Oral Exams

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?!*

2: Family

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?


4: Arrogance

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*

5: Apology

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?*


Misleading: This little darling actually passed her exam with flying colours!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike Lince
    Jul 26, 2013 @ 23:40:59

    Hilarious and precious comments. Thank you for sharing.


  2. kerril29
    Jul 27, 2013 @ 07:04:59

    No problem – thanks for reading 🙂


  3. Sonal Chinchwadkar
    Aug 01, 2013 @ 11:47:32

    I am a teacher myself, and I know what you mean! 🙂 Good one.


    • kerril29
      Aug 01, 2013 @ 12:00:12

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment 🙂 it is amazing some of the experiences you have as a teacher! Enjoyed reading your blog earlier, I felt hungry just looking at some of the photos! Will definitely be giving La Villa a try in D2 too!


  4. michaelslevinuttley
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 15:36:06

    your blog is great – its fascinating to see what teaching English is like in other parts of the world!


  5. Trackback: Roses Are Red | Cô Kerri
  6. noelleisme
    Sep 28, 2013 @ 21:23:58

    Reblogged this on Psycho Noelle.


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