Every 9 weeks I have to conduct oral exams for each of my students. Their oral mark contributes to around 5% of their final grade (it should be much higher than this in my opinion, but I’m not the one who makes the rules apparently). For many of the oral exams, I just interview each student alone but every now and again I like to shake things up and have them do a dialogue in pairs. I always love oral exam week; 1) because I get to find out the student’s real views on things and 2) it involves very little preparation on my part. The students never fail to provide some amazing comedy too, here are just a few snippets of the conversations I experienced during this week’s oral exams:
1: Social Etiquette
Instructions: Conduct a polite conversation with your classmate. You are both work colleagues who are meeting for the first time.
Student 1: Hello, nice to meet you!
Student 2: Hello, nice to meet you too! Are you gay?
*Have I taught you nothing in the past 9 weeks?!*
Me: Tell me about your family
Student: There are 3 people in my family, my parents and me.
Me: Oh, so no brothers or sisters?
Student: No, and I hate my Dad, he always makes my mum cry.
*How are you meant to respond to that…*
3: Playing cupid
Me: So, tell me a little about yourself
Student: I’m 19 years old. I am a student at HUTECH University. I study business. I like shopping and going out with my friends. I’m single. Do you know any single foreigners?
Student: I’ve just finished 3 years studying in Boston, America so I don’t need this class
*What a fabulous waste of my time*
Me: Hello! How are you today?
Student: I’m fine thanks, and you?
Me: I’m pretty go…
*Students phone rings*
1min 46secs later…
*Student hangs up, says nothing*
Me: Ok, your speaking test is over. Thank you.
*Just one apology is all you needed to save yourself there, my friend!*
6: There’s always one
Me: How are you today?
Student: I’m 12 years old.
7: The pièce de résistance
Me: Hello! What’s your name?
Student: My name is ****
Me: I don’t see your name on the register here …
Student: Oh no, I’m taking the exam for my friend, she is too busy.
*Say what now?*