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Author Topic: IELTS examining  (Read 39817 times)

Con ate dog

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2008, 04:59:47 AM »
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Foscolo

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2008, 04:34:17 PM »
IELTS is really taking off around the world, and getting involved with it in one way or another will serve you well outside China as well if you carry on teaching English. A thorough way to get your head into the exam is to download the handbook from the website: http://www.ielts.org/.
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Pashley

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2008, 12:19:57 PM »
A current ad to recruit examiners, from the Guangzhou IELTS office:
http://www.englishclub.com/tefl/viewtopic.php?f=10&p=7399
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MK

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2008, 12:33:11 PM »
I think a lot of the regular IELTS examiners are also the freelance-teaching-on-a-business-Visa types - so the current crackdown in that area might well lead to a shortage of examiners.

lolochan

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2008, 01:02:34 PM »
If you can't become an examiner, invigilating does pay well. You basically make sure there is no cheating happening during the exam. I worked the Cambridge exam in Canada and it is very strict. The exam is required from international students who want to enter a university and for people who are immigrating to Canada or the US (not sure if it is the case for Britain).

There are 3 parts to the exam (not two). Invigilators control check in, exam materials, entering the exam room and monitoring the written and listening portion of the exam. Examiners are used for the speaking portion of the exam. Markers are hired separately.

As an invigilator, you have to be very vigilant about checking people into the exam, explaining rules of the exam and making sure the exam room is not "contaminated". Friendliness is not recommended as people will try to pull a lot of crap in the exam in order to pass. Chinese students are the worst for cheating and I have kicked several students out of exams for this. It is a major risk as the cost in Canada is $250 each time. Students often take the exam at least 2 times but I have seen students take it up to 11 times. Even electronic watches and cell phones are not allowed into the testing area.

The training for invigilating is a few hours and many are needed during the day of the exam. Examiners generally come in only for the speaking portion or make a separate schedule for marking. 

Again, you can contact the British Council, if you are interested in applying for any of these positions.
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Foscolo

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2008, 05:34:51 PM »
While invigilating once, a candidate tried to bribe me to give him some answers. I don't know which was more insulting - that he thought I'd take a bribe, or that that he thought I was so poor I'd be interested in the trifling sum he was offering.

I understand that in IELTS administration there's concern about exam malpractice in a number of countries, one of which is China. One problem (in general, not specifically China) is that the institutions where the exam is sat may have agendas and attitudes which are not all that they might be. In particular, invigilators who disqualify a candidate may find themselves in a position of defending themselves against confrontational comebacks from the institution and/or the candidate. So much less bother just to turn a blind eye...
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Pashley

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2008, 05:10:03 AM »
Chinese students are the worst for cheating and I have kicked several students out of exams for this.
Not sure that is true. A friend who taught in Korea tells me students there are even worse. They cheat more and are better at it, harder to catch.
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adamsmith

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2008, 06:16:24 AM »
Having taught, and studied with, both Korean and Chinese students for many years, I would have to say they are on a par with each other although in my opinion I would give the Chinese students the dubious honour of being the most blatant about it - many times they don't even realize what they are doing is cheating. But I will grant the Koreans the honour of being the most creative.

Foscolo

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2008, 10:37:24 AM »
I cheated in my state Math exam when I was 16. I scratched some key equations I just couldn't remember onto my watch strap. If I'd flunked that exam, it would have seriously limited my choices for higher education two years later. I don't think that was cheating. I think it was being smart. Not to excuse ESL exam candidates' cheating, but it can be a logical and understandable response to the life-chances determining effects of a state education system. Or it can be because the candidates are lazy morons who expect to get something for nothing, of course.
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lolochan

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2008, 01:25:18 PM »
In Canada, they have actually asked people to keep their watches at home. But people will always find a way to cheat. Better mouse, better mousetrap..
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2009, 10:01:47 AM »
Has anyone become certified as an IELTS examiner while in China?

It's just occurred to me today that I might like to think about being one of those.  I have no idea if any IELTS testing goes on in my small town but I doubt it, however I live near Changsha, and maybe getting flown around the place might be interesting once and a while.  Any thoughts?

I don't know if I can get three years of glowing post-CELTA certification references.  I am three years post certification, but the first of those years was in a training center from which I eventually got fired, and the two subsequent years have been here, a public uni in Hunan.

What's the certification course like?  It takes 4 days?  In Beijing at the British Council?  And costs money?  And you have to wear a tie?


I'll navigate the various websites at some point to find out in detail, but experiences would be great if anyone has any.
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becster79

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2009, 12:14:54 PM »
Wish I could help you out, but hoping to become one myself. I will have finished the MA in November and possibly hoping to get into the January training intake (I know this is when it happens). Only think is, I will have had 4 1/2 years experience and just got the MA, so no post experience as such. Don't know how picky they are on this though, but they're always advertising, so they must be able to bend some rules somewhere.
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Pashley

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2009, 01:56:43 AM »
They have four centers -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu -- and training is at one of them. In Gz, as of four years ago it was offered about twice a year. I don't know if that has changed or might be different at other centers.

There are separate certifications for interviewing and marking the essays. When I did the training in 2004, it was a 4-day course covering both & cost 750 rmb. They now sometimes offer two day courses that cover interviewing only.

All writing is marked at their centers. e.g. for South China, tests are given in Nanning, Haikou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen & Fuzhou, but the writing marking is all in Guangzhou. To get that work you must either live in GZ or be willing to travel there at your own expense each time. I know someone who did that, travelling Zhuhai-Guangzhou. Suzhou-Shanghai would likely work.

You can live anywhere & work as an examiner. In province, they pay for (actually, reimburse about 6 weeks later) bus or train. If you go outside your province, air fare is reimbursed. In my year as an examiner, living in Fujian, I made two out-of-province trips, to Haikou and Nanjing. 

Their requirements are native speaker or IELTS 9 (effectively perfect) non-native, (any) degree, TEFL certification (they can be picky about which one), and 3 years teaching experience. There is some flexibility in this if you have some other relevant qualification, like B Ed or a Master's, but I do not know how much. They want three year's experience after the TEFL Cert; I'm not sure if there's flexibility there.
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Pashley

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2009, 03:36:57 AM »
Has anyone become certified as an IELTS examiner while in China?

Many, including me,

Quote
What's the certification course like?  It takes 4 days?  In Beijing at the British Council? And costs money? 

See previous posts, first in thread & one just before this.

Quote
And you have to wear a tie?

When I was doing it, a few years ago, ties were required for male examiners in the Guangzhou office's fief, but not in Shanghai office's area. When several Fuzhou examiners were sent to Nanjing, we all wore ties to the test center and were surprised the local lads did not.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 03:45:21 AM by Pashley »
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: IELTS examining
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2009, 03:05:49 AM »
Here's the thing that's really bugging me...

See, it sounds like an IELTS weekend is pretty intense as far as being the examiner goes, 25-30 interviews where you're always "on", keeping the IELTS standards in your head and judging the practice of earnest, cheatin', dummy, great kid hopefuls.  So is there a personality or character skill set that makes this kind of thing easy, or hard, or enjoyable, or whatever?

Starting today I'm examining my own students.  They'll be in groups of 2-3 with 3-4 minutes per group.  They'll be talking to each other and not talking to me.  I score them in my own naive version of fluency, accuracy, and communication skills.  Theoretically one class will take one hour to complete.  In practice it takes two class periods if everyone more or less cooperates.

Last sememster I noticed a trend I hadn't seen before in my scoring.  The class that went first had markedly lower scores than the later classes.  I know this was examiner error and fixed it on the final score sheet.  (I was strict and followed my marking scheme closely in the first class, and relaxed into an easier listening method as exams wore on.  Something like that.)

Anyway... what kind of person loves IELTS examining and finds it fun?
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