This year has been somewhat transitional in my department in that we are changing from a typical textbook-based curriculum to a proficiency-based curriculum. The students aren't used to using the language in authentic and contextual ways. That being said, it is challenging for them to actually produce the language instead of just memorizing verb forms and vocabulary. I am aware of this challenge and am hoping that with more practice, these authentic tasks will become more natural. Our department goals are shifting from perfection in performance tasks, to production at a level that is comprehensible by a "sympathetic listener/reader".
Overall, I think this was a truly authentic task that gave me realistic data on students abilities to produce the written language. This project also seemed to be interesting to many of the students and kept them engaged. Though many student's struggled through some parts of the assignment, I think they were able to use those small failures to improve their writing and also their confidence. I am very pleased with the results of this performance task, and also the growth I saw from the rough drafts through the final product. However, I am looking forward to improving both my instruction and this project for next year.