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Re: Oral Exams

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  • Nancy Buswell
    Dave Kees had some good points in his message. I ve wondered myself in my five years of teaching in China what the best way to grade is. It seems unfair to
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1 2:58 AM
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      Dave Kees had some good points in his message. I've wondered myself in
      my five years of teaching in China what the best way to grade is. It
      seems unfair to grade on the basis of their speaking level, which may
      or may not have anything to do with what they have learned in your
      class. I think it was Leslie who wrote a year ago that the best way
      would be to test them at the beginning and then at the end to see how
      much progress was made. I don't have the skills to do this, and don't
      want to take the time. My solution is to basically grade them on their
      interest and effort. They show their interest by attending class and
      participating. They show their effort by doing assignments. I haven't
      perfected (ha!) my method yet, but my idea for the final exam is from a
      high school teacher I had long ago who told us to make a contract to
      decide what grade we will get, based on how much work we wanted to do.
      To apply that to my university oral English class, I told the students
      that if they were happy with an 85 (assuming that they had participated
      in class, not had any unexcused absences and had done all the
      assignments), then they wouldn't have to do anything for their final
      exam. If they wanted to make a 90 or higher, they could get together
      with a friend or two and create a 3-minute short play on a subject that
      I give them. They have one week to work on the play. While they
      practice with their friends they are getting English practice in, and
      that's what we want, isn't it? To refine my idea, I might have two
      levels of final exam assignments, one harder than the other, but I
      haven't tried this yet. Note: I'm not sure that this idea will work
      with English majors, who are graded more strictly. I have only used it
      with non-English majors.

      Another note: Feel free to lambast my method at will. Many of you have
      more training and education than I do.

      Nancy, who got a job offer in Xi'an yesterday (they sounded desparate)

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