Midterm exam week at my jr/sr high school is over. All students take 50 minute exams for all of their subjects – a hellish week for them no doubt.
Yesterday I added to my high school students’ stress (around 250 of them) with the “English Expression” test. Forty minutes of listening, ten minutes of writing, and tons of brain-busting questions throughout. My coworker and I made the exam based on our Pikifriends curriculum (textbook & worksheets, click to see pdf samples), along with podcasts we’ve been studying from this site.
The test had questions about internet safety, being friendly online, writing good descriptive image titles, and lots of questions based on real examples of self-introductions of American students on Piki now. I can’t write any actual questions here, but I’m happy to share more details with people behind closed doors.
I’ll say it as objectively as I can: the PikiFriends curriculum has been fantastic to work with so far with this group, and we’re just getting started. It should get much more interesting for the students when we really start focusing on blogging, interactions, and presentations of data from Piki.
Also including podcasts in our curriculum has been working very well, although students certainly aren’t listening to them enough on their own.
So after checking many tests, one thing’s clear: their study habits are nonexistent. Was I this flippant about school work in high school? From the looks of these so-called ‘answers’, a majority of them apparently spend NO time outside of class doing homework, reviewing, or preparing for tests.
It’s like they think English is just going to happen for them somehow. In fact many seem like they were in some alternate universe during test time, desperately channeling their non sequiturs from Cygnus X-1’s rays. Hey, English is universal on Earth, and you need to be on it kids!
Question: “What is she hoping to make?”
Correct answer: She’s hoping to make a lot of friends.
Actual student answer: Sent me a grace. (I have no idea where this came from. Scary.)
Question: “What happened to her brother 2 times?”
Correct answer: He broke his legs.
Actual student answer: Cat running on the table. (Cats were not mentioned in the story.)
Word: ice cream
Student answers: ais cleam, lice cream (That’s just gross.)
Student answers: parpents, pauarents (C’mon, really?)
Student answer: licuesut (Nice try?)
Student answer: bathball (Is that like a rubber ducky?)
And it goes on and on. We have our work cut out for us, as usual.