Some practice tests for students as passports to independence in English effective learning
The system of effective testing of those learning, training, coaching, schooling and educating students in the process of introducing into the scheme of teaching is to develop and improve the quality of all stages and levels of teaching. It is a good contribution to personal intellectual, professional, social and cultural development of those involved for the demands of modern society and individual needs.
«The way to success is always under construction»
«If you have to see, then see the specialities of each other. If you have to leave something, leave weaknesses»
«Be just enthusiastic about the success of others, as you are about your own success»
In our routine everyday teachers’ work we have two major aims. (In a real practice there are more ones, and all them less or more are connected with the two mentioned). The most meaningful aim is to prepare our students for the kind of English used by and for native speakers. In order to be ready for this reason we try to use less of simplified material which is made easy for the learner. A wide range of material intended for speakers of English is in demand. The other special aim is to help students become independent and responsible for their own learning, trying to develop their own efforts and habits of study under the witty leading role of their teachers. As far as teachers are concerned, they may use “Indicative independence test – research agenda for the students”. This working document contains the most important positions and competences being in demand concerning students’ possibilities in situation of a future opportunities’ proposals. This agenda takes into account the distinction between the necessary curriculum and institutional level of the language possession and additional volume of knowledge required due to independent educational work. (In practice – labor, not less.) In practice it is a great amount of vocabulary as terms of any kind, idioms, professional terminology, poetic ones, dialogue and monologue’ schemes for a real practice of communication, models of special grammatical schemes and instructions for different spheres of communication, writing skills, listening skills and so on.
The pedagogical experiment on the “Testing issue” showed good results on all the concrete goals as tasks declared. They were:
– Targeted research on class and independent ways in link to demonstrate benefits of bringing together reasons for the present emphases on vocabulary, creating a sense of need for a word, list of habits-skills “What to do about the list on the textbook page”, showing the meaning of words in different situations, drawing attention to meaning before drilling words, inspiration in dealing with dictionaries, including ideographic ones;
– Clarification and social knowledge in situational real and theoretical practice through participation, writing messages, reports, scientific and artistic work, telephone links, when basic vocabulary may be hard to learn but easy to use;
– Research on joint independent learning quality and reporting approaches with materials, supported by teachers in different ways of training and educating communication: more techniques for beginners ‘ independent learning classes, classification of useful commands in vocabulary classes, using real objects for vocabulary teaching, think over and use as a creative homework other communication experiences with an imaginative partner – a drawing, which represents an imagined situation connected with the task defined as being reached;
– Researching appropriate models of Educational, Environment (including Climate) and Social Change with specific reference to special professional competencies and skills for developing the right perspectives of personality-leader , including: special uses of visual aids, long-term displays of pictures, obligatory visual aids for teaching verbs and adverbs in situations of a real practice in society and professional sphere.
Education for Sustainable Development or all involved in the process of independent establishment of a personality is directly or not oriented for testing the personality before letting it the sphere and staff to rule, direct and estimate the results of its’ work. We take into account individual work and work in a team, influencing the final result of self-education.
We consider the most important the spheres of testing like these:
- Personal student’ development plans and activities through beginning discussion, debate and inviting links with suggested starting points of self-learning;
- Formal points in personal views’ reporting in seeing the final result as “Raising education/learning contributions to own personality’ level of development and those involved in a team personal and professional perfection;
- Personal (then group-team) plans as strategies in using discussion forums to start / carry forward debate on intellectual, professional, psychological, artistic, learning English links with a view to consensus-building;
- Indicators, progress and monitoring mechanisms of independent learning with the help of discussions through joint meetings of groups of those interested in personal development, reports, essays, scientific students works, etc.;
- Sources of technical assistance and examples of good practice of those educating independently: knowledge about resources, key people and projects in different spheres of theory and practice of education, possessing information about possible partners for linkage projects;
- Ways and methods of sharing and stretching information through; sharing on research, development and innovation in the personal process of independent learning.
Periodical tests are extremely useful for supporting rational and alive regime of independent learning in direction of repeating professional terms, ordinary vocabulary, technical and humanitarian definitions, compound expressions and idioms. Some of them may be productive and interesting at the first stage of the long testing process. They are: 1. Write a dialog that could introduce a guessing game in which the players use words for nature, army, political and economical debates, family life, living values, personal qualities, peace and war, art gallery, theatre and cinema. 2. Write a series of commands that would require students to understand the following words: hand, head, face, ear, neck, back, foot (feet).3. Write a very simple description of a real patient in a clinic, a real teacher in a University, a real mother in a family and an imaginary visitor from another planet. Then write instructions how to use the description for the possible picture-drawing activity (especially you have a talent of an artist).
In a short way we’ll introduce some sentences in accordance with different types of tests suggested to be done by students due to the context of the proposed English texts. The texts may be different, but the questions may contain the major ideas like these ones:
- First read each short part of the text and then read the sentences to see which ones refer to the text as a whole;
- In which part of the Reading Text you match eight statements with five short texts;
- Make sure you read each text for overall meaning. Do not choose an answer just because you can see the same words in the text.
2. Listening. – Before you listen, read the notes. Think about what you are going to hear.
- Note all possible answers as you listen for the first time. Do not worry if you do not know the answers. You will hear the recording for the second time;
- You should write words that you hear without changing them. They must fit the meaning of the notes. Decide on your final answer only after you have listened for the second time;
- Check what you have used no more than three words in each numbered space.
3. Speaking. – In this part of the text you answer questions about yourself and about proposed topics for the sake of expressing personal opinions;
- Phase one focuses on factual, personal information. Phase two requires you to express opinions on matters of the topic. You will be asked one question in each phase;
- Try to give more than just basic answers, and give examples to show what you mean;
- Remember that you are being tested on your ability to speak in English, not on your knowledge of specific areas of business (as a core of different professional activities’ context).
Is well-known that communication stops when learners lack the necessary words. But it stops when communicators lack personal intellectual and moral qualities necessary to color the communication and make it effective, interesting and unforgettable for all those involved in communication. The rationally and logically correct organization of independent educational practice becomes a visible result of well-organized process of English teaching in class, when an image of a teacher as a professional becomes a promised model for pretending to be like that mentioned for all those happy independently learning. If “Your speciality influences others, so use it the best way you can” (Indian wisdom).
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- Techniques in teaching vocabulary. New York, 1983. 136 c.
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