Thursday, 14 April 2011

A very brave YLE examiner

Map of Japan with Fukushima highlighted
I was planning to send this to you sooner but I've been tied up with a few projects and didn't find time... sorry about that.

I just wanted to share this with you hoping Cambridge ESOL makes a sensible decision in a timely manner in the future and no other OEs feel the same way as I did.
Firstly I was glad to receive an email from you a week before the exam asking me how I feel about going up north in this situation. At that time, I was quite optimistic about the situation concerning the radiation leak and didn't think about canceling it. However as the time got closer to the day, the situation got worse with the radiation leak and an announcement of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis being ranked as level 6 by INES. I was desperately hoping C. ESOL would call to cancel even though the school was willing to hold the exams.
As an employee of ### myself,  I couldn't refuse to go. (Yes, you could, with no hard feelings - Jim)

The shinkansen was not on a regular operation due to the shortage of electricity on that day.
Looking back to the day now, I wonder what C. ESOL could've done for me if a worst case scenario happened in Fukushima prefecture, right next to Tochigi prefecture where I did a YLE OE that day. (I wonder too - I emailed them to ask, and have still not had a reply. My responsibility to you on the day = go and find you)

Doing OE is really fun for me and a good experience to keep having a right picture of each YLE level. I do enjoy every time I do the speaking tests with kids, but this time in this crisis, I wonder if this was the right judgement.
I really hope Cambridge ESOL could have made a more sensible decision in a timely manner. In future I hope no more OEs have the same terrible experience as I did. (I understand your feelings; I asked the venue who insisted their situation was safe.)

Please feel free to share this with C.ESOL if this message changes things any better. (Shared)

Posted for TK