I have, at the school's insistence, begun to do oral English exams for all the students. Today I have done one hundred and eighty five exams in two hundred and forty minutes which includes the admin time of writing down th names and grades.
My multiple choice question to you is this.
Do you think this exercise
a) will yield a great deal of useful information about the students' levels and progress
b)will yield some data that will require careful and detailed analysis
c) will yield only a little meaningful data but nevertheless data that can inform and guide future lessons
d) will yield absolutely no data at all and is a pointless waste of the two lessons per class that it is taking up, and is only being done so that school can say that it has been done.
Yes. d) was my answer too.
Another hundred or so tested today in the continuing exercise in futility. I did get one laugh though as I relentlessly dumbed-down the questions for the weakest students. Asking one student "What is your favourite animal?" he managed to latch onto the word "favourite" and plucked a word that he thought might fit from his limited vocabulary and answered "water melon".
On the downside In have rarely felt so frustrated at doing pointless tasks in my life as I have felt this week and I'm only about a third of the way through it.
Sixty more tomorrow, then a week off for a Christmas lesson then the other half of the students in the week after Christmas and the classes I missed on Monday in the last of my teaching weeks this term
And now the School has cancelled the Monday and Tuesday classes in the week I was going to do exams (couldn't do them this week as they were cancelled too!) which means that those classes will have to do their exam next week and will not have the fun and games Christmas lesson the other classes are having.
Honesty isn't always good for the ego. During one of the oral exams today I asked a girl, "What is your favourite lesson?" and she answered "I like your lesson'" As I had done with every other student that I asked this question I followed up with "Why?" and was told "Because you don't give us homework."