CSET Spanish

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by vivalavida, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Dec 3, 2012

    Today I found out I passed subtests I and III on my first try! I'm very excited!

    Now, only the literature subtest remains...I have yet to take it, but the practice test alone scares me! I think I'll have a LOT of studying to do over the holiday break!
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2012

    Congratulations, vivalavida!
     
  4. damonbennett77

    damonbennett77 New Member

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    Oct 22, 2014

    Congrats! (some years later). I am gearing up for the test this January. Without giving anything away, how much "vosotros" is on the test (I never learned it)? And also, does one need to know the symbols of the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for subtest 1? Thanks!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 22, 2014

    First, an explanation: for each subtest, a passing score is 220 scaled points on a scale from 100 to 300. If one can handle most of what's on the test, one can pass without being able to handle all of it.

    As to "vosotros", you know it exists, you know what it's for, and I bet you can recognize what forms AREN'T vosotros. That will probably suffice.

    As to IPA, it looks not quite necessary, but you might find it useful to know the key symbols for English and Spanish. In your case, I'd recommend starting with Spanish. (I dearly hope your computer can read Unicode: otherwise some of the symbols that follow aren't going to make sense.)

    The Spanish vowels <a e i o u> (angled brackets indicate spellings) are pretty much the IPA vowels /a e i o u/ (slashes indicate phonemes, and you do need to know what a phoneme is). The Spanish consonants <p t f s l m n> are the IPA consonants /p t f s l m n/.

    Spanish <g> is IPA /g/, as in English <go>, before the back vowels <a o u>, and something like IPA /h/ (like English <hat>) before front vowels /e i/; between vowels it can undergo lenition to /ɣ/ (most English speakers don't hear this, and that's why English speakers pronounce <agua> as /awa/ rather than /aɣua/). Dialects differ on this. Spanish <c> is IPA /k/ before /a o u/, as in English <cat>, and it's either /s/ as in English <sit> or the Castilian /θ/ as in English <thin> before the front vowels /e i/. (English has similar alternations with <c> and <g>, of course.) Spanish <z> is IPA /s/ or /θ/. Spanish <b> and <v> can be /b/ and /v/, respectively, but can also be /β/ (that's supposed to be a Greek letter beta) between vowels. In dialects where Spanish <ll> and <y> spell the same sound, it's IPA /j/; where Spanish <j> and <x> spell the same sound, it's IPA /x/ (like the <ch> in German <Bach>; where Spanish <ll> and <j> spell the same sound, it is pretty darned near the second sound in English <azure>, which is /ž/ or /ʒ/ depending on who's transcribing. Spanish <ch>, like English <ch>, is IPA /č/ or /ʧ/, depending on who's doing the transcribing; use either. (English <sh> is /š/ or /ʃ/, again depending on who's transcribing. Spanish is notorious for not having /ʃ/ as a phoneme.)

    Spanish <ñ> is IPA /ɲ/, but you can get away with /ñ/. Spanish reconfigured its alphabet a few years back, if memory serves, so <rr> is no longer a distinct letter, but Spanish <r> and <rr> spell two distinct sounds: one is the alveolar flap /ɾ/ and the other the trill /r/, but you can probably get away with /r/ and /rr/. (English <r> is retroflex: the symbol is /ɹ/.

    If you haven't read the Wikipedia article on Spanish and the Wikipedia article on Spanish in the Americas, let me recommend both.
     
  6. damonbennett77

    damonbennett77 New Member

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    Nov 17, 2014

    Thanks!

    Thanks so much for the lengthy explanation! I have been studying like crazy for the past two months so I'm confident but still nervous.

    One last question: What was the speaking portion like? I get that we have to speak for two minutes on a certain topic, but is it totally random? I'm assuming there's no actual way to study for it apart from rehearsing monologues with correct grammar and pronunciation.

    Damon
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 18, 2014

    The test guide indicates that you'll have two minutes to think and then two minutes to talk for each of the two oral performance tasks. I'd guess that the topic is intended to be one to which someone with a reasonable grasp of the Spanish language and of Spanish/Latin American culture ought to be able to respond briefly on short notice. What I might recommend is studying Spanish culture aloud, in Spanish: read aloud, and also paraphrase in Spanish. Listen to the news in Spanish. Find a study buddy with whom you can chat about current events in the Spanish-speaking world.
     
  8. damonbennett77

    damonbennett77 New Member

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    Nov 22, 2014

    CSET Spanish 2

    Thank you for all your help and guidance. I am grateful that this forum exists and that you take your time to assist us in preparing for this rigorous exam!

    I feel like my weakest skill so far is analyzing Spanish poetry. I know that figures into the constructed response portion of the exam. I have an excellent university-level book called "Aproximaciones al estudio de la literatura hispánica" and I have a feeling the lit part will come from a selection from this book.

    Any advice as far as this part of the exam goes? I'm trying to break down the poems and rewrite them into more straightforward Spanish to glean the meaning from them. It is quite a difficult task with so much antiquated vocabulary.

    Damon
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2014

    You'll forgive me, I hope, for not remembering whether CSET Spanish lit-analysis task is a focused response (scored on a raw scale of 0 to 3, performance indicators are p, k, s) or an extended response (scored on a raw scale of 0 to 4, performance indicators are p, k, s, d). If it's a focused response, you're writing 300 words or less, emphasis on "or less", and your response isn't expected to be deep, but it is expected to show that you can respond to the sort of literature you might be teaching in Spanish III or IV. Scorers will want to see a thesis (if appropriate to the question, begin with "The theme of this poem is..."), presented with appropriate literary terminology (metaphor, imagery, diction, tone - that sort of thing) and evidence cited from the poem. Exactly what your analysis is is less important than whether it can be defended from THIS text.
     

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