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Taking the tears out of
testing
Shaun Wilden - Germany 2010
shaunwilden@gmail.com
Exams!
Everyone hates them yet, at the same time,
we all recognise their importance for
measuring our achievement against ...
Aims of talk:
•You’ll explore why there are tears
•You’ll be discussing teaching versus testing
•You’ll be considering how...
Introductions
– Talk about what you do
– Talk about where you live
– Talk about your family
– Talk about which is better, ...
Open the coursebook at random
Do not tell your partner what page you
have chosen
Using questions you and your partner
n...
Line up with pictures
 Choose a new picture and a new partner
 Study your picture and listen for the teacher’s
instructi...
With a partner:
a)consider how relevant these
activities are for exam training
b)decide which part(s) of they
exam they pr...
Reflection
1. Introduce yourself
2. Similarities
3. Line up with pictures
4. Reflection
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2
Parts 3 /4
1. Do they have a fourth of July in England?
2. How many birth days does the average person have?
3. Some months have 31 d...
1. How did feel about the test?
2. Was it a fair test?
3. Were you well-prepared for the test?
4. Did this test improve yo...
Testing Teaching
… is product-orientated … is process-orientated
… is failure–orientated … is success-orientated
… is stre...
ACCURACY
AUTHORITY
CLASSIFICATION
COMPETITION
FORMALITY
MONOTONYNO COMMUNICATION
PUNISHMENTS
REWARDS Students’
tears
with ...
BALANCE
RESOURCES
TRAINING
MONOTONY
OVERLOADED AND OVERWORKED
RESULTS
UNSURE OF
HOW TO
IMPLEMENT
ASSESSMENT
CRITIERIA IN
C...
“If a test is regarded as
important then preparation for
it can come to dominate all
teaching and activities.”
Hughes 1989...
But they also need….
• to see their studies in a broader context
• to be able to assess themselves
• to develop their stud...
• This is a sample of an open-cloze text.
• What kind of words are omitted?
Email is wonderful …means (0)…….. communicatio...
Look at the next paragraph of the above article. Decide on 5
words to take out at regular intervals. Remember what kinds o...
There are other cases of people forwarding emails on
purpose. Lawyer Richard Phillips emailed his secretary
telling her th...
How many collocations can you remember?
There are other cases of people forwarding emails on
purpose. Lawyer Richard Phill...
wordle.net
The director of your language school has put
forward an idea to remove the only food and rinks
machine. You have been aske...
 letter
 email
 article
 essay
 report
 story
 review
What we write in the FCE exam
• To encourage
students to
breakdown the task
and ensure they fulfill
all the task
requirements make
sure they always ask
...
http://www.text2mindmap.com/
punctual
noun
enjoy
adj
sensitive
opposite
legal
opposite
high
adverb
important
noun
popular
noun
appear
opposite
distingu...
Sure 100 % Not 100 %
Shaun
https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/20
10/09/100902_6min_new_w...
Authentic English (written sources)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS
_Anson_(1781)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/a...
But they also need….
• to see their studies in a broader context
• to be able to assess themselves
• to develop their stud...
Thank you for listening
shaunwilden@gmail.com
shaunwilden.com
Testgermany
Testgermany
Testgermany
Testgermany
Testgermany
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Testgermany

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talk given at cambridge esol day in germany

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  • 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.
  • Transcript of "Testgermany"

    1. 1. Taking the tears out of testing Shaun Wilden - Germany 2010 shaunwilden@gmail.com
    2. 2. 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
    3. 3. Aims of talk: •You’ll explore why there are tears •You’ll be discussing teaching versus testing •You’ll be considering how to help students •You’ll do some activities you can apply in and out class
    4. 4. Introductions – Talk about what you do – Talk about where you live – Talk about your family – Talk about which is better, the city or the country  Introduce yourself and…
    5. 5. 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. Find the similarities
    6. 6. Line up with pictures  Choose a new picture and a new partner  Study your picture and listen for the teacher’s instructions – Say something factual about your picture – Say something you like/don’t like about it and why – Say something it reminds you of – Talk about something in your picture which is related to something in your partner’s picture – Each of you say one way in which the two pictures are different
    7. 7. With a partner: a)consider how relevant these activities are for exam training b)decide which part(s) of they exam they practice Reflection
    8. 8. Reflection 1. Introduce yourself 2. Similarities 3. Line up with pictures 4. Reflection Part 1 Part 2 Part 2 Parts 3 /4
    9. 9. 1. Do they have a fourth of July in England? 2. How many birth days does the average person have? 3. Some months have 31 days; how many have 28? 4. In baseball, how many outs are there in an inning? 5. Can a California man legally marry his widow's sister? 6. Divide 30 by 1/2 and add 10. What is the answer? 7. If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have? 8. A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How many minutes would the pills last? 9. How many members of each animal did Moses take on the ark? 10. How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen? Taken from www.pressanykey.com You have 5 minutes - No talking please! Yes One All Six No 70 2 60 minutes None - it was Noah 12
    10. 10. 1. How did feel about the test? 2. Was it a fair test? 3. Were you well-prepared for the test? 4. Did this test improve your English?
    11. 11. 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 Testing here refers to the approach taken in classrooms rather than the actual test. Taken from Dealing with difficulties by Prodromou / Clandfield
    12. 12. ACCURACY AUTHORITY CLASSIFICATION COMPETITION FORMALITY MONOTONYNO COMMUNICATION PUNISHMENTS REWARDS Students’ tears with exam classes
    13. 13. BALANCE RESOURCES TRAINING MONOTONY OVERLOADED AND OVERWORKED RESULTS UNSURE OF HOW TO IMPLEMENT ASSESSMENT CRITIERIA IN CLASS Teachers’ tears with exam classes
    14. 14. “If a test is regarded as important then preparation for it can come to dominate all teaching and activities.” Hughes 1989:1
    15. 15. But they also need…. • to see their studies in a broader context • to be able to assess themselves • to develop their study skills • to build/sustain motivation levels How can we remove the tears? In order to be successful students need… •to know exactly what is in the exam •to be able to analyse what each task entails •to apply important strategies studied in class to the actual exam
    16. 16. • This is a sample of an open-cloze text. • What kind of words are omitted? Email is wonderful …means (0)…….. communication. It’s easy, it’s fast– but sometimes one little click of the ‘send’ button can spell disaster. How many times have emails been sent to the …(1)…….. person or to several people …(2)…….. just one person? Dave Gethings got ……(3) ….. trouble when he replied to a birthday invitation. He emailed back a joking, but extremely rude reply, not only to his friend but also to his manager, the secretaries, directors – to …(4)…….. in the company, in fact. FCE Result page 88.
    17. 17. 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.
    18. 18. 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
    19. 19. 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?
    20. 20. wordle.net
    21. 21. 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
    22. 22.  letter  email  article  essay  report  story  review What we write in the FCE exam
    23. 23. • To encourage students to breakdown the task and ensure they fulfill all the task requirements make sure they always ask themselves the key orientation questions • Who • What • Why Task Analysis
    24. 24. http://www.text2mindmap.com/
    25. 25. punctual noun enjoy adj sensitive opposite legal opposite high adverb important noun popular noun appear opposite distinguish adj sane opp aware noun act noun honest opp likely opp injured noun polite noun excite noun believe adj length verb patient opp fast adverb happy noun popular opp comfort opp
    26. 26. Sure 100 % Not 100 % Shaun https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/20 10/09/100902_6min_new_words_page.shtml Baggravation Blogroll gastrosexual quantitative easing Slugfest tombstoning upcycler vuvuzela
    27. 27. Authentic English (written sources) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS _Anson_(1781) http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/artic es/2007/12/24/aboutcornwall_hmsanson_f eature.shtml Authentic language - listening http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.a spx?14507
    28. 28. But they also need…. • to see their studies in a broader context • to be able to assess themselves • to develop their study skills • to build/sustain motivation levels How can we remove the tears? In order to be successful students need… •to know exactly what is in the exam •to be able to analyse what each task entails •to apply important strategies studied in class to the actual exam
    29. 29. Thank you for listening shaunwilden@gmail.com shaunwilden.com

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