Concerned about the high number of people who do not attend their exams, both the Head Teacher and teachers from the Official School of Languages in Oviedo have recently decided to abolish examinations. Although decision-taking was very tough, teachers say merely to be using a proper and effective method of assessment. Nevertheless, it has divided the institution into two groups: those detractors who consider the measure useless and poor, and those who support the idea and consider it the end of a torture.
Despite continuous assessment will help the rhythm of the course to be more fluid, it is a sad fact that some students could probably work from May to June. Therefore, those who spend the whole year studying and attending the classes will have the same opportunities than those who do not. Let’s remember that the main purpose of educational institutions is to teach how to learn.
However, an increasing number of students suffer from such enormous stress, that they forget everything they had been studying for weeks. In order to avoid this sort of situations, a remarkable measure was suggested at the meeting: the development of a project work. It will allow students to be assessed by their knowledge of a topic and their vocabulary. Never again will stress make them fail a subject.
Admittedly, new and modern methods of learning are to be taken into consideration for future generations. Nowadays, students demand a better education in order to become greater professionals. Nonetheless, continuous assessment would be a serious risk for students who have problems when opening a book. So it would be necessary to discuss some other ways of examination.
Getting rid of examinations and returning to continuous assessment. This is the decision made by the teachers of the languages school.
Like many of my classmates, I had been concerned about the proposal to get rid of examinations, feeling that the new plans to get the qualifications could be much more subjective than conducting a single test for each one of the skills or, worse, could lower the level of these ones. However, what I heard during these days made me change my mind.
Studying a foreign language is complex and requires time to study, technique to write, ability to speak and, above all, ear to understand. And there is no doubt that attending lessons is very important for the evolution of the different skills. Inevitably, there must be tests from time to time and daily homework -nowadays, all sorts of exercises and practice can be made thanks to the Internet- in order to get fluency. And thus, teachers can be witnesses of this evolution and assess their pupils in a fair way. Knowing them, they will be able to understand if they have a bad day. That is not possible when the mark depends on a single test.
So despite my initial scepticism, I feel this decision is a great asset to us. Not just to pupils, but also to teachers. Both will be more motivated to achieve their goals, learn and teach respectively.
What would you think if you didn’t have to do any exams anymore? Would this decision be important in your future as a qualified worker?
Teachers in public schools are thinking of not having exams in their courses. In their opinion, some kinds of stress and changes in pupils’ personalities are caused by exams. If pupils usually go to their classes, it would be easier for them to have a constant test, which means that they will have to study everyday because every answer, the homework, their interests in the subject, etc. will count on their final qualifications.
Of course, students are very happy. They think that, this way, they will study less although they were told that it is not going to be easier for them. The student representative told me that some classmates don’t agree with that change in education because nowadays they prove everyday their abilities in class and exams are the way to stand out.
Besides, they have a lot of subjects and sometimes it is impossible to study everyday because of lack of time.
We are looking for a better way of teaching but, from my point of view “the new” or “the unknown” frightens everyone; it is as if you couldn’t control what is going to happen. We will have to wait a year to see if this new idea works and what is more important, if the student’s knowledge is better or not.
So, see you next year, ready to talk about this subject again.
All the students have had this dream in their academic life!
Exams are largely meaningless. They tell you only that a student is more or less bright and capable of more or less application to study. They should be abolished and replaced by “achievement reports”, detailing what students know, what skills they have acquired, whether they are better at theoretical than practical work, and so on.
Some English teachers I spoke to, said that exams are just measurements of your ability to retain information andthey do not measure your intelligence.
Inevitably, if you are a student you have to be marked somehow. But it can be based on continuous assessment and project work.
Perhaps you have a steady way of study and every night after class you review your notes and make a list of topics that are hard for you, at the end of every week you review those topics… If you study throughout the semester then you will actually know the topic, so that when you study before the exam it’s just a refresher.
But that’s not the real student way. The average pupil studies the night before!
Methods of learning should be more realistic about the way the students work. So I feel this is a real challenge to start changing the education of the 21st Century.
This is a lyrical and meditative movie about life in Africa.A strong willed woman, who would later become known to the world as the writer Isak Dinesen, undergoes lots of different experiences in this expansive land - coffee planter, wild game hunter, hostess, friend, storyteller, and free spirit.The film is directed by Sydney Pollack. Meryl Streep stars as Karen Blixen; Robert Redford plays her lover Denys Finch Hatton, and Austrian actor Klaus Maira Brandauer appears as her husband Baron Bror von Blixen.The film starts in Denmark as an older Karen Blixen (Meril Streep) briefly remembers the years she spent in Africa (1914-1931). Then she reminds of Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) who she met when she arrived in Africa to start what she thought would be a dairy farm together with her husband, Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke (Brandauer).A relationship between her and Denys begins to develop. However, she realizes that Denys is as impossible to own or tame as Africa itself. Denys prefers the freedom of living outdoors and leaves the natives to their own customs.I would really recommend it because it is about love and loss, empire and ecology and you can see Africa’s wild natural beauty on the screen.Isabel Rivera
I am very grateful to the Mafia because talking in film terms is indirectly responsible of a number of my favourite films ever. ‘Some like it hot’ was directed by Billy Wilder who also had written the brilliant screenplay with I. L. A. Diamond.We are in 1929 and in the U.S.A social issues were going from bad to worse.The action starts in Chicago, punished by a really hard and cold winter. Two musicians, a bit silly people, survive playing jazz in clandestine bars managed by Mafia. Having lost their job they witness, for a really unfortunate coincidence, Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre while the struggle to still alive. The opportunity to escape comes up as a job in an all-girl band, which means they have to dress up in drag. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) transform their appearance and attitude becoming Josephine and Daphne, joining the band and going to Florida. This great hoax is riddled with funny misunderstandings. One of the girls is Sugar Kane a girl who plays ukulele (sexy, charming and stunning Marilyn Monroe). Tony Curtis is determined to seduce her by adopting a new simultaneous role as a fake millionaire. At the same time, an authentic multimillionaire Osgood Fielding III (a superb Joe E. Brown) is getting attached with Daphne, playing both an unforgettable scene dancing ‘ La Cumparsita’. It is also Osgood’s closing statement “nobody is perfect”, which resumes the ironic and tolerant director’s point of view about life.This terrific film has shot in black and white. The smart plot is a perfect mix of serious and funny themes It has a splendid soundtrack, and amazing performances. In my opinion is an exceptional film and no doubt, one of the greatest movies of all times.M.Balbina Mariño
“We are the students in charge of the school’s magazine (EOI HOY) and would like to recieve articles from the EOI students to see how you have reacted to the decision made by the teachers to get rid of examinations. All the marks you will get will be, from now on, based on continuous assessment and project work. How do you feel about this? We want to hear from you. Is it a good or a bad idea? Send your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org”
Write your article in 200 words.
Remember to write a good title for your article.
Before you start writing organise your ideas carefully into paragraphs.
Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence.
And, most important: Choose vocabulary and structures that show your (advanced) level.