Sunday, 1 March 2009

Oral Examiner training in Kanazawa

Some familiar faces in the line up to train up for KET & PET Oral Examining - four of our half-dozen inductees are already approved to examine Young Learners, and I was delighted to be asked back for the weekend.

As with the previous weekend, we spent Saturday concentrating hard on the nuts and bolts of delivering the exam as scripted; getting familiar with the phases involved and handling transitions as smoothly as possible. Dealing with two candidates at a time, is not as easy as you'd think, even for experienced teachers; sticking to the script and not 'being a teacher' is actually counter-instinctive for many.

Examiners also need to 'change hats'; delivering the exam as interlocutor is half the deal. The second examiner in the room has to deal with mark sheets and assessing both candidates' performances. Sounds simple? Not!

Sunday we developed peripheral skills key to making our delivery of the speaking tests work better. Putting ourselves in the candidates' shoes; critiquing each others' performances; trying to control the exchange with simple, non-verbal direction - which was very illuminating...and thoroughly worthwhile.

Under-pressure to give accurate marks late on a Sunday afternoon, the team came through with flying colours. Good job Kanazawa, good job - thanks for having me over again.