If the tests are corrected collectively, they realize that it is not so tragic after all to make mistakes. They notice that, unlike them, their colleagues react indifferently to their own mistakes, and that everyone makes mistakes, not only they. When they do not do the tests well, they may blame themselves for not being intelligent enough to understand, or blame the teacher for not explaining the lessons clearly, even when they notice that the rest of the class understand almost everything. It is obvious that the students - and people in general from the same or different cultures - read, hear and see exactly the same thing, but perceive and process it in different ways.
It is important that the students do not take the tests lightly as if they were a guessing game, or very seriously as a test of intelligence, or a psychological test as in the Rorschach test. The multiple-choice test and the Rorschach test, although they are quite different from each other, still have one thing in common: their use for testing purposes without written text.
What is the Rorschach test? “The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Herman Rorschach.”2
Even though I did not take into consideration the multiple-choice test method, I still used it throughout my teaching years, as I have already mentioned. When I gave marks, I based my evaluation mainly on the students’ everyday performance in the classroom throughout the entire semester, since I knew them quite well. I used these tests, firstly, for homework in order to give the students something to keep them busy; and, secondly, for the end of term exams, because I had to submit proof to the administration, like the teachers of the other languages.
The reason I do not rely on the multiple choice results is that, since I am not a mind reader, I cannot tell whether the tested person knows what he or she is really doing, or simply checks one word or another at random like in a game of chance or lottery.
The book consists of three parts:
a) The exercises (128 exercises);
b) The corrections (512 sentences);
c) A lexicon of the words used in the exercises (670 entries). The words are listed in alphabetical order to facilitate consultation and not by root, as is usual. For example,
the verb , to welcome, is entered under , not under the root, to accept.
For the grammar reference, see A New Approach to Teaching Arabic Grammar. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2009.
Although the three parts of the book are distinct and different from each other, they could be used simultaneously: first, by doing the exercise; then checking the correction, and, if necessary, by looking up in the lexicon a word or several words contained in the exercise for the meaning and/or the right pronunciation.
I would like to express my gratitude to my wife, Felicity Nacereddine, for her contribution in revising the Introduction in English, its translation into French,
and for her useful hints.
Geneva, September 2015 Abdallah Nacereddine
1. Multiple choice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_choice [Consulted on 14 May 2015]
2. The Rorschach test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test [Consulted on 14 May 2015]