Thoughts on Testing – 1

Disclaimer: my opinions on testing are based on my reading and interpretation of the research during 40 years in the classroom.

Schools suck the life out of good people unless we know how to fight by only acting interested in their stuff (testing) and keeping our doors closed and really focused on our stuff (good teaching).

That means testing in class a lot less than they think we are testing and only looking like we are doing our jobs. It is easy to do that with quick quizzes and jGR/the new rubrics. (Testing is meaningless in languages when they are so new to it – and we know that so why don’t we reflect that fact in our curriculum design?)

So we shouldn’t worry if our students don’t know the language perfectly; it gives us something to enjoy, just making fun stuff up in class without acting like it’s such a big deal!

And, more importantly, we shouldn’t worry if we don’t know the language perfectly; it also gives us something to enjoy, like playing golf or doing other things we enjoy that we want to get better at!

Look. We cannot do more than give them confidence and a desire to learn the language and even then, if we don’t ruin it for them first, it’ll take them at least 30 years.

And since we or they weren’t born there, it’ll never be perfect. I should say that again. It’ll never be perfect. And that is just fine! If you haven’t yet read I’m OK – You’re OK by Thomas Harris, consider it.

Therefore, our testing scheme is evil pure and simple. It’s evil.

May God bless and our protect our students, because we certainly haven’t, but now we can begin to fix things, just by getting better at what we know now about teaching that is in line with the research and putting our students and ourselves first in our classrooms, and shunning those shiny but false purveyors of trinkets and baubles that we call tests.

Thought for the day: We should try to diminish by 80% or more the amount of testing (esp. summative) that happens in our schools in the next decade, but only in languages, because testing has no place in language education and on some level we all know that.

Or we could remain shy and ineffective teachers, always wanting to fall in line with our ignorant administrators, so that they will approve of us. But that would hurt our nightingales, wouldn’t it? And how does it help the admins? Let’s face it, those who haven’t yet educated themselves about comprehensible input….well…..ok no comment.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

CI and the Research (cont.)

Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could

Research Question

I got a question: “Hi Ben, I am preparing some documents that support CI teaching to show my administrators. I looked through the blog and

We Have the Research

A teacher contacted me awhile back. She had been attacked about using CI from a team leader. I told her to get some research from

The Research

We don’t need any more research. In academia that would be a frivolous comment, but as a classroom teacher in languages I support it. Yes,



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben