Tuesday, 21 August 2012

La Gran Tarde del Concurso

Since you´re asking I went furniture hunting in La Marina and Dolores this morning. Well , I say that, but really and truly I was just along for the ride. But you don´t really want to know about that. So I´ll tell you about La Gran Tarde del Concurso, which is the closest my one term`s lessons Spanish will get me to The Great Quiz Evening.I´ll explain.

My in-laws live in a village which has a small and relatively close ex-pat community. This is not to say that they have no spanish friends at all , in fact they recently moved so they can be next door to their best spanish friends. Still, it´s probably fair to say that the majority of their friends and close acquaintances are Brits. Two of them were away when Mary and I arrived here last week, and only got back on Sunday. So they popped round to see us, well, I say us, but Mary really. I only tend to get over to Spain once a year, but Mary comes at least twice and three times if we can scrape up the airfare . So they know Mary better than me. That and the fact that I´m a bit of an antisocial sod as well. During the course of Sunday evening my mother-in-law suddenly came out with this "I know - why don´t we have a quiz evening this week ? David can do all the questions for us !" So it was agreed that we´d have a group of the friends around tomorrow night. Bring some drinks when you come, and teams will be sorted out on the night.

Ok, ok, no I really don´t mind it at all. But if you´ve set any number of quizzes in your time you´ll appreciate that this did land me in something of a quandary. For one thing, I don´t know if any of them ever do any quizzes, ever watch any quizzes, or have any quiz experience at all. So I´ve taken it for granted that they haven´t. This presents its own problems though. Namely, how do you make it accessible and fun for everyone, so that everyone can get some of the answers right, and nobody feels stupid, without seeming to be patronising them either ? So I´ve used a large proportion of multiple choices. - Alright, this sort of thing isn´t so much my cup of tea, being as I´m a simple soul and I prefer questions where you either know it,or don´t,or can guess it ,or can´t, but then it´s not for me as I´m doing the quiz. There´s also the question of resources for checking my answers, being away from my well stocked mission control at LAM Towers. Still, the level of the quiz means that it really hasn´t been difficult to verify the answers.

So what we´ve ended up with is a five round, 50 question quiz. None of the questions would give any proper quizzer a problem, and lots of them are multiple choice. I´ve fallen back on another old favourite as well.
A couple of ooh, Matron questions each round will hopefully stop the whole thing from becoming too serious.

Mind you, for all the sheer seconds I´ve spent agonising over the quiz, a little nagging something within my mind says that the chances are the drinks will start flowing amongst the teams tomorrow night and we´ll never get as far as starting the quiz, let alone finishing it. Watch this space.


Paul Steeples said...

I usually do multiple choice when writing for non-quiz people. It means they have at least some chance of getting a right answer - there's nothing more dispiriting than scoring little or nothing. An alternative is to structure around, say, the alphabet - one answer in the round will begin with a, one b etc etc, and give them a list of letters to cross off. As you say, some humour is vital, and a picture quiz is usually popular. But I'm probably teaching my granny to suck eggs here...

DanielFullard said...

I have a similar issues with learners I teach. After all, they are there to boost confidence and improve skills and when I use quizzes as icebreakers/team work boosters, Its always hard to know what to use etc as making people feel stupid is not the point of the course.

Londinius said...

Hi Paul

I like the alphabet round , and wish I´d used it myself tonight . Not exactly lead balloon, but not an unqualified success either.

Hi Daniel

It´s not easy , is it ? As I saiid, my problem is that these people , most of whom I don´t know very well, aren´t quizzers, don´t know quiz etiquette, and really , I think, would have been just as happy to come for a few drinks and a ( in my experience long and boring ) chat. Don´t think there will be a repeat, somehow.

Skiffle.cat said...

The trickiest quiz I ever wrote was for a friend's 42nd birthday. His wife did a Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy theme, and asked me to write a sci-fi themed quiz for. The problem was that while I knew some of his friends are moderately well informed sci-fi fans, others were his folkie and work friends I didn't know at all, and who probably knew little about sci-fi.
It was almost impossible to pitch the quiz to give the latter a decent chance of answering questions, without making it ludicrously easy for the first group. I kept the quiz fairly short, and as I expected, the gamer friends won comfortably, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, which is the best I could hope for.