Rising to the challenge

Today is going to be a taxing day for my student-teachers (and some teacher-students) as they toil through 3 LPAT papers within the same day. This reminds me of how some years ago, I flew to London to take the Certificate in English Phonetics exam of the International Phonetic Association. I, too, had to struggle through 3 papers within the same day, and I still remember vividly how my emotions roller-coastered during the day. Looking back, I’m glad I took the exam voluntarily, not because of the result, but because I had risen to the challenge. (This has also given me the chance to brag about having been examined by professors, including the eminent Chair of Phonetics Professor John Wells who had compiled the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, from the world-famous Phonetics Dept of University College London, even though I have never had the privilege of studying at UCL.)

I hope my students will realise that whatever they think about LPAT, and whatever their results, today will become a specially memorable day for the rest of their lives. The important thing is that they have risen to the challenge.

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