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AQA Alternative to GCSE

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by conjugator, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. This seems very good news: AQA have announced the draft spec for the new certificate. I can't see any mention of whether it counts for the Ebac, I hope so. It looks so much better than the GCSE ( including an much improved oral and a choice of written exam or coursework).
  2. This seems very good news: AQA have announced the draft spec for the new certificate. I can't see any mention of whether it counts for the Ebac, I hope so. It looks so much better than the GCSE ( including an much improved oral and a choice of written exam or coursework).
  3. Is there a link for this?
    Many thanks
  4. fionarh

    fionarh New commenter

  5. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    Thank you for the link. This does look good - in fact it's very like the old spec exam. I'm pleased to have the option of a terminal writing assessment and I agree that the speaking exam looks interesting with the idea of the photo stimulus cards, so pupils do get some choice over what they talk about.
    Without seeming too stupid, is Level 1/2 equivalent to a full GCSE? Even if the course is not accredited as counting for the league tables, is the level the same? I get that impression from the documentation and the requirements in the specification (the writing criteria are the same as those for CAs) but just want to check!

  6. If you read the specification, it does say it "provides alternative accreditation to GCSE", so hopefully it will become accepted as an E-Bacc component.

  7. I suppose that as it's still the 'draft' and they may not have got the sample papers approved yet, they can't say that it will count towards the Ebacc but if it doesn't it will have a limited appeal. I like the oral too - a nice first step towards AS exams and should help bridge the gap. This exam looks a lot better than the GCSE and I can see my school adopting it ASAP across all languages - although we are still at the mercy of the OFQUAL rationing of grades as mentioned elsewhere. But thank you, AQA, for listening to our complaints. I just hope I don't need to bid to buy another set of new text books!
  8. The AQA Certificate is apparently an IGCSE: http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/igcse.php
    I wonder how many people who opt for this will choose the Written Coursework option, despite having gone on (here and elsewhere) about how a terminal written exam would be great!
  9. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    I think a lot of people who 'go on' about how having a terminal exam would be great are really saying that there should be no option but the terminal exam. The problem with the either / or situation is that teachers will feel compelled to go down the CWK route because it will be perceived as a better way of improving students' results in writing (for various reasons, only some of which relate to malpractice). By insisting on only a terminal exam we would take away this pressure, cause teaching to be more focused on getting students to learn to manipulate language, and create a level playing field for all students.
    This is my view. I don't really think there should be the option of a terminal exam, whilst still allowing thousands of students to go down the far less rigorous coursework route.

  10. I take the point about the writing, being someone who has 'gone on' about it, and I do think it would be better if there was no choice at all. However, what I like mostly about this spec is the oral - it sounds so much better than the CA orals.
    At the risk of being accused of 'going on' about the writing, it appears that there will be two pieces in controlled conditions (so it's more like the CAs than the old coursework) although written in two sessions rather than one (so it will be less of the memory test that it is now). At least with centre-asessed work, despite the pitfalls, you do get some decent feedback unlike with the current CA writing.

  11. Does anyone know what stage they are at in getting it listed by Ofqual as an "approved" qualification? And how long would it take to get on the ebac list? I'm assuming that is their intention. I saw it was available for entry in summer 2014 so would the assumption be that teaching towards it would start from sep 2012?
  12. matador

    matador New commenter

    some of it looks good ... very good ..... don't fancy the idea of an oral exam that's eleven minutes long though !!!!
  13. It does seem a long time, although 2 mins is preparation of the card and what's left seems to be about the same as, or even shorter than, the old style GCSE. For the top end it is also good prep for AS level with the picture and questions. In any case it's got to be better than the terrible CA speaking tests we are lumbered with now.
  14. I can't agree more. However, as my school is really pushing the EBacc I need to know if these certificates will count. If not, there is no point me using them
  15. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    Absolutely! We'd LOVE to go back to the old AQA way of written exam and proper oral exam. Yes it's more work and a bit stressy, both for us and the pupils, but at least I'd feel like they had some linguistic skills when they left, rather than GCSE memorise-a-text!
  16. Level 2 will be equal to grades c - a while level 1 is for c grade and below. I for one will be using the new spec so as to get back to teaching pupils useful language skills as opposed to memory techniques to learn wretched writing pieces or - even more hysterically - speaking answers.
  17. Seems as if the regulators have decided that AQA must take away the coursework and only offer a terminal exam. So we will have two options - either the text-memorisation marathon which the GCSE has become, or this (in my view) more demanding but probably better to teach certificate which won't feel like two years of continual assessment. A bit like an 'O' level and CSE 2-tier system but this certificate is what we'll be going for.

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