I needed a quick assessment so I asked the students to take just 10 minutes to go into the hallway and read as many posters as they could and to write down only the words that they understood. They started by writing down the title and then they could write. For example, if they knew Me llamo = I call myself, they would write that down. When they went to another poster they could not use Me llamo again.
Some students wrote and translated single words, while others wrote whole phrases or sentences. When I asked one student why she was taking the time to write down the whole phrase, she explained that it was just made more sense to her that way. It worked great. As I looked over their papers later I could see the different levels of language acquisition. Some were at a word level while others were well on their way to the phrase and sentence level. I also could see where there were misunderstandings. All of my students walked away from that assessment feeling successful. They all could meet the Can do statements.