Thursday, 10 December 2009

Today is Thursday - must be CPE

This is my third day invigilating and supervising Cambridge ESOL exams in Tokyo. Once again we are grateful for the facilities available to us at ILC.

The Old Speckled Hen logoImage via Wikipedia

On Tuesday I was curious to realise that all the FCE candidates were very careful drivers - all had gold licences! I was trying to figure out how old everyone was, but I still get confused on Showa & Heisei years. Don't you? I was not at all impressed when the nationalist nutters started blaring their 'patriotic' music & insults at the Prime Minister and the's rude to shout, especially when some people have got better things to do, like taking a serious examination. I the evening, I had a nice meal with an old colleague in a Turkish restaurant. I think the Raki was a bit strong, but the food was great!

Wednesday is CAE day, and I recognised several candidates from last year. We had a chat after their written papers had finished to figure out if they were optimistic about passing this time. Obviously, I can't comment, but it is a nice way to warm up and get in the mood for the speaking test - not easy if you have been silently concentrating, reading and writing all day.
One candidate had travelled all the way from Okayama to sit the exam. That's dedication! I had an interesting evening banging heads on the low ceiling of a Spanish restaurant with my hard-working examiners. Fantastic spare ribs and cold cerveza.

So Thursday is CPE day - the really really creme de la creme of English examinations! I take my hat off to anyone attempting this level, and suggest a lot of native speakers would not pass. How many people actually write with paper and pen much these days? The writing paper alone have candidates scribbling like fury for two whole hours. Once our admin is all taken care of, I hope to test the Wychwood ales in the Hobgoblin locally, and maybe an Old Speckled Hen or two as well. No, I shan't be on my own. Meeting up with another old friend of mine to chat about IT solutions for Web 2.0 learning. I really hope he doesn't buy any Tequila!

I wonder if my regular students missed me this week? Thanks Magnus & Jai for covering.

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