THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

End of School Year 2009

Dear Students,

Yesterday was our last BEC Vantage class. Today is our last FCE class. I always have mixed feelings about ending a course. We've shared learning and laughter, for which you'll certainly be missed. On the other hand, I am glad for your achievement. As you know, language schools are not obligatory in Argentina, so it makes a difference to see people choosing to stay in class, motivated in spite of being tired of compulsory school exams for some as well as office work for others.

I won't say something like: "Sadly the day has come for us to say goodbye..." because we are now connected in so many ways. I proposed a wiki and a blog, but some of you have surprised me with Facebook invites and even Twitter. You see, you've disrupted my online world this year. I welcome it.

Last week we had a wiki recorded conversation about self-assessment. Your responses are material for my reflection. I want to do better next time. First thoughts on some things you taught me this year:

-It is not easy at all to internalize the criteria for correction used by international exams. It is sometimes too abstract to picture in examples.
-When you write outside the exam rubrics, with freedom of number of words or wider choice of topic, you show your real voices. You can even make grammar mistakes a teacher would have thought you wouldn't make at this learning stage. I think these cannot go unseen or unheard in a language class.
-You like teacher's corrections. Even if there are many. Even if they make you tired of thinking.
-You like reading what other students have done in the past. You look for real models.
-You love investigating online. I've never seen so many hits to the online dictionary sites during class time.

Now not all learning comes from the things I've heard or seen from you. There has been a silence this year about past papers. Anxiety levels to practice strictly in exam conditions went down.I've noticed you are all more interested in specific questions you have. You seem to follow your own learning paths. This is not the case with online followers of this blog, who tend to ask for links to past papers and listening practice. I wonder if that is a difference between studying with a teacher or studying on your own. It makes me re-think my teacher role. What is a teacher there for anyway?

To end this letter/post... (snif, snif)

Thank you for participating so much. I am grateful for every anecdote you shared. Thank you for being so curious, alert and fun. It has been my pleasure to be your teacher.

Wishing you every success in exams and life,


PS/ Do let me know how you did on your exams! I'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

To the online readers of this blog, please share your exam experience in the comments.


  • Thanks Claudia for this amazing post, almost cry ha ha.
    Hope you have a nice Year and I'll let you know my mark on February.
    See you today for our last class,
    Flor Barceló

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 5:59 pm  

  • I'm from Lima, Peru and I'm taking the next FCE exam!! This blog is amazing, I found it 6 months ago. Claudia, this post was really beautiful!!
    I had a FCE class, too. Here is different because I finished my english lessons on April. I was 6 months with the same classmates and also with the same teacher, and I remember those days when read your "letter/post".

    I'll let you know about my results and, in general, abou my experience :)!


    By Blogger JessicaV, At 12:52 am  

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