Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I Have Fretated A Plog Boast

It’s testing time again and I have before me a pile of reports written by Group C. I learned too late that the reports would be based on data provided by bar charts and pie diagrams – we had been practising evaluations of places and proposals up to the week before the announcement that these would not form any part of the test; bloody Jungle Telegraph again instead of hard information. So last week I crammed in some bar charts and graphs, and we spent the whole of last Friday cobbling together reports based on the damn things. Graphs, bar charts and the like are real weenie-shrinkers, if you ask me. Numbers and I do not get on, and I find their graphic representations about as interesting as bus timetables. Group C were (was?) pissed off and complained that they had had insufficient preparation for the test. In fact, they had twenty-four hours on reports of various kinds, and as university students, they ought to have been able to shift gears smoothly enough, but they are not Group C (of three) for no reason. I’ve been asked to mark generously…

Mabruka has a misspelled introduction and a misspelled conclusion separated by three inches of blank paper. Naturally, neither introduction nor conclusion relate to anything. Well, there’s nothing there to relate them to, obviously, so do I give her points for some kind of logic?

Karim has an introduction:

Sabjecat: International Students.

As requested I have fretated a report on facin for international student of the Academic English course.

An angelic kid called Mustafa, he of the Fayum portrait eyes and luscious lips, provides us with this indispensable snippet of information:

The most propontlon of nationalities is majortly is Saud, follweed by Chines big increase.

Actually, I do understand what these two are saying, mostly: ‘to fretate a report’ is the collocation ‘to prepare a report', half-remembered. What ‘facin’ is I do not know, and it isn’t what you think it is, either. Anyway, I can award points here for some, well, intelligible garbling. I am going to have to spend a bit of time puzzling over this contribution from Hamza, though:

In a. 1. there were a slightly decrease in some number of students such as pronunciation colur red, vocabulary conversation, academic writing about 2% not very slightly but conversation from 1 to 7 coulour red high increase and followed vocabulary and very slightly from 0 to 1 by colur red.

The ‘pai shart’, you may have gathered, is colour coded. It shows the numbers and nationalities of students following the university's 'Academic English Curse', in Hassan's words.

So there we are. This class is a sort of academic ‘excused boots’ group, meaning they are not expected to achieve output anywhere near output time and so may bumble along, flopping out this bott-rot indefinitely. I have them for another five weeks, after which I will probably have to admit defeat and request a transfer.


ydnacblog said...

It's your knack of making a situation that others might see as a hopeless mess just achingly funny that will bring me back here - daily.....

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks a lot! I keep forgeting to point out that these are very nice people. I just wonder how some of them expect to do Masters courses in the coming academic year.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Yes, I was teaching a group recently that had been bequeathed to me by a departing teacher. They were all supposed to be IELTS candidates, but only two or three could actually express themselves in anything close to coherent English.

'They're all due to take their IELTS in May' I was told ... but I wasn't informed it was May 2012, or perhaps even later.

On our second Friday afternoon meeting I handed out some godawful writing task just before the break, and was extremely gratified to learn, upon my return, that almost all of them had scarpered during the interval. 'Bingo!' I thought - here's my 'fire exit'!

I've used it every week since, and it has never failed to work. I do so enjoy discovering a new activity that students really appreciate, don't you?

Vilges Suola said...

It's OK so long as ALL of them scarper - if a few remain you might as well have the whole class.


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