Here are a few notes I kept during Luke Meddings’ fascinating plenary – it is impossible to give such a great presentation justice.
Luke mentioned Dogme ELT towards the beginning – it is based on the lives and languages of the students.
He then quoted the story of Mr Gradgrind in Hard Times, where the teacher demands facts from the children. Luke asked: have things changed? He encouraged teachers to take account of standardised testing and take part in the debate.
Luke gave us examples from his children: his daughter was given a Phonics Screening Check – a bizarre name for a test, like a medical report, said Luke.
In order to see it from a positive side as well, Luke mentioned that there were noble intentions behind standardized testing: it was designed for everyone to be on a level playing field, to avoid favouritism.
He also mentioned Stephen Krashen’s open letter to President Obama which you can find here: http://atthechalkface.com/2012/11/26/stephan-krashen-an-open-letter-to-the-president/
A great plenary by Luke which I am very happy to have attended, as everyone in the room did, I am sure!
Vicky Loras, Roving Reporter for Yıldız University, Istanbul