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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

G.Z. - U.S.A. said:
Evaluation and TestingThe overall goal of evaluation and testing is to improve student learning. Evaluation gives teachers, as well as parents, concise and true information concerning the progress of a student or child. Effective teachers will use both evaluation and testing techniques on a regular basis to improve student learning. How true are these statements in the previous paragraph? They?re quite true. But, are they being followed. Your answer could be yes or no or yes and no. Some teachers require testing on a weekly basis: weekly quizzes, monthly tests, mid term test, and finally, a final exam. Other teachers will only have a mid term and a final. The reason? Teacher disgression. Fortunately, school districts have stepped in and require that teachers test their students on a regular basis. Now that we have discussed the importance of testing and evaluation, we will now concentrate on areas that lead up to the testing of students and why it is necessary. We will now look at test scores, high and low, and we will try to determine why scores are high and why they are low. First, the low. It is well documented that inner city school districts in large cities score the lowest. But, should that be a reason for low scores? Let?s look at the possibilities. Teachers, can we blame them? We know for a fact that some teachers shouldn?t be teachers. Some teachers have the ?I don?t care attitude? and of course the student will eventually suffer. How does the teacher present himself/herself in presenting material to the class(a good example is on the CD in unit 10, lesson 1). Believe it or not, there are some teachers out there that are similar to the CD. Can we blame the school administrators? Of course! Who hired them in the first place! Can we blame the students? Let?s look at it realistically. What are the students activities after school? Do they stay at school after classes are over and participate in school sponsored activities or do they go home? Good question! But, let?s take the going home scenario. What?s at home? VIDEO GAMES! Yes! How about the internet and facebook. All addictive activities. So, can we blame the students for low scores? The answer is?.of course. Finally, we come to the parents. In today?s bewildered economy, it is almost impossible to live in a single income family. Especially if you want to live ?The American Dream? by owning a home. So, where does that leave the student? All alone and no supervision. Did you ever hear of the old cliché: ?The teachers blame the parents and the parents blame the teachers!? In retrospect, all three are guilty. In conclusion, one aspect we haven?t discussed yet and that?s the school district itself. How overcrowded and how old are the schools? Classes are so overcrowded now and students don?t want to be a number. They want to be recognized as individual. Statistically, in a large university you are a number. So what?s the solution? Build new schools! Building new schools requires money. Parents object to new schools because their property taxes will go up. So, what?s the solution? Come to your own conclusions. So what promotes high scores? Good school administrators, good, qualified teachers, students willing to learn and be successful, responsible parents, and unfortunately, cheating. Yes! Cheating. The department of Education rewards the school districts with high scores, but when there is a mass detection of cheating as was the case a few weeks ago in the Atlanta school system, serious implications followed. As reported in national newspapers throughout the country plus the internet, many teachers and school administrators were immediately terminated for their transgressions. Teachers were threatened: ?Don?t passs, get fired.? Why did this happen? Money. The ultimate sacrifice-the student In closing, I would like to bring up a subject that really has no major adverse effect on test scores or students as a whole, but individual students who suffer from test anxiety. What is test anxiety? It?s worry or fear caused by having to take tests. Test anxiety may cause mental distraction where you are unable to concentrate, physical symptoms such as butterflies, headaches, and even sweaty palms. But for some students, the feeling is so intense that it affects their performance with serious results. Some students can rise to the challenge, where others view tests as threats. What causes test anxiety? Pressure, past experience, and fear of failure. To beat test anxiety, you first have to believe in yourself. What are the steps to overcome test anxiety? Effective studying gives you confidence. Make the most of your notes you took while in class. Develop a schedule for yourself ie, mark on your calendar exam dates and schedule several short review sessions for yourself, and just prepare yourself. Learn good test taking skills, read your questions carefully, budget your time, do the easier questions first, look for clues or different words that might change the structure of the question, and use your full time allowed. And finally, before anxiety has a chance to build up-seek help from a counselor, your teachers, and even your parents.