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AQA A Level Spanish Oral Exams

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by lgn, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. lgn

    lgn New commenter

    Hello everybody!!

    I wanted to ask the Spanish teachers that may read this what is their general feeling on the A Level oral exam results, and especially (if possible!) on the teacher conducted oral exams?

    The reason why I am asking is because I have seen a huge discrepancy across language departments in my school for teacher-conducted and visitor-conducted exams and was wondering if that is the same case for other people. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

  2. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Have you read the examiners report on eaqa for clues? Did you get a centre feedback sheet on the conduct of the exam?
  3. lgn

    lgn New commenter

    We did not get a centre feedback sheet as they said everything was in line with the specification. Yes, I have read the report, but does not shed any light as to why these results are so much lower than the other languages, which were conducted by a visiting examiner.
    Is it possible that exams conducted by teachers are marked in a harsher fashion than those conducted by visiting examiners?
  4. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    It could be that the visiting examiners are much more familiar with the way marks are going to be awarded and structure their "conversation" in a way that gives the candidate every chance of ticking the boxes.
  5. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Also in the past, aqa had a habit of penalizing the best candidates because they guessed they were over prepared, and rewarding candidates who struggled because they sounded more spontaneous. So it's important for a teacher examiner to make sure they ask questions to push the candidate around, to make it clear they are not using pre prepared answers.
  6. ChocolateChunk

    ChocolateChunk New commenter

    I feel like it means that teachers at the early stage of their career could then involuntarily make their students lose a few points as it seems that experience does prevail a bit?
  7. steph green

    steph green New commenter

    We moved to visiting examiner option in Spanish a few years ago because our main Spanish specialist had left and were amazed at how well our candidates did. So, we did the same with French a couple of years ago. I can't explain for sure why they do so well. It could be any, or all, of the reasons mentioned above. However, I have found that our candidates do as well as we could possibly hope and sometimes better. I have always found that the examiners do an excellent job of putting our candidates at ease and perhaps the students feel under less pressure - when faced with their teacher, they maybe feel that they don't want to let us down. The downsides are the extra expense and the fact that you need a minimum number of candidates. We've pooled our candidates with other local centres in the past to overcome the numbers issue. With falling numbers, that's going to get harder.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  8. lgn

    lgn New commenter

    Thank you all for your insights. I think next year I will go for an external examiner, not only for the impact on the results, but also because you do not have to prepare to run the exam! It is a win-win, really.

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