Friday, April 14, 2017

3158. How to Train for Exams

How to train oneself for exams and tests? Daily. Every single day. That’s the answer. I mean: through classes and personal work and studying. And the teacher will help his students by telling them about adequate learning strategies, plus the ones the very students will apply or otherwise discard, if they aren’t useful.
As I’ve said somewhere else many students, on their own, don’t know how to prepare themselves for exams of English as a foreign or second language. Because the thing is different as in History or math for example.
They take their textbooks or tablets or iPads and… so what? Well the thing is different in these two latter cases, because those electronic devices can nicely help to practice for an exam and they are interactive.
What if the textbook is a printed book?
I knew a student, more than thirty years ago, who one day, when already tired of not knowing how to deal with his English textbook, he took it and… started to carefully and willingly read the texts and stories of the characters of his book, and took some more interest in those stories and began to read the texts, which contained grammar patterns, and that student took the stories and read them twice, thrice, trying to enjoy and understand them, and… his grades started also to improve, and he got able to use those grammar patterns for communication, plus that vocabulary too, and his grades became better and better.
Nobody had taught him how to do it. He was his own teacher. And his real English-language teachers over years recognized his effort and change: he even was able to write compositions and essays, with fewer and fewer mistakes, and also was able to read and understand and enjoy his first novel in English: Animal Farm.
And in the end he got “sobresaliente”, which in Spain is the highest grade. We teachers could save and prevent from this long pathway to our students, but ultimately, it’s them who will have to learn on their own, together with their classmates’ and teachers’ assistance and help, for instance by learning strategies from their classmates and teachers.
So as to finish, let’s one day take the textbook to the classroom and let’s elicit from the students how to face its studying and how to learn from it. More and more our students in the classroom will try to suggest the best ways to tackle that interesting book.
/ Photo from: country_house_2-wallpaper-3840x2160 medhaindia com. The picture might show a house typical of a story, like the ones our students could maybe find in their textbooks. Studying from books and the Internet is great and we have to convince our students about that point! A teacher can be the most appropriate person to teach about how to study and learn, because he’s an expert in those mental operations and techniques!

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