.

L1: Rosa’s parents do not view Rosa has speaking “proper Spanish.”  Rosa is using English pronunciation of her Spanish language. Rosa has been found to speak Spanish with the other Hispanic children in the class but her peers often correct her Spanish pronunciation.

L2: English pronunciation of words is not a problem for Rosa.  She makes mistakes that are similar to slang and go undetected by peers.

cultural/pragmatic appropriateness

L1:  Rosa can speak well with her Spanish friends and family.


L2:  Rosa cannot communicate well with her classmates.  She is going through a “silent period”.  She also cannot perform verbal assignments from the teacher.


L1: Rosa speaks efficiently with her family and friends.


L2: Rosa is gradually getting out of the “silent period”. She is now using 3 -4 words with her classmates.

L1: She has no problems with speaking to her family and friends in her native language.  It is spoken well.


L2: She is now out of her “silent period” and is trying to respond to her new friends using phrases.

L1: The adults around Rosa often make fun of her and pick at her improper use of Spanish. However, her communication with family and friends is effective in Spanish.

L2: Rosa is up on the latest phrases and comments used in schools throughout playground conversation.


L1:  Rosa uses her BICS comfortably with friends and family.  Her everyday fluency is apparent.  Due to the move, she was not able to develop her CALP or synthesizing and evaluating abilities.


L2:  She is intelligent but cannot apply what she knows.  She has problems with BICS and has no CALP in English.  Her everyday conversations are limited.


L1: Rosa is able to use BICS, and has no trouble in finding words to express herself. However, she was not able to develop CALP, therefore, she still has no ability to do so in L1.


L2: Rosa is starting to use more words but cannot hold a complete conversation. She will mostly answer questions with 2-3 words but will rarely initiate a conversation. This is due to her in ability to form sentences.

L1: Her everyday BICS is as good as it should be.  She communicates well with her family and friends in her native language.  She wasn’t able to develop CALP because of moving to the U.S at such an early age, and she still has no ability in that area in her L1.


L2: Rosa’s BICS- She is still not able to hold a conversation but is responding to questions in five word phrases. 

Rosa’s CALP- Her CALP is growing slowly but she is still struggling in the classroom.  Her teacher is going to fast for Rosa to understand the majority of what she is trying to teach.

L1: BICS: Rosa is able to comfortable manipulate conversation in Spanish and has mastered conversational language. CALP: Rosa has not mastered more complex oral and written modes of Spanish.


L2: BICS: Rosa has mastered pronunciation, grammar and enough vocabulary to carry on conversations. Normal face-to face interactions are easy for Rosa.  She has also acquired the ability to gain meaning from gestures, intonation and the situation. 

CALP: Rosa’s is considerably behind her peers in the development of her academic language.  Her ability to read, use texts and write is below her peers. It will take a great deal more time for Rosa to use specialized vocabulary and practice to acquire stronger academic language. 

prescriptive aspects of English: grammar, punctuation

L1:  Rosa has an understanding of basic parts of speech (nouns and verbs) but struggles with adjectives and adverbs.  She mostly uses punctuation (like periods and question marks) correctly.  She can write a three-word sentence in Spanish.


L2:  Rosa has problems on when to use singular and plural.  Also, she cannot write sentences.

L1: Rosa is becoming more and more proficient in L1 and has started to write complete sentences in Spanish.   We can clearly see how the weekly tutoring is helping her L1.


L2: Rosa cannot write sentences, but she is able to write words that she knows.

L1: Rosa is able to write a four sentence paragraph with the efficient use of nouns, verbs, punctuation, and adjectives (with one or two errors).  She is still struggling with her adverbs.


L2: Rosa is able to form a partial sentence in writing.  She is able to form a three word phrase but is still struggles with where the nouns and verbs are supposed to be.  And since she still cannot form a sentence, she is still having problems with punctuation.

L1: Rosa’s exposure to formal written Spanish is limited. Therefore her grammatical structure is lacking more and more as time goes by.



L2: Rosa can follow a grammar lesson but unable to produce complete sentences on her own.  She struggles with subject verb agreement and verb tense. She is able to recall appropriate punctuation but often forgets or misuses it in her writing. Rosa also has difficulty in using proper “ed”, “s”, and “ing”. 



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