Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Young Learners Exams

This evening I have been checking speaking test scores for children who took YLE over the weekend in Hokkaido, where 3 schools altogether entered candidates in two separate locations (Sapporo & Obihiro). My job is to upload scores to Cambridge online, and return the papers by mail (which is expensive!)

In order to arrange all of this, the process started over 7 weeks ago when the schools sent us applications to have the exams. I contact Cambridge & arrange for enough papers, CDs etc to be sent, and ask for (qualified) Oral Examiners to volunteer to conduct the speaking tests. Once we receive the material in Matsumoto (from the UK), we forward it to the schools with personalised mark sheets, interview schedules etc. which we print out.

Once our parcel arrives in the UK, qualified examiners mark the reading/writing, and listening papers; results are calculated and then certificates printed for ALL the children who took the exams - there is no pass/fail. Instead, their certificate shows how well they did. This is less competitive & generally makes all candidates feel as though they have achieved something...which indeed they have. Taking an exam in English is a brave thing to try!

We recommend schools make a big fuss about the certificates - arrange a formal ceremony to mark the occasion etc.

Meantime, I have 6 schools who have already applied to have their YLE sessions in March...