Teaching ESL

tests for large classes
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Author:  malkhoo [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  tests for large classes

does any one have a sugestion for verbal tests for large classes?

in most classes i have 45 to 50 students. the school i teach at wants them to do verbal tests. i am the only teacher in the classroom and can not leave even to stand outside.

Author:  kiwiinkorea [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:04 pm ]
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I don't really have any good suggestions but you really have my sympathy if you are teaching classes of 50 students by yourself!

Can you have the students do another activity (like a worksheet) and test small groups while they are doing the activity.

I have occasionally done a speaking test as part of a game. Each team gets to guess an answer and within each team each student takes a turn so you can hear each student give the answer. It would only work with very simple phrases (I teach elementary). The other way we have done speaking tests is during a role play activity. Each student gets to be a character in the role play and their speaking ability is assessed.

I don't know if either of those ideas would work for you.

Author:  malkhoo [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:19 pm ]
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thatks for the reply.

what game do you play where they have to speek in turns?

Author:  kiwiinkorea [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:26 pm ]
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It is usually a guessing game. For example (using How's the weather? It's sunny.) either two students have the conversation (one asks and one answers) or the whole class asks the question and each student takes it in turns to answer. The speaking test part is in them making the correct sentence. The game part is that if they guess the next picture correctly then their team gets one point. One student from each team takes a guess and then you show them the answer. Then it is the turn of the next student in each team.

I hope that is clear to you.

Author:  malkhoo [ Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:07 pm ]
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thank you.

that is a good idea. it is especialy good for my M1 kids becase they are very low level english speakers, but still very competitive.

Author:  mesmark [ Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:18 am ]
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I have only done formal speaking tests with college students. However, what I've done with a group of 40 is have each pair come up front and perform a 2-3 minute skit from one of 3 situations we studied. I mark them on the spot but also video tape the pairs for reference and also video taping them makes them think it's more important :) It takes 90 min. to do the whole class.

That's probably not for you, but just thought I'd add this to the pot.

With a small group that focuses on conversational techniques, I'm going to have several different activities going in the lesson. One, they have to make a story using the skit kit. Two, they have to create and act out a dialog from their story. Three, they have to explain that story to another person or group. Four, they have to describe a picture and answer questions about the picture.

The students will do these activities in one 90min. lesson. They have to use the conversational strategies we covered in class both as a speaker and attentive listener (conversational partner.) I will move from group to group, assessing students on 2 of these activities throughout the lesson. They won't know who I'm focusing on and so they have to be involved and active in each. The activities are also building, so even if I'm not standing over them for one activity they still need to cooperate and work together for the next part.

That is an elective English course with 14 students who want to be there. It's pretty easy to manage and they are upper intermediate level for the most part.

Maybe take any conversational activity that they've done and can do in groups. Then, walk around and assess them as they are doing the activity. If you don't think you can get around to each group in one activity, prepare a couple so you can get around to each individual through out the class.

Author:  malkhoo [ Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:58 am ]
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thank. i may be able to use the skit idea for an exam but it would take to long for a regular class.

i unfortunatly only have 55 minute classes.

i do like the idea of assigning a speeking activity and going around the class. that would be very good for my younger learners.

thanks for your ideas.

Author:  jamieboot [ Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:09 am ]
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I would have a set conversation or skit related to grammar recently covered. At the start of class have a few run throughs in chorus. Set some written work for students to be getting on with. then go through the dialogue with each student individually and mark accordingly. It will proobably take a lesson or two

there is a textbook that follows such a methodologyin japan, but ideally requires two teachers in the room but th name escapes me


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