The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Pass or fail?

Well, I've now said goodbye to my summer class and sent them on their way with the usual round of group photos and good wishes for the future.

PSBC - Pre-sessional EAP group Bristol Uni 2009

The final week is always a mix of emotions, marking final assessments and agonizing over marks, then having to say 'goodbye and good luck' without giving any hint of passes and fails - marks will be collated, moderated, then sent out to students next week. This year has been particularly tricky as I seem to have had a lot of borderline cases - neither clear passes nor definite fails.

After five weeks of seeing a group almost every day, you become really quite attached to them. Whilst they can be infuriating at times, you also get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the progress they make - in some cases really great leaps. You want the best for them and although in one way, you want to pass them all, you also know that it's not fair to push those through who just won't cope on their Master's programmes. Is it better for them to fail at this early hurdle and go away and reassess their options rather than carry on and struggle all year, possibly dropping out or failing at a later stage? Whatever the outcome, I just hope they all make the most of their year ahead and go away with a great stock of experiences and memories.

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