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Unread Aug 14th, 2007, 01:30 am
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Default Re: How to make a Student Progress Speaking Test

You face a difficult situation. Like the previous posters, I recommend looking at ALTE standards, practicing role playing, and maybe look at the revised OEIC test. Sometimes I had success asking students to bring in photographs and magazine ads to create conversations. The more relevant and important the subject, the bolder students become in speaking.

The problem of low-beginning ESL students avoiding conversation exists in the United States too. A decade ago, many citizenship applicants had - for worse or for better - a very limited speaking ability in English. Motivation matters.

Citizenship classes, therefore, had to focus on questions about the applicant's background, experiences in the United States, and hopes for the future. We also hugged the old N-400 form which asked dozens of questions. The problem, of course, was students wanted to just memorize questions and answers instead of learning enough English for an authentic, open-ended conversation with INS officials. Low standards - or very sympathetic INS officials - led to a continual decline in verbal requirements, but hundreds of thousands of immigrants did work on improving their conversation skills.

Anyway, good luck. Conversation counts - even for high beginning students.


"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity."
Aristotle, 4th Century BCE, Greek philosopher
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