Professional Teacher
Why don't students guess? I have been on italki for less than a month, but I see endless questions asking if the answer is A or B. The student usually never says what he/she thinks the answer is. Imagine if a student actually guessed each one of their questions and discovered that they got a very high percentage correct, or perhaps ALL of them! Maybe they would gain some confidence and move forward with their language learning instead of questioning every doubt. In addition, it is helpful to the answerer to explain if the asker got the guess wrong. If the asker guessed correctly, there is no need to even answer the question, as the lack of an answer could signify a correct guess. By the way, I have a Master's degree in  teaching English as a Second (foreign) Language and over 15 years of teaching experience, so I have seen what fear of failure can do to students. Anyway, my rant. Just try. 
Apr 18, 2018 7:40 PM
Comments · 13

I would guess that half the time the student just wants someone to tell them the answer.  In effect, italki becomes a homework factory.  Instead of working through the exercises themselves, they just ask on italki, and someone gives them the answers.  It's like copying your homework from your friend, except that on italki your "friend" is really, really good at it and always gets the answers correct.

I remember once that I really pissed someone off because I asked the person what he thought the answers to his questions were.  He was upset, and expected me to just tell him the answers.  He did not want to have to think through the questions.

April 19, 2018
Sometimes I just need a confirmation from my peers or a person of authority....I am not sure if this is what is caused by education... 
April 19, 2018
I disagree with the OP because I think it assumes too much. I'll guess when I'm talking to someone and I don't know the correct verb conjugation or something, but I like to know the right usage when I learn a language. Gleaning and guessing will only get you so far. When in doubt, I'll study and try to find the answer myself, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with coming here when that fails, or even just to get some reassurance from a native speaker. If it drives ya nuts then don't read those questions; this is a language learning site after all.
April 19, 2018
I think it's more than doubt. It's symptomatic of an unwillingness to think through a problem and try to come up with a solution, by putting in work, analysis, and re-reading books. It seems to stem from a perception that teachers and other experts exist to fill their heads with knowledge. Too many students think all they have to do is show up, listen or read, and that this is learning.
April 18, 2018

I usually go by the method of elimination. I see that B and D are obviously not correct, and then I concentrate on A and B. I will either guess or leave it blank. Why would I leave it blank? Well, sometimes, I feel embarrassed to say something extremely absurd and obviously false in front of my classmates or to make the teacher feel disappointed in case we've gone over the same thing many times in class. But if I feel comfortable in the classroom environment, I may as well guess. Many times, I find myself itching to choose B over A but I just don't want to take the risk. And then, boom, it's B, just as I had suspected. I am left regretting my lack of belief in my abilities. I guess I should just trust my intuition and ignore the pressure of the environment. So, I think you're right about the 'doubt' thing. 

April 18, 2018
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