Monday, January 26, 2009

...testing week

Today was the first day of ELPA testing in my building, The ELPA (English Language Proficiency Assessment) is the test that every student in Oregon who is learning English must take. It tests all four domains--listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Testing week is always a little bit hectic, a little bit stressful, and it helps to be prepared. And I usually am. But I wasn't able to get the computer cart on Friday to make sure the laptops were charged and the internet connection was strong. So, this morning was a mad scramble--the laptops were NOT charged and ready to go, and the wireless connection wasn't working. (Dave, the tech guy, saved the day.) Students are never thrilled about testing so they groan and complain, but then settle in and do their best. I had to smile at an answer I saw Sandra enter. She has only been here since September, and didn't come with a strong educational background. The prompt was a picture of boys eating pizza and the sentence said, "How _____ pizza did the boys eat?" She studied the picture, looked at the sentence, and entered "eating the." Of course the answer was wrong--"much" was the correct word. But "eating the" pizza makes sense--and tells me that Sandra is learning. I wanted to do a little happy dance right there behind her, but that would have been a tad distracting! So tomorrow will be a better day (laptops are charged, internet connection strong, kids know what to expect) and testing week will soon be behind us for another year. Then we can get back to the fun stuff--learning English!

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