Testing testing, 1,2,3…

Ain't no mastermind chair.jpg

Not the chair of Mastermind

The one trick that makes giving a speaking test easy is that I can give the students the questions before hand and all they need to do is find the answers in their notes. Easy, no? The caveat to that line of though is that some students didn’t take notes as studiously as other students. The result is variability in answers. Clearly some of the students have taken it as a memory test, (exactly what I’m not testing) and will rattle off pre-loaded answers at the prompting of my initial question. I would quietly listen and crack a grin to the student. Outwardly it’d seem that I’m

Bloom’s taxonomy.

endorsing their answer. Inwardly, I’m thinking this is kids’ stuff.

An Elementary schooler could do the same, and these are high schoolers.  All it means is that they can remember perfectly alright, but as to understanding the content and reasons why you use this language, I’m not sure. According to Bloom’s taxonomy, memory occupy the lowest tier while, creating and evaluation are at the top ratings in the cognitive domain.

Despite a very easy way of grading, very few students got zero marks. Gimme a sentence, even the wrong sentence and you’d get marks for it. This is why some of the more fluent students (albeit inaccurate) scored reasonably well when compared to the more academically inclined students. Great stuff.It’s a small, small step towards greater fluency. My only fear is that though I do correct them, there will be fossilization of their errors down the track.  The students that did get zero, didn’t make an effort.  What would really seal the deal if a student would reply in English ‘I don’t know’. Oops; crash and burn.

Namdaemun, best nose job yet!

Namdaemun rebuilt.jpgTravelling to a chance meeting in Seoul, I managed to snap a photograph of it as I rode by in the taxi. I have to say that the Samsung note 2 takes good photographs, even under fading light.

Burnt down in 2008, Namdaemun in Seoul has risen from the ashes. Newly rebuilt, I can find no better citation than the wikipedia website. To have left Naedaemun in a state of disrepair would be like painting the face of a person without a nose. I have to say that I was pleasantly  surprised to see the rebuilt the way it is.Namdaemun, old.jpg