“Teacher, the test was hard,” he said to me.
“Well, you did miss a lot of classes,” I replied.
“Yes, I know,” he said and smiled, slightly embarrassed and charming. “But, it was very hard for me.”
I smiled back. “And you didn’t have the book for the first four weeks.” This was week five.
“Yes, but I been busy, it was Ramadan and…” he shrugged. “I study hard but I been sick.”
“I know. I know.” I put my hands on my hips.
“I didn’t understand the part with past perfect and past perfect progressive. What was I supposed to write?”
I like this student. He is polite and wants to do well.
But some students don’t seem to know how to study. They think that a modicum of effort is hard work. They look blankly at the page when I ask them to check their work. “It’s fine,” they say.
How do you know you’ve worked hard enough on your writing? Is it the best you can do? How much work is a lot? Of course, other students overwork everything. They over think the grammar questions and wring their essays to death.
How do you know much work you need to do?