Can we be free of exams?

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As a student, I abhorred exams – I detested the whole process of revising, memorising, penning out 45 minutes worth of my supposed understanding of a war or geographical feature, doing it over and over again for years on end and at the end of each, quaking upon receiving my report book. Ah, the bliss of adolescence and the schooling years.

Does any student ever see the value of exams? I certainly didn’t. All I persevered to do was get the best grades possible, which I happily did for all my subjects except dear, old Maths. Not surprising that I ended up an ESL teacher. Now, the Korean Won does my head in with the multitude of zeroes.

As a teacher, and I’ve been one for over 10 years now, I have suddenly crossed over to the ‘dark side’ of the examinations field. Yes, me, a teen hater of the dreaded exams, now see the value of assessments! Traitor! But let me say my piece.

What are assessments? A means to feedback for both teachers and students (oops, parents, too) to ascertain how much of the skills (not necessarily the content or knowledge because you can get that anywhere these days) and thinking processes had gone on in your heads. Yes, THINKING is vital. Everyone can memorise and regurgitate but to be able to use the knowledge in different situations, creatively and intelligently is another thing. That’s why there are those who don’t seem to work all year but manage to score in exams. They are either super intelligent or they are able to apply the necessary skills and think about what needs to be done in exam questions. NLCS Jeju isn’t looking for regurgitating robots. We want thinkers, independent learners who are creative individuals with big big hearts.

As for me, I’m a mugger. But thankfully, my exam days are over…Actually, not. I completed a professional course assessment just a couple of months back. Good news students, you never stop learning and being assessed – school, home, workplace, relationships 🙂 On the bright side, you assess people all the time, too.

Amusing Exam Tales: Click here

Let’s enjoy the rest of the term with Language Lounge fun games and activities.

 

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About mrsmissoveness

I'm Heading the EAL dept and Teaching ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom (TESMC) trainer on Jeju island, South Korea. I'm enjoying the IT revolution in the classroom and discovering new IT tools to support my lessons. Reading is at the top of my list: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go" Dr Seuss, I can read with my eyes shut. Learning Korean is my biggest challenge at this point in time. However, a word a day is my target.

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