Sunday, July 3, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The decision as to which exam best suits a test-taker’s profile should be taken after engaging in a critical analysis of
The format, content and assessment criteria for both versions are identical.
The level has been preserved. What counts is the level accredited by the exam. The school version is not easier.
There’s a quality assurance system that is in charge of
KET exam deals with everyday English at a basic level.
Pet exam (preliminary): deals with everyday English at a pre-intermediate level.
Reliability is a key factor. A reliable test can be depended on to produce very similar results in repeated uses.
Reliability is guaranteed by a comprehensive description of the levels.
The exam validity can be classified into:
A. Construct validity: resides in the interaction of the underlying cognitive ability and the context of use. In the past it was based on the CLA model: communicative language ability, designed by Backman in the 90´s. It has been replaced by the socio-cognitive framework, designed by Professor Cyril Weir in 2005. The latter offers the distinction between an internal mental process (cognitive) of the test-takers and the external contextual factors (social). The standard and the school versions have the same level (cognitive) but the context is different.
B. Content validity: is connected to which extent the content of the test represents the target language domain; the area of interest. It is based on the schema theory: the mental structure that represents some aspects of the world. It depends on a collection of organized, interrelated ideas or concepts: the knowledge of the world. It's connected to the reference store from which a person can retrieve relevant existing knowledge (experiential background). One retrieves/remembers information that is relevant to one's own schema. One will try to resist information that is not relevant to one’s own schema. When automatic thought is triggered, one acts effectively without effort. Accessibility is defined as a cognitive shortcut. There is a direct impact on the way the individual processes the task set up in the context.
C. Scoring validity: implies what has to be measured. In the case of writing there is a General Mark Scheme:
Band 5: All content elements covered appropriately. Message clearly communicated to reader. (Excellent)
Band 4: All content elements adequately dealt with. Message communicated successfully, on the whole. (Very good)
Band 3: All content elements attempted. Message requires some effort by the reader. Or, one content element omitted but others clearly communicated. (Good)
Band 2: Two content elements omitted, or unsuccessfully dealt with. Message only partly communicated to reader. Or, script may be slightly short (20-25 words). (Fair)
Band 1: Little relevant content and/or message requires excessive effort by the reader, or short. (10/19 words). (Poor)
Band 0: Totally irrelevant or totally incomprehensible or too short (under 10 words). (Below standard)
In the case of speaking, it implies the interplay between the underlying cognitive ability and the context of use. Now they’ve introduced the terms “speaking examiners” as they assess a spoken test.
In the case of listening, there is overlapping between context and cognitive validity. It’s ephemeral and it’s marked by the absence of paralinguistic information in a testing context.
I think it is necessary for ESL teachers to be well-informed so as to be able to help those students interested in having international certifications.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I've been invited to join this initiative and decided to accept not only because of the valuable opportunity of being awarded a free one-year licence of the translation software but also because of the consideration of bloggers as "the true voice of the Internet". As a teacher of English, I've experienced the benefits of writing posts and of reading my colleagues' articles. The former has given me the chance of reflecting on my teaching practice whereas the latter has contributed a lot to my professional development and to the improvement of my classes.
Monday, March 28, 2011
It's been funny to see the result, which is mainly based on the song I shared "Hey, Soul Sister".
I guess, in a way my messages are directed to my soul sisters (or brothers) among my readers.
"Cecilia" and "Vicky" also appear, my Twitter soul sisters. The word "students" is also highlighted,
which is suitable as I often have my students in mind and I do my best to motivate them to learn.
"Learning" stands out and it shows my attitude in life as a life-long learner. "Teacher" is seen several
times and it reflects my inborn vocation. "Languages" and "Challenge" have similar importance in the cloud.
I love languages and learning languages is a challenge.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
If we, educators, love teaching then, we love learning as the former
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
My group classes are about to start and I've prepared a song to
Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my …………………………………
Your sweet moon beam, the ………………………single dream I dream
I knew when we collided, you're the one I have decided ……………………
Hey soul sister, ain't …………………………, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss ………………………….....tonight
You ……………………………, a game show love connection we can't deny
I'm so obsessed, ……………………………….right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you, like a virgin, you're Madonna, and I'm always gonna wanna …………………………………
Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo, ………………….. ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, ………………………….a single thing you do...tonight
You're so gangsta, I'm so thug, you're the only one ……………………..
You see, I can …………………………………, in fact there's nothing I can't be
I want the world to see you be with me
Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know!
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss a single thing you do tonight,
Hey soul sister, I don't want to miss a single thing you do...tonight
Saturday, February 26, 2011
· Oral correction of sts.´ homework. Check they've understood the grammar point.
· Introduction of the topic "Travel Broadens the Mind" (pairwork ideas/group discussion)
· Recording of new vocabulary: adventure/cultural/package/get away from it all/a minute's walk away from/stylish shops/leisure facilities/gourmet cuisine, etc.
· Sts. read the article on the book (page 45) in silence and ask questions if necessary.
· Sts. do the comprehension exercises.
· Games to practise the new vocabulary
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Last Saturday morning I attended a seminar on the use of
- In our communication process, 7% of our message is expressed with words, 38% with our voice and 55% with our bodies.
- The voice is the sound factory. It's articulated air.
- Before speaking/giving a class it's essential to be relaxed and to stand in the right way. There are many exercises to relax the neck, shoulders and the face muscles.
- Coughing so as to clear our throat is bad for our vocal cords. The correct way of keeping our throat humid is drinking water.
- Our vocal cords are affected by extreme coldness and by extreme heat.
- When we speak, we should vary our tone of voice so as not to bore our audience.
- The features of the voice are: the tone (acute or grave), the pitch, intensity, rythm, duration (length of the phonemes).
- The personality of the voice is determined by the individual's anatomy.
- The most common speech malfunctions are: synaloepha (linking the final vowel of a word to the initial vowel of another word), omitting the pronunciation of some letters, wrong word stress in a statement, use of a monotone, lack of air, dropping the end of statements, nasalization.
- Our bodies confer meaning.