Friday, September 10, 2004

Thai Speaking Tests & Students Intelligence

Where did Wednesdays post go then? Hey ho, another post disappeared into the ether.

I tried putting up a picture as well from home using the Picasa software and it is horrible to use, it is not user friendly at all. Its also not helped by the fact that the connection at home is lousy - the highest I have ever got is 24kbps - even then I think that was wildly over stated.

Well, another batch of speaking tests done today and its much as I feared, they are dreadful - ahem - would be dreadful if we used the proper scripts. As usual the word came down that if we unhappy with the exam in any way we could change it. Which of course everyone has and the result is, it is no longer the prestigious Cambridge exams but some hotchpotch of things thrown together, subjective marking and some teachers aren't even doing speaking tests at all. They are giving a mark based on the performance through the year. Which sort of makes sense but again makes a mockery of the whole fact that the agency tells the world that we are doing the Cambridge exam. End result is, the average score is going to be much higher than I previously predicted. I have been so lenient, everyone has been given at least 1 mark.

In the school grounds there are some roads for all the cars to get to car parks etc etc. Yesterday we were leading classes from their play break lineups to their classes rooms. To get there we had to cross one aforementioned road across a pedestrian crossing. As it happens, one of the school minibuses comes along the road at the same time. One class hadn't fully crossed the road and was still partially on the crossing. Instead of the kids moving up or out of the way, they just sort of pointed at the van coming towards them and laughing. OOHHH! Look at that, a van is driving towards me, isn't that funny! Not, oh there is a van coming towards me, I will get out of the way. Oh no, that would be far to clever and require some sort of free thought. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Was sitting beside the big fat yank yesterday just at the end of lunchtime at one of the pcs. As I had a free period after lunch I stayed on but I suddenly realised that he probably shouldnt have been there. i looked over at a timetable for the group someone had pinned up above their desk and sure enough, he was supposed to be teaching. Although I was dieing to say something, I knew he would just take it as a personal attack - which to be honest it sort of would have been. I waited to see how long he would be there as he and Scruffy Doo have got a very bad habit of nt leaving until the very last moment or even later for their classes. The period started at 12.55 and eventually he wandered off about 1.30pm, not because he suddenly went Oh SHIT! I am late, but a very casual I suppose I had better go now. WTF?!?! The really, really sad part about it was he was speaking to the two FUDs ( Fully Undynamic Due aka the Project Manager and the Assistant Project Manager ) during the time he should have been teaching!!!!! :(

At the moment, as you know we are doing exams, now the thing is, his teaching group can do the exams as a group and sensibly do so, it is far easier than doing them all by themselves. But he should still be there, I mean surely he hasnt got it all sorted out so he doesnt have to be there and everyone else does the work? Surely? Hmm, unfortunately maybe he has. After all this is the guy who within a month of starting his first ever teaching job was telling a 3 year veteren who taught in Thailand and Japan how do do everything and how he had created this material and so on. The only thing is, a lot of it was created by me and the teaching group I was in the previous year. To my knowledge he hasnt actually contributed anything knew to the material bank - he just uses it and discards it! Whats the point of that? Selfishness, arrogance, lack of thought, not a team player..... Just about sums him up.

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