The Trinity Exam
Football players, pop singers, Valentino Rossi, cars and technology – these are classic topics for Italian students taking the Trinity English language oral exam.
The Trinity exam is an annual event in one of the schools in which I teach.
In recent years, the school has switched from the Spoken English exam to the Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam.
While the Spoken English exam is all about speaking, the ISE exam assesses reading, writing, listening AND oral skills.
This means more work for everybody.
We had the oral component of the exam just recently and all of my students passed: a very satisfying result given that last year some students failed.
The marks seem fair. With a few exceptions, the students who I expected to do well, did so.
As always, there were 2 or 3 students who left everything until the last minute. (No one can procrastinate quite like a teenager). They managed to scrape through somehow.
I have no idea what goes on in the exam room; I never do. The door is closed and the examiner and the exam candidate are alone.
After the exam, the students had positive things to say about the examiner. Clearly he was adept at putting young people at ease.
The examiner, in turn, told me the students were well-prepared.
On hearing me speak, he asked me if I was from Melbourne. (He was English.) How was he able to identify my accent so readily? He was a fan of Neighbours. We had a short conversation about the show and he displayed an alarming knowledge of the long-running soap.
The examiner has since gone on his merry way. We are now awaiting the results of the written exam.