Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Thai Kids and Exam Attitudes

Back to the wicked world of exams this week. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

We are only giving two exams just now, a Reading & Writing one and a Listening one. That’s a laugh, them listening. The chance would be a fine thing.

So far, it’s gone pretty much as expected with the usual blank stares, the no hoper efforts and the finished teacher cries after what seems like only 2 minutes from the bright ones. Add in the usual pathetic attempts at teaching, I mean they are not even bright enough to try and copy when I am not looking or more than 1 yard away from their desk!

One thing that was thumped into me at school and especially by my mother - sometimes literally - was the concept of " if you don’t know, put something down and hope you get credit for it anyway" especially in the likes of mathematics where I wasn’t that brilliant, I always ended up putting something down to show what I was trying to do before I got stuck or in the yes / no questions at least a guess. Who knows how many marks I got ( not enough, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Boom Boom! )

But its crazy the number of kids who just give up and put nothing down, just dashes. I have already started marking and if in a block of 5 questions that they have really got wrong, they will get 0 of course, but if they have made an attempt and by strict marking they would get 0, I am sometimes giving them 1 mark or so depending on how close they were.

One of the sections is about using must or mustn't
the gap sentences are
You --------- feed the animals
You -------- touch the animals
You -------- buy a ticket
You -------- put litter in the bin.

The number who are getting these wrong are scary considering this was only taught two weeks ago. It also maybe explains the number of kids and adults in Thailand who lose limbs or have parts bitten off as they try and touch the nice cuddly lion and oh what big teeth it has. Nice rabid doggy! What do you mean don’t cross the green and brown wirezzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got told off today because a lot of us are doing marking in the classroom while kids are doing their exam or after they have finished it. Oooh that’s right, the kids might actually find out what their real scores are rather than their pretend wishy washy grade zones are. Of course we can’t let that happen.

I hope that they don’t think we are stupid enough to let the kids see the answers on our desks as we are marking, Nah, probably another control tactic to give us something to do next week when the kids have their Thai exams. As well as writing their mid term progress reports. Then in, oh say February we are marking their full term exams and in March we are writing their full year reports. Talk about overkill. Purlease!

If it actually mattered and anyone took a blind bit of notice about what they said then fine, but they don’t so what’s the point of all the paper work? Control tactics from the agency again, so we look busy and industrious.

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