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English competitions - good or bad?

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English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:18 am

Here I am sitting at my little desk and outside in the hallway is a large number of students and their teachers from all over the south. I, again have to judge the same competition that I always seem to judge. Over the years it has been interesting watching some of the Phratom students enter these competitions only to see them a few years later competing in the Mattayom level. Unfortunately though, it always seems to be the same students, you know, the ones that excel in class and no chance is ever given to students who may not be quite as good but whose potentials are never realized. What say you?

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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Snowflake on Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:42 am

Few things there Admin...

1st, you sound like a student who was NEVER sent to these competitions, is that so??? I know you are clever but I can not see you standing tall ifront of a group of judges and have a speech... Maybe I am wrong but you are not the type...

2nd... The reason you see the same good students over and over again is that they are the best, and who do you send to competitions? The best!!!
(They also just happen to be the ones that the boss like because they are ever so friendly to her/him in school.

3rd is that your story falls apart from the point you claim to see the same students year after year... You can not remember what happened last night so how do you expect us to believe you when you say that you remember one student (3 min speech) after one year???

Care to open your views on that?

PS. for the record, I think that there are way too many competitions for the students, it looks like the MOE is aiming for a large numbers of competitions and not for quality in them...

(What happened to just stay in school and learn)?

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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by C-Bert on Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:32 pm

I tend to agree with your sentiments here. I think there are way too many competitions and tests for students in general, here in Thailand. I think that classes and genuine learning goals take a back seat to the more showy aspects of education (scores, tests, competitions etc..)
Now, you could also argue that, in preparing for these exams and competitions, students benefit more than they otherwise would without them. However, I tend to think they're more aimed at making certain schools and students appear to be better than others, rather than genuinely improving students' skills and abilities.
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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:40 pm

C-Bert wrote:I tend to agree with your sentiments here. I think there are way too many competitions and tests for students in general, here in Thailand. I think that classes and genuine learning goals take a back seat to the more showy aspects of education (scores, tests, competitions etc..)
Now, you could also argue that, in preparing for these exams and competitions, students benefit more than they otherwise would without them. However, I tend to think they're more aimed at making certain schools and students appear to be better than others, rather than genuinely improving students' skills and abilities.

Absolutely correct. My best student attends very few classes for the 2 weeks preceding the competition so she can prepare. It matters not that she is feeling the strain and the weight of expectation. However, it matters that the school is made to look good. Pathetic, really.
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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:40 pm

Building them up for a fall is what they are doing.
Poor kids work hard to do their bit, then if they are not first place go home sobbing, disillusioned, and heartbroken.

And what do they get for their efforts?.......... dropped by the school at the next competition!
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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by bhoydy on Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:10 pm

My student got built up for a fall at her last English speaking competition. Admin may remember (or maybe not actually) being on the judging panel that gave 1st place to her. I even saw the paper which showed she had the highest score. After everyone dispersed including the judges, it took over an hour for the Thai teachers from the host school to come out to post the results. By this time most people had gone home but i stayed around just to make sure. Anyway the results were posted and we were 2nd behind, guess who, the host school. Guess it was too much of an embarassment being beaten by a school from out in the sticks. Unfortunately i had already told my student she'd won, then had to tell her she got 2nd. Still a good result though, i suppose.
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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:13 pm

bhoydy wrote:My student got built up for a fall at her last English speaking competition. Admin may remember (or maybe not actually) being on the judging panel that gave 1st place to her. I even saw the paper which showed she had the highest score. After everyone dispersed including the judges, it took over an hour for the Thai teachers from the host school to come out to post the results. By this time most people had gone home but i stayed around just to make sure. Anyway the results were posted and we were 2nd behind, guess who, the host school. Guess it was too much of an embarassment being beaten by a school from out in the sticks. Unfortunately i had already told my student she'd won, then had to tell her she got 2nd. Still a good result though, i suppose.

Remember that ..... wont mention the name of the offending school though, starting with something like 'B' .. something.

Local politics coming into play.

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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Snowflake on Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:28 am

Fair competition does not exist in Thailand (apart from the times that my school wins)... That is fair...

Merry Christmas...

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Re: English competitions - good or bad?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:43 pm

Spooky that.......... it took over 3 hours for the judges in my students speech contest to "finish adding the scores together". They insisted we not wait, saying they would put them on the web site.......... what web site?
I had to run around 4 people the next day before I got a list of results.......... which gave scores to 2 decimal places! I thought they just got scores out of 10 for each category.

Poor losers.

My school got accused of fixing the quiz we hosted at EP open house at Suratthani earlier this year.
Why?
Because our students won (just by a point),
Because I was seen "picking questions that I knew our students could answer".

The Facts:
These were not MY students - I do not teach them.
I played no part in coaching them so had no idea of their knowledge base.
Yes, I read the questions before passing them to the reader. But why?......... because these questions had not been checked and had clearly been written by non-native speakers and people who did not know the subject base.
What I was doing was filtering out imposible or duff questions
Example:
Q: What does John do in the Evening?
A: He walks his dog.
- there was no picture to show, no mention of who John was, no mention that John even had a dog....... so how the bollocking shite are they expected to get the answer?

Q: What is the purpose of seed dispersal in plants?
Of the 4 possible answers listed......... NONE were correct!

Sadly, the "finger pointer", a Thai teacher from another school, chose to just bad mouth me to anyone that would listen to her........ rather than speak with me and ask why I put questions aside.
Sad really.

The thing in this case though is that if they do fiddle the scores so their student wins, they will just be made to look a complete arse when they get to the big event at bkk.

BAAAAAH HUMBUG!
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