Do you also enjoy reminiscing about the good old days, back when you were in school? Under the stern gaze of the English teacher or – as in my case – even the Latin teacher, being tested orally in front of the whole class on the vocabulary that we had all dutifully written down in our vocabulary books.
With comparatively little effort and a good oral grade, you could quickly make up for one or two flaws in school assignments or exams in order to boost your report card grade a little bit.
But these school assignments were also tricky, as they certainly continue to be today. The teachers always came up with something new to annoy the students. Because suddenly it wasn’t just about learning vocabulary by heart. We were confronted with whole sentences whose meaning and intention had to be grasped, and with inflected word forms that had absolutely nothing to do with the dictionary form of the word we had learned from the vocabulary book.
Added to this was grammar, so that the inflections could be accurately assigned and the meaning of the sentence thus correctly grasped. We had to be diligent to get the right spelling, otherwise the teacher would use the red pencil. And then there were those oral dictations, in which everything sounded different all over again and you quickly lost the thread and the meaning.
Some of you may have tales similar to these, which are based not least on my own school experiences and memories.