Looking For Some Sage Advice

OK, so I need some advice. I have a student, let us call her student X for this situation. Just like any school, EF has different levels, and like other schools students matriculate to different levels. As teachers, we decide who should go onto the next level and who should repeat the level. And as many teachers do all over the world, we pass students who shouldn’t be passed.

So about a month ago my TB4B class (which is one of the higher levels in the school) came to an end. I had to decide who to pass and who to hold back. Most of my students were excellent and deserved to go to the next level but there was one student, student X, who was weaker than the rest. Her quiz and test scores were decent (nothing amazing) but that only tested her written English skills not her oral English skills. Her oral English was extremely poor.

Many a time when I called on her to answer a question in she would have trouble answering it. She would turn to other students to translate words into Chinese for her. (At this level they should be conversationally fluent). Student X was a student who did barley enough to get by and did just enough as not to be noticed. So it put me in a tough position. Do I pass her and have her struggle in the next level or do have her repeat the level?

I decided that I would give her a trial run in the next level. I would give her three classes at the next level and see how she did. If she really impressed me with her effort and showed me that she could handle the higher level I would let her stay. The three classes have ended and she has not wowed the pants off of me. She has continued to do the bare minimum. She answers questions when called on but doesn’t openly participate in class discussions or activities.

The three classes are up and I have to make a decision. Do I let her stay in the class having her continue to struggle or do I tell her that she can’t stay in the class and maybe even repeat the previous class?


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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2 Responses to Looking For Some Sage Advice

  1. Brittany says:

    Sounds like she needs to repeat the class. Can you communicate at all with her parents? I don’t know the situation, but it seems like there is more going on here. Seems like some confidence issues at play — she’s shirking her responsibilities because she feels like she can’t do the work? She’s afraid because she doesn’t understand as quickly as the other kids but doesn’t want to look dumb? Maybe if she repeated and got better her attitude would improve as well.

  2. Damien says:

    Fail the bitch….clearly she hasn’t got what it takes and is only serving to make you look bad in class. Couldn’t have been any of the original..thay were all gold.

    Hope your well my friend. I will never forget that night we shrieked at each other for the longest 5 seconds of our lives. It still chills me to think about it.

    Zai Jian wo de pengyou.


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