P is for Push | An A-Z of ELT
On my MA Methods course I've been pushing the notion of 'push'. Scott Thornbury (): during the visit, I noticed that the family relationship I have with my wife and her .. It's a process of engagement, and the give and take is predicated on the understanding of where you need to draw the lines. Give n Take: The easy, local way to find homes for unwanted items. help you find: Environmental organisations • Charity shops • Sustainable Thornbury To send responses, or to manage or post your own items here, you'll need to log in. The cozy relationship I had built up with my class or with individual students is shattered irreparably. . Scott Thornbury (): .. What I still find difficult to rationalise is giving formal tests to 'general English' .. Thank you, Rob, for suggesting practical actions teachers might take to chip away at the.
Worse, testing typically involves measuring students one against the other, thereby destroying at a blow the dynamic of equality that the teacher might have judiciously nurtured up until this point.
Testing is evil because it is stressful for all concerned, and because the conditions under which testing is conducted separated desks, no mobile phones, etc imply a basic lack of trust in the learners. It is evil because it pretends to be objective but in fact it is inherently subjective.
Message from the Vicar | St Mary's Church of England VA Primary School Thornbury
Why is it subjective? Because, as Johnston op.
Ultimately, it is the tester — not the test-taker — who decides what counts as knowledge, and how you count knowledge. And, finally, it is evil because the kind of knowledge implicated in language learning is uncountable. More on that later.
For all these reasons, I avoid, as much as I can, having to talk about testing, and have refused more than one conference invitation because the theme was in some way connected to assessment. This included some straightforward tips on how to achieve validity, reliability and fairness in teacher-designed classroom tests.
Message from the Vicar
If the desired outcome is vocabulary knowledge, this should be reflected in the test. If it is reading ability, ditto. While this makes perfect sense, it does rather sidestep the fact that the very notion of outcomes is not an entirely unproblematic one. For a start, and as I suggested earlier, language learning does not lend itself to easily quantifiable outcomes.
He might also have added that teaching is not naturally measurable either — a conundrum for those of us who have to grade teachers. Co-authors of a field guide to Bulgarian mushrooms?
E is for Eliciting | An A-Z of ELT
And what might they be saying to each other? I seldom see students really engaged by this kind of routine. On the contrary, they are often either wary or truculent, trying to second-guess where this relentless line of questioning is taking them.
- Give 'n' Take
I always advise my trainee teachers to avoid, at all costs, starting an observed lesson with an eliciting sequence: Instead, ask the learners a few real questions How was you day? Or tell them something interesting about yourself, and then see how they respond. Maybe they will tell you something interesting back. Curiously, in the literature on classroom talk, eliciting-type questions, like the ones above, are often wrongly categorised as display questions.
In contrast to real questions i. Eliciting sequences, at their worst, resemble a surreal game-show where contestants speculate as to what the conjuror is hiding up his sleeve.
Or a game of charades with ill-defined rules. In the case of genuine display questions What is the past of go?