The email response is a feature of EvErY unit we teach: it's aligned to AP, it's natural, and it sets our students up for life skills in how to formally communicate (have you ever gotten those not-so-appropriately-written emails?!).
To complete the email response on the AP exam, students are given 15 minutes - TOTAL - to read and respond to the task.
In second year and up, one of our favorite ways to set our students up for success is to begin the year with a PERSONAL email, asking for their information in the Target Language (TL). At the lower levels, they can list and provide basic familiar information. At upper levels, paragraph length responses are likely, especially when the questions are of interest to them!
But this post is about collaboration...which is a fantastic way to have students supporting students in creating an email response that happens quickly, feels accessible to students, and gives them the power to work together to develop ideas. Here's how to set it up, no matter the level:
Group students in teams of 4. The easiest way to complete the task is via shared documents in Google Drive (see below for pencil and paper option). Ask students to create ONE document, and to share it with the group. Assign tasks to each student:
Student A - Greeting and Closing
Student B - Introducer / commenter
Student C - Question Responder
Student D - Question creator
Now the big bonus: You've grouped your students to write ONE response, so you've cut your feedback time in a major way, and becomes a great opportunity to work with self-assessment, to give essential feedback, and to focus on writing as the processes by going back and making edits. Work that in to your next day's schedule and you'll be amazed how their work reflects their performance later!
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