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A Comprehensive Guide to Level Testing

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by

jon ball

on 21 March 2015

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Transcript of A Comprehensive Guide to Level Testing

Ideas
Ideas
Ideas
As a level tester, you are the face of ILA.
That face needs to be friendly,
welcoming, and interested in what the prospective students have to say.

For some very young learners you may be the first native speaker they have sat in a room with, let alone spoken to.

The attitude of the level tester can make all the difference as to whether a student signs up or not.

You play a direct role in ensuring we can open classes and all that results because of that.
Even with young learners, we can still keep it conversational.
The role of front office staff.
Troubleshooting
Discuss your answers with a partner. Draw on your own experience of level testing.
So, what have we learned?
Take 5 minutes.

Tell your partner everything you've learned today about the dark art of level testing.
A Comprehensive Guide to being a Level Tester
but plenty of this.
Making conversation
The best way to conduct a level test is for it to be as conversational as possible. Try and let the conversation be guided by the answers the students give you, rather than just asking lots of unrelated questions.
for example...
...and a less useful way to do it.
Let's look at that again.
This time with a young learner.
What do you know already?
Talk to a partner- tell them what you know about being a level tester
The stages of a level test
Work with a partner and order the stages of a level test.
Ready for the answers?
so please, none of this...
Ask the person next to you:
What does that mean?
How important is that role?
Approaching the level test prompt questions
At last, a game
Question Association.
Two teams-
One teams ask a question-
Other team replies with a follow up question to a possible answer
The front office staff arrange the level tests with the student.
These students can be:

New customers
Students who may need to be re-level tested
Past students returning to ILA
People applying for jobs with ILA

Whilst your job is to find the right level for the student, what do you think the role of front office staff is?

How can you and front office staff work together effectively?
Share your ideas with a partner
After you've finished a level test - take a minute or two to explain your comments to the P.O. It's important they understand your comments and it shows the students that academic and administration staff work together to place a student.
Be flexible: Sometimes students arrive late for level tests. It's annoying but it happens. Unless you have a class you have to get to, it's best if you can make sure that any students waiting are able to have their level test. Otherwise, it's hard for P.O.s to have to turn a student away, and let's face it, not good for business. If you stay past your time, make sure that extra time is recorded so you get paid for it.
If possible, allow for some flexibility of placement when you complete the placement test form. For example, you level test a S3 student at 0 hours. Bear in mind that we may not have a S3 class opening soon- could that student join a current ongoing class? Say S3 +12 hours?

Don't compromise your judgement, but bear in mind that front office staff will have to try and find suitable courses for students.
1. How do you approach a level test with a shy student? What about a very confident one?
2. With J classes, what else do you need to test other than their speaking ability?
3. Apart from age and ability, what other factor should you consider when placing a YL student?
4. You have a borderline case, where do you place the student?
5. You are level testing someone who has applied for a job with ILA. How do you conduct their level test?
6. When level testing EA students, what extra information do you need to provide on the level test form?
Today's workshop:
The aim is to give a complete picture of level testing
1. Experiences
2.The Stages of a level test
3.The face of ILA
4.Conducting a the test itself
5.F.O. Staff
6. Troubleshooting
7.Summing up

Testing across the ages.
Ask your partner:

1. What do you need to test
for with students who are starting the Super Junior program?
2. What do you need to take into account for students wanting to study on Smart Teens courses?
Starting Super Juniors?

In addition to testing speaking, check if they know the alphabet by heart (not just in sequence or the song). Also check their writing skills. If they can't write simple sentences or they don't know their ABCs, they are J1As!
Starting Smart Teens?
Consider the students' maturity level. Is the coursebook content appropriate for them? Would they fit into the learning environment expected of the level?
Ages and Levels.
Work with a partner.
Complete the table with the appropriate age ranges.
Full transcript