Thursday, July 16

English Oral Test Bloopers

I recently finished conducting oral tests with 4 classes of the lower Form...

Boy, was it a struggle!
sometimes I struggle with finding ways to oversimplify my English.
sometimes I struggle with listening to unintelligible pseudo-English gibberish.
but mostly I struggle with keeping from lol-ing at their honest yet pitiful answers.

Let me share some of the highlights of my experience!
My spoken words are in red.
The student's are in green.

This boy walks in timidly & sits down quietly for the test.
I try to break the ice with a greeting.
Good morning, boy.
Suddenly, he experiences an electrifying burst of energy...
Good morning! To my teacher! And to my fellow friends!
There were only 2 of us in the room.

This girl greets me in BM, so I say:
This is an English test so I need you to speak English not BM, okay?
She nods in understanding, smiles and says very sweetly:
Baaaiik, ciiikguuuu.
My response was somewhere between smiling & crying.

After asking a boy to talk about himself, he doesn't understand the question & remains silent.
So I decided to be more specific.
How old are you, boy?
He looks at me as if a light bulb just went 'ting' in his head.
I am fine, thank you!
I've had so many of these answers that I just gave him an expressionless stare.

After asking too many specific questions, I found a student who looked like she could handle a more general question.
Tell me about your day.
The student thinks very long & hard before uttering this answer loudly.
8 July 2009!
Great... Back to the specifics!

This kid has been struggling to understand my questions & find answers.
I am also struggling... to find questions that he can answer!
Finally, I asked him about his hobby... fishing.
Why do you like fishing?
He was very confident with his answer.
I like fishing because I like fishing.
I almost fell off my chair.

So there you have it!
I love being a teacher.
I love being a teacher because I can laugh at students.
I love being a teacher because sometimes they unknowingly laugh at themselves too!
I love being a teacher because, after sharing the story with my colleagues & having a great laugh together, I can write a blog post so my friends can laugh too.
Share the love!

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