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Amparo Bertram

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06:51 pm: Serving two masters
I was asked to make the listening portion of the third-year students' midterm, accounting for about 20% of the test grade. Oh, sure, it sounds relatively simple. The catch is that the third-years are divided into two groups that are taught by two different teachers (though they use the same book). One teacher, in the interest of finishing the book quickly, has stuck simply to the exercises in the book and has covered about 10 chapters since the last exam. The other teacher has emphasized activities and conversation practice and has covered about 5 chapters in the same amount of time. The part of the exam I was asked to write is going to be applied to both classes.

That makes it a bit complicated. So, the teacher who covered more material sat down with me and said, okay, only make questions pertaining to the chapters both classes have done. He then asked me to make the listening portion include the example sentences directly from the book so they will be familiar to the students. (His students, after all, have a huge amount of material to study.) Thus, I did as he asked.

Then I consulted with the other teacher. She was a bit taken aback when I explained what I had been asked to do. You see, she was planning on making her portion of the test have fill-in-the-blank questions using the example sentences from the textbook, so if I use those sentences in the listening portion, it gives away the answers. Well, gee.

After discussing it for a bit, we settled (I think) on me giving her the questions I had made up, so that she can select different example sentences from the ones I used. We'll see tomorrow whether there are any more adjustments I'll need to make.

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