Reading, Writing, and IELTS Speaking
Friday, October 16, 2020
Year 10 students at Assumption College English Program have been tackling discretely each IELTS Speaking part of the IELTS Speaking Test. Although they have quickly come to terms with the format of the test, they confess to not having experienced the pressure and stress of being assessed while alone with a stranger. Our next step is to film each other speaking and to watch those videos for the purposes of feedback. Students in previous years have acknowledged the usefulness of this activity, even if they didn’t consider it the most comfortable activity.
The same students have also recently finished the novel The Outsiders and are busy writing responses to questions. During group work, one group of students wondered about the crimes committed by some of the characters in the novel. Pre-CoVid, some said, tongue-in-cheek, that UK used to stand for United Kingdom, but now it stands for ‘Unbelievable Krimewave’. Was 1960s Tulsa similar, they asked? And what, now, is the true state of Britain? Basking in rude health or sick to the guts? Some would say tish and fipsy, but others wouldn’t, a student noted, playfully affecting the mannerisms of an upper class twit. According to some, crimes we know nothing about are going up as well. After further discussion, students agreed that the characters in the novel were only minor criminals and not crazed drunkards ‘roaming the fields to kill horses with hammers’.
The novel elicited further interesting discussion regarding the likelihood of the Greasers gang members following the rules of sports, since some of the characters are keen sportsmen. Would they break the rules just as they challenged society’s smorgasbord of expectations? Once again, a student was quick to point out that contemporary comparisons are difficult to make due to the global pandemic. A high school football match in England, for example, saw Richmond Arithmetic vs. Nottingham Marjorie postponed due to a bent pitch. Students agreed that the main characters of the novel would follow the rules, because those characters were good people at heart. When asked to provide an example of breaking the rules, one student said that driving a car with bikes on the roof would not be a sportsmanlike way to compete in the Tour de France. Touché.
Written by Mr John Stillie