For anyone who teaches English as a foreign language in a school system, matriculation exams are a big deal. We spend a lot of time learning the intricacies of the exams so that we can spend a lot of time preparing our students for them.
However, how often do we have the opportunity to take a look at what matriculation exams in other countries are like? Do they divide them into sections? Are there levels? Do they allow their students to use a dictionary during the exam?
Now take this one step further.
How often does a teacher of English as a foreign language to Deaf and hard of hearing students have the opportunity to compare accommodations on matriculation exams between countries?
The answer would probably be “ZERO OPPORTUNITIES ” if I hadn’t had this blog.
Thanks to this blog I met the amazing Beata Gulati from Poland, who introduced me to Professor Ewa Domagała-Zyśk (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland) and to other members of the research group on the topic of teaching English to this population.
Naturally, I asked everyone lots of questions about matriculation exams. I was fascinated to learn that while there are certainly similarities between different EFL matriculation exams in other countries, there are significant differences in the structures of the exams for the general population and in the accommodations given to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.
Take a seat and check this out!
I’m pleased to announce that Professor Ewa Domagała-Zyśka and I have written a joint article: “EFL Matriculation Exams for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students – Polish and Israeli Experiences” in which we presented the issue of teaching this population in the context of the Polish “Matura” exam vs the Israeli “Bagrut” exam. The article was published in “Multicolors: An International Journal of Educational Theory and Research”.
Such collaborations serve as an “eye opener” and as a reminder – no one in education has a monopoly on “the right way” to teach and assess students. Such comparisons can serve to enrich and enhance our teaching methods.
Here’s to reading, learning, and blogging!