Thursday, April 13, 2017

3157. When Big Exams Are Around the Corner...

Exam and test contents should not be a surprise for our students, something unexpected.
Exams and tests should assess and evaluate our students’ knowledge and practical competences. I’m focusing on English as a foreign language, but what I’m saying could be useful for other school subjects.
Okay then, our exams and tests should, above all, assess our students’ communicative competences. Grammar and vocab are means, tools, instruments for communication. And their contents (of exams and tests) and their kinds of exercises should be very similar, even equal to the ones we will have done in classes.
When teaching kids I used to include vocabulary activities, grammar exercises, writing an essay or composition, all biased to rather showing the communicative competences my students had or should have accomplished. Those tests assessed reading and writing skills, sometimes also listening, while I assessed speaking along the year, both with short answers or topics my students had to convey.
When I was a rookie teacher, the first test I applied to my dear students was a complete failure, and they could have not expected at all the types of exercises they had to carry out – they were rather college-difficulty exercises: even the best students crushed at all. This was close to twenty-five years ago, when I started my career as a teacher.
The level was intermediate but my test, the very first one was, like is aid, college-difficulty-level. Now it’s a story or anecdote. My students could have not prepared themselves for such a test. Nor could they carry out those activities. Something else to comment on is how to practice and study for English exams and tests, but I hope I’ll be able to write about that tomorrow or soon anyway.
By the way, I said on post #3148 that Grecian women were educated as wives and mothers, and they evidently didn’t work out. I want to say that being wives and mothers was and is something great too. / Photo from: jaidyn-reading-a-book-1-portrait-of-young-woman-karen-whitworth Fine Art America. The picture is just a nice illustration.

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