I woke up yesterday

Sanfermines, Pamplona (España)

Most of time must be dedicated to teach and show practical uses of language as well as getting the students involved in the class, i.e: taking notes, translating messages, repeating words or functional language phrases, copying new words or phonetics. In other words, teaching and practising.

Testing only occurs afterwards.

One period is the result of much writing ( I confess I love writing words, plans, drawing on the blackboard). But the writing is for the teacher as well as for   the students.  Moreover, the good student always learns something from a text, reading or overusing his dictionary.  The more written exercises one student does, the more he learns.

Listening to the foreign language via audios, videos or native teachers is a basic activity. Reading aloud and checking pronunciation, intonation and stress is another one.

Good teaching implies good learning. One studend doing nothing is one failure.

As the class works the testing turns on. Our students are being tested orally and in writing by means of tiny marks. One can mark them from 1 to 1oo score so as to make evaluation more fair. A good teacher must not evaluate everything the student learns or knows in one test, but in several tests. There some relevant points to consider as a percentage of the final score of one term such as attitude, attendance, effort,  interest, material in class, asking questions, etcetera.

Apart from these matters, it seems to me that I woke up yesterday when I realized that some students are used to cheating in exams. For this reason I made some decisions and changes in my exams,  namely: prepare not only one test for the whole group but 2 different versions in the same classroom, to stamp the date on exams, provide all exams with a fill in the blanks zone for the students´s name and surname, staple by means of a stapler an extra paper to all exams to avoid free papers around the classroom with possible answers from the cleverer students, try to keep on walking around the classroom to check that everyone is doing his own job, make exams personal, creative and attractive to students and get a complete and interesting check of their ability for English language subject in most fields.

2 Responses to “I woke up yesterday”

  1. Rafa Says:

    Hi Eugenio,

    Can’t help thinking… how can they possibly cheat in the exams? and, most importantly, even if they do, will it be worthy? Do they actually get better, undeserved results? In my own experience if you plan your exams well, without going crazy, there’s very little they can do to get away with cheating.

    By the way, congrats for the blog, again!

  2. Eugenio Fouz Says:

    Hello, Rafa!
    Thanks a lot for your comments.
    Well, in fact I had always thought that cheating was a silly and unfair thing to do, but as I checked in recent tests, some bad students got good marks and the first idea was to modify my own way of testing students. On the other hand, I am trying to reinvent testing and seeing if they learn or not.
    Cheating is a possibility when teachers don´t control strictly or the students are not interested in learning.
    Of course, I consider these a small percentage in class, but cheating occurs sometimes and we have to make a decision, to make changes to improve the credibility of our exams.
    Best regards, Rafa

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