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AQA GCSE speaking

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by adrixargentina, May 9, 2018.

  1. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina New commenter

    I posted this in Secondary by mistake.

    i was asked to conduct the speaking exam for 2 students in a language I'm not overly proficient in. Could someone please tell me if I've failed the students?

    Both students are advanced speakers so did the Higher paper. They spoke extremely fast and the photocard element for both only lasted for one and a half minutes. I have read that if it's under 3 minutes it's ok if they are proficient and cover all that they need to.

    However each of their general conversations lasted 5 minutes, which is at the bottom end. I asked them both about 15 questions and they spoke quite fast and it was spontaneous. A multitude of tenses were covered.

    However I repeated a question in one of the exams and sounded like a **** most likely and I forgot to get them to ask me a question at the end which will definitely be one mark off.

    What's the likelyhood that I've ruined their exam. This is the first time I've conducted the tests for the new spec.
  2. Caramba

    Caramba New commenter


    First and foremost, it is unfortunately that you were put in this position; to carry out an assessment in a language of which you are not a confident speaker. It is also clear from this information alone that you would have struggled to find opportunities to 'stretch' the higher-ability candidates in order to access the full range of the assessment criteria, particularly for the General Conversation section.
    With regard to the photocard assessment, this is assessed for communication only, so as long as the candidates replied to all the questions and were able to develop most of their answers, they should be awarded marks from the higher band of the marking criteria, regardless of length of this part of the assessment. However, a short assessment might suggest that, although they answered all the questions, they might not have developed them fully.
    However, your comments suggest that the candidates might not have been fully stretched for the General Conversation section. It is assessed for Communication, Range and accuracy of language, Pronunciation and intonation and Spontaneity and fluency. In this respect, there is in opportunity with fluent speakers to develop a natural flow of conversation by allowing the examiner to pick up on the candidate's last utterance and finding a question/response that would enable the candidate to develop the conversation further. This allows for greater spontaneity and should allow you to move away from any bank of questions that might have been rehearsed by candidates on the themes before the exam. In addition, it allows for the conversation to naturally develop into the full 7mins.
    Therefore, if you did not feel confident in your ability to extend and develop the General conversation with the candidates in this way, it is likely that they have not been able to access the full range of the marking criteria and, as a consequence, it could be suggested that they have been disadvantaged in the assessment of their oral skills.
    Perhaps you need to have a chat with your HOD and, if necessary, contact AQA to advise them of your concerns as it may be possible to apply for 'Special Consideration' for these candidates, whereby consideration is given to the marks awarded by the AQA examiner (prior to results day) and a tariff applied to adjust the mark in favour of the candidates.
    I hope this is helpful.
  3. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    Don't worry - you won't be the only one to have be having doubts. I found conducting the tests very stressful - so much to remember. Hopefully the board will allow some leeway for the first year.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Special consideration? Why? There are hundreds of teachers out there conducting speaking tests in a language they're not totally confident in.

    The OP isn't being marked. All she had to do was prompt their answers with appropriate questions. Very few teachers and candidates have "natural" conversations that just flow and develop. It's pretty much scripted and pre-learnt!

    It sounds like they did very well; a shame they didn't get to 7 minutes, but if they spoke very fast, they probably covered all their material. That's why you should always have lots of questions prepared "just in case".

    I conducted this test with just one student. It's always nerve-wracking, because you have an eye on the recording equipment, have to re-set the timer, fret that you're using the right sequence of role-play, card and themes, ensure all tenses are covered, and get them to ask you a question! Every teacher doing this will have come away thinking "Oops! I didn't do x, y or z".

    You have most certainly not ruined the exam for them and don't even think about turning this into an issue with the exam board!
    maite4 likes this.
  5. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    I wouldn’t worry too much. The pupils are also assessed in three other skills and will assuredly have done well in them. See it as a learning experience and pay close attention to any report that you get back from the exam board on the conduct of the exams. I presume that centres will receive a report on teacher conducted exams as was the case with the legacy exams.

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