Teacher Carlotta

Welcome!

This BLOG is intended to be a helpful tool for other teachers and students of teaching practice.

Thank you very much for your participation and please, do not hesitate to comment or suggest whatever you want! Anything you need and you don't find here (I do not have all the time I would like to upload my work), just contact me and I will try to help you happily.

I only ask you to be polite and respectful, remember this is a blog for Teachers but also students can see it: Internet is open and we are Educators!

Have a nice reading,

Teacher Carlotta


Making the Most of External Exams

BRIEF INTRODUCTION



Teachers always feel the pressure when dealing with external exams. On the one hand because sometimes students seem weak at the beginning of the year. Some reasons we argue are: being inmature; learning difficulties; English becoming third when not fourth language; lack of compromise and responsability from the part of the student; etc.
On the other hand, we also feel to much eyes on us becuase, do not lie to ourselves, we are being assessed too.

To me, there are three key factors facing this time of the year and they go in the following order: 

1. TEACHERS' POSITIVE ATITTUDE: 

We cannot motivate students, engage them and pretend them to pass a exam when we are the first considering this really difficult when not impossible. With our attitude we tranfer our feelings to our students. Therefore, a positive attitude and an open mind will probably lead our students to succedd while a negative frame can only conduct all of us to the failure.

2. PROPER INFORMATION AND FORMATION:

Preparing students for external exams is a question of working with them hardly and constantly, accompaining our students in the process, taking a seat back just for getting a different point of view and observing; for nothing else. A Teacher that just ask the Language Assisstants to work with students for TRINITY or CAMBRIDGE tests is not doing his/her job properly. A good Teacher is the one who cares about the process and does something else than regular lessons for the purpose of the exam. To do so, firstly as Teachers we must know what is going on with these papers: parts of the test, duration, conditions, structure, assessment procedures, etc. Secondly, it is highly recommended we talk with Teachers who did these tests before: they can provide their experience with tips, ideas, recommendations, etc. Additionally the Coordinator of the Bilingual Programme of your School should give you all the information you need and apart of coordinating the process it is a good idea to work together preparing materials or making students to take a MOCK EXAM.

When a Teacher gets the feeling he/she has no idea how to operate with this issues, he needs to find HELP and attent to seminars, courses or workshops related to the topic we are dealing with. Sometimes is easier and you just need a helping hand from a colleage. Consider that any teacher without qualification facilitates the failure for students. 

3. AN EARLY START:

The soon you start, the better. This is the way, since the very beginning of the Academic Year. So do not wait until January or February to start practicing tests.
The best way is to coordinate with all the Teachers working in the same level, get so some agreements and start preparing students for the specific tests' questions, language functions, structures, etc. An early start is itself a star.

TESTS

  • TRINITY G-2 & G-3 for Students in Year 2:
- Students facing Grades 2 & 3 will have to answer a set of questions from the part of the Examiner.
- The exam last 5-7 minutes. It consists on a conversation.
 As the Grade 3 speaker of English can use the different tenses and prepositions specified in the syllabus (see overleaf) in addition to the language of Grades 1 and 2, they can now describe their daily routines and other events to the examiner, give very simple directions and describe what people are doing.They can also talk about their parents’ jobs and what they do in their free time.The Grade 3 examination is a stimulating communicative experience with the candidate interacting more with the examiner. Like all the GESE grades there is no script for the examiner to follow and they enjoy meeting their candidates as much as the candidates enjoy talking — in English! — with their examiner. (http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1803)
Have a llok at TRINITY SYLLABUSES' REQUIREMENTS at 

http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1045

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO WORK ON GIVING PERSONAL INFORMATION: 

Here you have some simple questions to get into a conversation easily with one English speaker. You may be able to ask and answer these questions with no problems within the First Cycle.  

What’s your name? My name is Carlotta.
How are you? I’m fine, thank you. And you?
How old are you? I am thirty-one years old.
Where do you come from? Where are you from? I’m from Cantabria
Where do you live? I live in Madrid.
How long have you lived there? I have lived there for six years.
When is your birthday? My birthday is the nineteenth of August.
Have you got any brothers or sisters? No, I haven’t got any brothers, but I’ve got one sister.
What’s your sister’s name? Tell me about her. Free answer
What does your father/mother do? My father is an engineer and my mother is a teacher.
Have you got a lot of friends? Free answer
Who is your best friend? Tell me about him/her. Free answer
What do you like doing with your friends? Free answer
What do you like doing in your free time? Free answer
Do you have any hobbies? Free answer
Can you play musical instruments/swim/dance/drive a car…? Yes I can…. But I can’t… or No I can’t… but I can…
What do you usually do at the weekend? Free answer
What do you usually do in the summer when is hot? Free answer
What will you do this summer? I will…
Tell me about a typical day. Free answer


To study vocabulary you can ask students to go to http://www.mansioningles.com/vocabulario.htm

AND TO GIVE DIRECTIONS

Additionally Students will be asked to give directions over a simple town's map. In the following link students can practice and Teachers can get ideas: 
http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=1434

I HIGHLY RECOMEND YOU TO DO THIS PRACTICE SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE YEAR AND,  WHY NOT STARTING IN YEAR 1?

The following picture is an example of a simple town map which even Students can create in their Arts & Crafts class. (From http://bilingles1eso.blogspot.com.es/2011/02/giving-directions.html)



MOCK EXAMS MODEL FOR PREPARATION:

  • TRINITY G-4 & G-5 for Students in Year 4:
- Students facing Grades 2 & 3 will have to answer a set of questions from the part of the Examiner.
- The exam last 10 minutes. It consists on a Topic discussion and a subsequent conversation.
                      A- Discussion of a topic prepared by the candidate (up to 5 minutes)
                      B- Conversation on two subject areas selected by the examiner (up to 5 minutes).

Have a llok at TRINITY SYLLABUSES' REQUIREMENTS at 

http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1045

Materials & Resources:




  1. TOPIC PHASE:


1.1 TRINITY WEBSITE offers a wide range of support materials.

1.2 TOPIC FORM FILES:



 https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6t8KuD9HViOV3dQMkZsSGxWLW8

1.3 GETTING READY: DO YOUR OWN PRACTICE


In our School as Bilingualism Coordinator I offer Teachers the possibitity of developing MOCK EXAMS to help students to get used to topics presentation. This allows all of the crew's members to get a really positive atmosphere of cooperative work and to share and exchange points of view about students attainment and development level.


Dealing with G4 & G5 I have developed the following DocS. to assess students in this MOCK EXAM:

Mind that G4 & G5's reports cover just the topic phase.

2. CONVERSATION PHASE:


2.1 Festivals

·        What do people in your country do at Easter? How long have they celebrated in this way?

·        Have you ever been to a festival in Rio, Venice or Seville?

·        Have you ever been to a festival of food, dance or singing?
·        What will you do next New Year?
2.2 Means of transport
·        Which do you prefer: riding a bike or walking, or going by bus or train? Why?
·        Is it safe to ride a bike in your town?
·        In the future, will more people drive to work or take the bus?
·        How did you get to school today?
2.3 Special occasions, e.g. birthday celebrations
·        What did you do on your last birthday?
·        What will you do on your next birthday?
·        How does your family celebrate your mother’s birthday?
·        Do you prefer to celebrate special occasions at home, or would you rather go to a restaurant for a celebration?
2.4 Entertainment, e.g. cinema, television, clubs
·        What’s your favourite TV show? How long have you liked it?
·        What was the last film you saw?
·        Do you watch a lot of DVDs?
·        Do you prefer comedies, dramas or action films? Why?
2.5 Music
·        Have you ever been to a pop concert?
·        Which do you prefer: rock music or pop music?
·        Have you ever played a musical instrument, or would you like to play one?
·        How often do you buy CDs, download songs, or swap music with your friends?
2.6 Recent personal experiences
·        When was the last time you went to a disco, bought a book, or cooked a meal?
·        Have you ever failed an exam?
·        What did you do last Sunday?
·        What have you done since you left home this morning?
 



CAMBRIDGE KET for Schools & PET for Schools for Students in Year 6: 

TIPS:
- Start working on the test since the very beginning of the Academic Year:
  1. Ask students to take a placement test
    (http://www.cambridgeesol.org/test-your-english/index.php?page=survey&surveyID=7)
  2. Sometimes we think students are in one determined level and other point of view is really useful to avoid personalization. Having a good coordination at School should help Teachers to create real test-situations.
  3. Give samples of Reading Comprehension papers weekly, so students can get used to the exam format. REMEMBER TEST TECHNIQUES ARE NEEDED!!! This exams have a really important factor of training.
  4. Work on writings again weekly!! Having a mail contact with students facilitates this task enormously, since the are very fond of New Technologies and communicates much more than with usual methods.Teach then since the very beginning e-mails' format, stories and letters.
  5. Establish the Language Assisstants' Routine ASAP: 
    1. Working with small groups on the Oral-Skills (listening + Speaking)
    2. Using digital resources for the purpose of listenings and to watch videos of other students doing the oral part in pairs.
    3. Making MOCK-EXAMS simulating same routines than those demanded in the Oficial KET/PET
Finally, among other ideas, I consider very important that students realise about their own progress and level. Assessing skills individually instead of giving an English reagular-test mark is going to be an amazing resource for students. It is awsome even for Teachers, when you had an iadea about one student's progress and all of a sudden a skills exam shows you something new!! "Well, no reading-comprehension; no writing skills; low listening-speakin... but wow! great grammar and language use understanding!! NOW I KNOW WHAT TO WORK AND I ONLY NEED TO GET TO THE HOW!!"

To facilitates your analysis I always recommend to make an oficial exam once a month, so your students and yourself can get a really good idea about the progress. Making graphs at the end of the term/year, should be a really good tool for those more visual.

What follows is the analysis format paper my students glue in their notebooks after exams. Parents have to sign and then, we talk during breaks in groups of four students commenting progress, difficulties, and so on.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6t8KuD9HViOelJJYmptb18zQjA


SAMPLE PAPERS , TEST FORMAT & INSTRUCTIONS (From Cambridge site):

Getting Ready for the KET-for Schools exam? A-2 Common European Framework

Exam Format: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/ket-schools/index.html#tab3

Paper Content Time Weighting
external image 116439_icon_reading.gif 9 parts/56 questions 1 hour 10 minutes 50%
external image 116438_icon_listening.gif 5 parts/25 questions 30 minutes (inc. 8 minutes' transfer time) 25%
external image 116454_icon_speaking.gif 2 parts 8-10 minutes per pair 25%
Information for Candidates: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/exams/ket-schools/ket-schools-info-candidates-en.pdf
Vocabulary List: This is the language you should know. http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/exams/ket-schools/ket-schools-vocab-list.pdf

Materials for Self Study:

Sample Papers
Speaking Test Preparation Pack Sample Worksheet (No. 5)

Getting Ready for the PET-for Schools exam? B-1 Common European Framework

Exam Format: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/pet-schools/index.html#tab3


Paper Content Time Weighting
external image 116439_icon_reading.gif Reading has 5 parts/35 questions;
Writing has 3 parts/7 questions
1 hourr 30 minutes 50%
external image 116438_icon_listening.gif 4 parts/25 questions About 30 minutes
(inc. 6 minutes' transfer time)
25%
external image 116454_icon_speaking.gif 4 parts 10-12 minutes per pair 25%
Information for Candidates: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/exams/pet-schools/pet-schools-info-candidates-en.pdf
Vocabulary Lists: This is the language you should know. http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/exams/pet-schools/pet-schools-vocab-list.pdf
Sample Papers
Speaking Test Preparation Pack Sample Worksheet (No. 4)

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario en la entrada