Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random thoughts on iBT, CAE, and blogging

I'm switching hats again, this time back to CAE after a break in order to teach a four-week TOEFL crash course. So far, despite having had only five students for the iBT class, there have been good results. A Swiss student reached his goal of 100 (out of 120), so he will be able to come back to the US and get into a choice college or university (assuming his undergraduate grades are also at a high level). There was another strong TOEFL candidate from Austria who passed the CAE in December. He also has a good chance of breaking 100.

Now I'm getting back into gear to teach our new CAE Preparatory Course, using the Oxford Series called 'CAE Result.' I used the book last year in the fall, on a 15-hour/week schedule. This time I will be following our school's 2009 curriculum of 22.5 hours/week dedicated to Cambridge prep. Most instructors and students seemed pleased with the extended hours in the winter session, so we'll continue.

Each time I teach a closed class, I try to think of ways to use this blog. Last night I put up another calendar from Calendars Net (my last one from widgetbox disappeared after a year, and I never bothered to replace it). In the past, students liked having an internet calendar where they could see reminders of homework assignments and upcoming tests or activities. I'll see if I can get that going again.

My plan this year to do more blogging has been a positive experience. Though I hadn't planned on teaching a blogging class, that recent experience forced me to become familiar with, which has proven to be quite user-friendly, friendlier than it was a few years ago. If you haven't visited Our Hi Five yet, please drop by and leave a comment on one of the student's posts. I will try to keep that blog alive after school with any interested students.

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