Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Speaking Evaluation

I used to finish the speaking test portion of exams exhausted. I have around 200 students, so me personally, having a conversation with every one of them was too much for this introvert. The good students were fine and kind of fun but the bad ones used to wear me down. Like the one who didn't open their book until 2 minutes before the test and didn't know a single thing of what we'd studied that semester. But, then I felt like I had to try to help them and make them understand, or make it easier for them so they weren't embarrassed.

Now, I've revised my system (thanks to Jinks for his genius!) to make it more difficult for the students and easier for me. I give them a list of possible test questions (probably 12-20). They need to study all of them. Then, I take them to my office in random groups of 6 and from there I'll pick 2 random people and they have to ask each 4 questions each, but they can't ask the same question that was asked of them. They get 1 point for each correct question they formulate. Then, the answers I grade on a scale of 0-4 for a total of 20 points on the test. This would work well with 3 questions too, for a total of 15 points.

It's better for the students because they get practice asking questions, which they rarely have to do in conversational English classes. Plus, the 4 points I give them for it are just like freebies for the people who study.

It's better for me because I just observe. I keep things moving along and jump in if someone doesn't state a correct question but besides that I don't do much. It's also easier to grade fairly if I don't have to interact but can just focus on observing. The students who don't study are forced to say, "I don't know" and then we move on from there and that's that. There's no stress on my end to try and help them, exhausting me in the process.

And...I can do a class of 20 in under an hour.

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