Intro self, welcome pps and request mobiles turned off Possible warmer: Reveal the word Exams! Tell pps to shout out any words that come into their heads (especially emotional responses, such as agh or yuk or nervous/scary etc) when they see or hear that word or get them to brainstorm words in pairs for 30 secs and report back a few before exposing the quotation. Click to reveal the quotation and allow a few seconds for Pps to read it. Ask Pps to discuss in pairs whether they agree or disagree with this statement. In the feedback stage suggest that many students do hate exams but not all. FCE and CAE classes often have highly motivated students who are aiming to pass the exam for professional or personal reasons. Add that the majority of students do however get nervous and it’s part of our role to develop our students’ independenc and confidence so that they fulfil their potential on the day of the exam.
Activity 1: Line up / shake hands with some you don’t know - get them to stand up with their copy of Maturita solutions find someone they don’t know and introduce themselves, Tell them they must speak for 30 secs do this three times after the third time, tell them to stay with their partner and to argue over which is better town or country This stage should be a maximum 5 minutes
Find the similarities - Open the coursebook at random Do not tell your partner what page you have chosen Using questions you and your partner need to find 3 similarities in the pictures.
Line up with pictures: Ask the teachers to look at the pictures in silence for a moment. Explain that you will call out a topic instruction that they should talk to their partner (the person opposite them) about. After each topic instruction one line should move one place to the left so that they are talking to a new partner each time. (This is in essence preparation time) As follow up, students mill around and try to find the picture that is most similar to theirs. in feedback they should justify their reasons. Anyone left without a match should explain why and the others should try and suggest a suitable partner. Topic Instructions: - Say something factual about your picture (This is a picture of a big red car) - Say something you like/don’t like about it and why (I like the house next to the beach, because it’s old and it looks interesting) - Say something it reminds you of (This restaurant is like the one I went to on holiday in Spain last year.) - Talk about something in your picture which is related to something in your partner’s picture (I think the apples on my table were grown in the garden in your picture) - Each of you say one way in which the two pictures are different (My picture was taken at night and your’s during the day)
Why did we do these activities: - they are good for: Stage 1 - talk about yourself for 30 secs and answer the questions part 1 second part) Stage 2 - describing a picture, compare and contrast
This is the recap of the session so far, each is revealed and expanded on
Accuracy Tests by their nature focus on accurate use of the language – correct use of grammar and so on. Though papers such as writing and speaking have a more communicative focus – tests there accuracy is paramount. This goes against real life use of English and places further pressure on a student not only to communicate but also to do so accurately. Authority Test setters have quite a large power, as such tests and the threat of not passing a test are often used in the class. This places greater stress on the student and the more prestigious, necessary the test the greater the stress. Classification Tests are quantifying – some people pass, some pass well, some fail and so on. Students are therefore categorised. Teachers often talk about students e.g. she is borderline / she is a pass A and we can sometimes inadvertently use that in the classroom in the ways we react and respond to a student. Competition Any test is divisive in that students are in competition with each other. Individuals are striving to outdo their rival, which goes against the nature of a class as teachers are always trying to encourage cooperation and the group dynamic Rewards Tests bring pressure as the rewards for success can be great - a good performance in at test can alter a student’s life from a gift for being successful through to a career changing opportunity. As such tests root themselves in carrot and stick motivation - success = reward, leading to… Punishments The fear of failure. Failure is not looked up well in society – and students face being labelled a loser, risk greater embarrassment and even humiliation…. failure may also mean the students cannot follow their chose career or study path. Formality Tests are stressful because they are formal. They are stepped in tradition and have roles such as examiner, invigilator, and interlocutor. There is a formal process to be followed and students even dress formally for the exam. This all leads to an air of solemnity and seriousness that makes the whole process stressful. Monotony / Non-communicative Testing and preparing for tests can be a less communicative experience than simply learning English for the fun of it. Students have to read texts, write essays and fill in gaps all of which are individual pursuits. Endless exam practice and going over tests often means that language is not being taught in a communicative way and the students are not getting the chance to use real English in real situations. This leads to lessons lacking variety and therefore they can become monotonous and the students bored.
Balance Exam classes by nature have to focus on exams so it is often difficult for a teacher to find the right balance between teaching English for use in the real world and preparing students for exams. Lack of resources Teachers often feel they do not have enough available resources to help students get ready for the exams. The other side of the coin is that there are two many exam related resources available and therefore the teacher cannot decide which to use. Lack of training Exams classes need a well-trained teacher. Marking work, getting students ready, understanding needs as so on. Teachers always feel like they need more training in this area and even the most experienced teacher can feel a little uncertain about the quality of a piece of written / spoken work. Monotony As with the students above Overloaded and overworked So many test to mark, so little time Results There is a lot of pressure for the teacher to produce good results. The better the results the better school. Being results driven can mean that the teacher forgets the purpose of a student learning English and can mean they inadvertently concentrate on the better students (i.e. those more likely to pass the exam). Unsure of how exam is marked / how to implement the criteria This links into the lack of training. Teachers are unsure as to exactly how exams are marked and therefore how to put this into practice into the day-to-day classes.
Quote to set up the session ie we are going to talk about how to avoid simply preparing for a test.
Taking the tears out of testing Shaun Wilden - Bulgaria 2011 [email_address] Shaunwilden.com
Exams! Everyone hates them yet, at the same time, we all recognise their importance for measuring our achievement against our personal goals, for proving our worth in the academic stakes, for improving our career prospects. Alan Maley
Testing here refers to the approach taken in classrooms rather than the actual test. Taken from Dealing with difficulties by Prodromou / Clandfield Testing Teaching … is product-orientated … is process-orientated … is failure–orientated … is success-orientated … is stressful … is relaxing … is individualistic … is group-orientated … is competitive … is collaborative … is monotonous … is varied … is teacher-controlled … allows learner control … is judgemental … raises self-esteem … measures success in marks … measures success in many ways ... withdraws support … provides support
ACCURACY AUTHORITY CLASSIFICATION COMPETITION FORMALITY MONOTONY NO COMMUNICATION PUNISHMENTS REWARDS Students’ tears with exam classes
BALANCE RESOURCES TRAINING MONOTONY OVERLOADED AND OVERWORKED RESULTS UNSURE OF HOW TO IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT CRITIERIA IN CLASS Teachers’ tears with exam classes
“ If a test is regarded as important then preparation for it can come to dominate all teaching and activities.” Hughes 1989:1
Look at the next paragraph of the above article. Decide on 5 words to take out at regular intervals. Remember what kinds of words are usually omitted. Make a note of the words you choose. There are other cases of people forwarding emails on purpose. Lawyer Richard Phillips emailed his secretary telling her that she had split tomato ketchup on his trousers at lunch and asking her to pay the dry-cleaning bill for the sum of £4 pounds. This email, which was passed around the law firms, was answered by a stinging reply by his secretary, which also went round the legal world and made it into the national news. With the resulting publicity, Mr. Philips was so embarrassed at what people considered to be his meanness that he left his job.
There are other cases of people forwarding emails on purpose. Lawyer Richard Phillips emailed his secretary telling her that she had split tomato ketchup on his trousers at lunch and asking her to pay the dry-cleaning bill for the sum of £4 pounds. This email, which was passed around the law firms, was answered by a stinging reply by his secretary, which also went round the legal world and made it into the national news. With the resulting publicity, Mr. Philips was so embarrassed at what people considered to be his meanness that he left his job. telling on sum made what
How many collocations can you remember? There are other cases of people forwarding emails on purpose. Lawyer Richard Phillips emailed his secretary telling her that she had split tomato ketchup on his trousers at lunch and asking her to pay the dry-cleaning bill for the sum of £4 pounds. This email, which was passed around the law firms, was answered by a stinging reply by his secretary, which also went round the legal world and made it into the national news. With the resulting publicity, Mr. Philips was so embarrassed at what people considered to be his meanness that he left his job. How many relative clauses are there?
The director of your language school has put forward an idea to remove the only food and rinks machine. You have been asked to find out the views of your fellow students and write a report with your recommendations FCE Result page 103
Two hun____ are out in the woo____ whe__ one of the____ col____. He doe____ see____ to be bre____ and his eye____ are gl____. The oth__ guy whI____ out his pho___ and cal____ the eme____ ser____. He gas____, “My fri____ is dea____! Wha____ can I do?” The ope____ say____ “Cal____ dow____. I can hel____. Fir____, let’____ mak____ sur____ he’s dea___.” The____ is a sil____, the____ a sho___ is hea____. Bac____ on the____ pho____, the____ guy say____ “OK, now wha____ ?”
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what? FCE Result page 35 Based on an idea from Jeremy Harmer & page 54 Intercultural activities
Thank you for listening [email_address] shaunwilden.com