At one of the schools I teach at, my job is to run practice speaking tests for the English certification exams (Michigan ECCE and ECPE, Cambridge FCE and CPE) with the students. It’s something I’ve really come to enjoy, actually, because I get to spend time with students in small groups or even one-on-one.
The test questions themselves are pretty banal; however, their answers can be pretty entertaining, as they have to think on their feet. Here are some of my favorite answers I’ve gotten while running practice speaking tests. In order to appreciate them fully, remember that these kids are between 13 and 15 years old, and have cute Greek accents!
Me: “Do you have a pet?”
Spiros: “Yes, Miss Kate. I have three dogs. And I have ten cats.”
Spiros: “Yes. Ten. I love them too much. I feed them, and they love me too. I want to live with them forever.”
Me: “What do you do to stay fit?”
Anna: (suddenly becomes very serious and dramatic) “I. Love. DANCING. I am dancing ALL THE TIME. I am dancing EVERY DAY! On Thursday, and on Tuesday, I am doing ballet. It is very nice to dance, and I can stretch myself. (pause, then suddenly very loud) It’s GREAT!!”
Me: “Question three: What is your favorite food?”
Me: “Question four…”
(Some of the questions are hypothetical situations for which the students must offer advice.)
Me: “My cousin Sally has just finished high school. She has just been offered a great new position as a tour guide. If she takes this new job, she will spend a large part of the summer in Paris. She needs to decide if she will accept the new position or not. Tell me what advice you think I should give her.”
Nikos: “I think Silly should take the job. Silly–”
Nikos: “Yes yes, Silly. Silly will like the job and Silly will make many new friends if Silly goes abroad…”
(Here comes the warm-fuzzy!!)
Me: “Do you know anyone who has worked abroad?”
Ilia: “Yes. I know Miss Kate! She is coming from Montana. She is coming to our school and is helping us practice speaking. She is very good for her job because she is very nice to us and she makes us feel proud after we are done.”
I love these kids. Oh! and… I found out that Konstantina passed the Cambridge Proficiency in December! My girls who took the Michigan exam in November should find out their results soon too.
This has been a nice week, if a little on the busy side. I went to a fascinating seminar on Richard Wright at Aristotle University, and even got to go to a little taverna with the lecturer afterward. (And finally got to nerd out on discussing the Huck Finn controversy! My academia withdrawal twitch has temporarily subsided.) I also got a package from home, which is one of the single greatest things that could possibly take place on a Wednesday!! Thanks Mom & Dad! And tomorrow, I head to Kavala for the weekend with two of my friends.
Happy almost weekend everyone!