I’m doing oral tests this week. I do one table at a time and it takes about 5 minutes per table. Yes, I know it is not much of a test, but at least I am giving them a verbal test. Before I start I generally allow about 5 minutes for everyone to come to class and realize that they are actually doing a test. I also give one sheet of paper showing what I will be asking as a dialogue with a few blank spaces where they can substitute their own answers. Not exactly rocket science, is it? I give you the answers, you tell me the answers.
The first table obviously has less time than the rest, so I tend to be a bit more lenient, but as I go further I have less pity for the students who don’t know what is going on. In one class I got to the third table where two girls proceeded to go off because they didn’t know what to do with the blank spaces. They had 15 minutes to open their books at the indicated chapters, see what we did in class and then take two minutes to figure out an answer or two. Apparently that is just too much effort, which would explain the low effort scores.
Their low understanding scores come from the fact that while I was busy with the other students at the table, these two girls called over the Korean teacher, just to have her give them all the answers to the dialogue that is on their book. She even made sure they remembered it by running through it again.
Am I unfair to give these two girls low scores even thought their actual dialogue was done very well? Am I unfair to say that I was actually testing their teacher’s knowledge instead of theirs?