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This is a hot topic that has been questioned by many. Do students get better scores in exams if they practise them in class?
I have previously spoken about the need for balance in class time to avoid boredom 12. Learning languages for enjoyment or preparing for exams: Where is the balance? and the need for an awareness of study skills Study skills -How we learn but the key question today is, ¨Should we do full exams in class?”
What is fair to say is that students want to understand how exams work. There is a huge difference in results if students understand the format of exams and time limits, also if they understand how they are evaluated. It is very important to make this known to your students. What I think is a bit of a waste of time and quite frankly boring beyond reason is, just practicing exams to pass them. Repeating exams and drumming the answers into the student´s heads as if they were drones. What I reckon is the key is taking a look at the necessary skills needed to pass the exam and incorporating them into learning objectives and fun, innovative and dynamic activities that will inspire the students to progress and thus, pass the exam. Language is not about qualifications but they are a quantifiable way of seeing who can use languages and who can´t. Our jobs are a balance between exam preparation and language teaching and it is important to not be overly swayed by exams as our main goal should always be the students and ensuring they can use language. By breaking exam technique into bitesize chunks, students can develop the necessary skills to be able to later be able to apply them to exams. There has been a fair amount of research into this area and I want to include the BRITISH COUNCIL´S VIEW as it makes some valid points.
I like to develop skills and use practical examples in class that can be easily linked to parts of exams that the students can later take home and use when they practice as extra (homework) activities.
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