Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Nagoya - OE training

Last weekend Luna was invited to train a large group of teachers and staff from Meijo University in Nagoya. This was a big honour for us and one we were delighted to accept. Jim spent Saturday and Sunday at Meijo High School in downtown Nagoya, demonstrating how examiners should deliver the speaking tests of KET & PET; how they should manage time, materials, and unexpected situations, and how of course they should assess candidates' performances.

Easily said, but quite a task to bring a room full of teachers together to pool all their experiences and do something 'new'. On Saturday we focused particularly on making sure everyone understood what they were supposed to be doing and how, changing partners regularly and encouraging a free exchange of ideas and opinions (and there were plenty to be expressed!).

On Sunday, we changed things around a bit, to think about the impact the examiner's demeanor and physical performance have on the candidates, not just their spoken delivery of the script. We also thought about the exams from the candidates' perspective, and how the examiner should respond (or not) to manifestations of eg nerves, panic, stage-fright. Examiners were also shown how the new online resource for oral examiners will really make a big difference to their professional development as teachers and as examiners; we practiced using the site and explored the facilities that are now available 24 hours a day, every day of the year - and not just when Jim comes to town!

By the end of two, very intense days of study, a very tired but satisfied (and qualified) group of fresh oral examiners joined our ranks. Most will be examining at KET & PET levels next month, as the university initiates its adoption of Cambridge ESOL examinations. This is a really exciting step, with Luna very much at the forefront.

Jim wants to say well done to all the teachers who attended over the weekend, and to thank the staff at the school for looking after him so nicely. He is looking forward to meeting the next group of new OEs in April.


  1. Haruko said:
    "Meijo people are as hard-workers
    as you are, aren't we? Actually we admired your toughness - you came in
    such an early morning, gave us a full 2 day training and went back right
    after the session was over. You really are a tough British guy!

    Thanks again for the lovely session. I hope to work as an examiner soon!"

  2. Graham said:

    "The variation of materials and activities kept us on our feet! (literally)

    Great use of group work and teachers' own experiences as a resource (lots of talking time)"

  3. Sono said:

    "...the whole thing was very interesting experience"

  4. Yasumi said:

    "Jim was very patient with us. He is an excellent TL"

  5. Yoko said

    "I would like to make use of this experience in my future. I had a great time. Thank you!"

  6. Haruko said:

    Thank you very much Jim. I learned a lot. I'm interested in becoming a YLE examiner"

  7. Makiko said:

    "Very intensive, but useful and a lot of practice"

  8. Jun said:

    "Thank you Jim, for the wonderful seminar. I learned a lot ; )"

  9. Takashi said:

    "Very informative, and also insightful"

  10. Darren said:

    It was a very hard two days, but by the end of the session I felt I hhad a better understanding of the examination process and the assessment criteria.

    I want to use this knowledge as quickly as possible to make sure it sticks."

  11. Philip said:

    "Thank you to Jim, who did an excellent job as instructor, host, MC

    His instructions and techniques were well-prepared, directed, fun and useful."

  12. Darren said:

    "It was nice to meet you too. A gruelling but worthwhile process!"


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