The Cambridge PET exam is compulsory for the students at my school. They sit it at the end of grade 7 at which time they are all expected to be at a B1 level. All are expected to either "pass" it or pass it "with merit". Surprisingly, not all of them do! Why? This question (not the coffee) keeps me up at night. I think it keeps the administrators of my school up at night as well.
That's why I think they should give me a raise. ☺ You see, I think I have figured out what the problem is. It is not the teachers, the students, the parents, the campus, the resources or the equipment. It is not even the computer department (which is usually to blame for everything that goes wrong).
My first mentor once told me that there are 3 steps in successful language learning. They are instruction, practice and application. For instance, you tell the students about the simple present tense, you show them, model and demonstrate. This is the "instruction" bit. The students then memorize, do drills, fill in the blanks, complete multiple choice and matching type exercises and so forth. This is the "practice" bit. Finally, the students need to apply the new skill - in other words actively use it, for instance to write a story. As long as they keep applying the skill, they will not forget it.
The problem, at my school, the reason why the students are not as successful as we'd like, is that we skip the third step all too often! We do this because we're out of time. We have to cover all of the topics in our coursebook and curriculum, put on a musical or play, prepare an end-of-term (or year) performance, go on a field trip, prep the students for the SBS exam and so on and so forth....
So, what should be done about this? Unless I find a solution I doubt I'll be getting that raise. So, dear blogging friends - what do you think should be done? Is there anything that can be done? Btw, as mine is a private school and we have to "sell" the product to the parents, cancelling any of the performances is not an option...
- Teaching resources
- Teacher development
- Teacher training