Thursday, 26 May 2011

Cheating at IELTS

Those of us who have worked and lived in Asian countries will know that many people in Asia have a different attitude to 'cheating' than we do in the west.  To cheat in exams in China - well, many do it, and often with the support of their teachers and the university hierarchy. 

This example may help you understand.  I found that 6 of my students in one class did not understand English but I was not told.  When I found out, I spoke to the Vice Proncipal (that is what it said on his door), and he told me to treat these boys the same as I would any other students. Mmm.  It was impossible as they didn't understand what I was asking of them, and in a class of 45 students for 45 minutes there was not a lot of time.  I did offer to help students who were having challenges as an extra curricular activity but these boys did not attend.

At the mid semester test, they failed.  Each handing in their paper, without anything written on it. Most could not even write their name in English.  Sadly I had no choice but to give them '0' for their tests.  When it came to the end of semester test, I was not permitted to either supervise or mark the tests.  And surprisingly the six students passed with flying colours!!!

In Australia in recent times there has been some skulduggery in Western Australia, and the newspaper reports of a staff member of Curtin University helping students pass.  IELTS ( International English Language Testing System) is the acknowledged system for testing English language proficiency and it is required to pass to a certain level for university study in Australia, UK, and other English speaking countries.  There are alternatives, but IELTS is probably the one requiring the highest proficiency.

Several of those involved will face court in the next couple of weeks in Perth, and clearly there will be dire consequences, and it is possible that Curtin University will no longer hold IELTS tests.  You can read more on this story here.

I remember when I was in South Korea, the participants in th course were required to have an IELTS score of 6.5, but the administrators 'waived' that requirement, but as it was an Australian certificate that they were studying for, they had to produce their IELTS results in order to receive their certificate.  One of the students could bearly speak any English!  But the South Koreans did not see that as important!!


Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Made in China! Need any more be said?

Di Hill said...

I don't think they were Chinese - judging from the names I think they were Pakistani or Indian.