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changing A Level board

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Mister DRH, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. The freedom with AQA is a bad thing - examiners are not familiar with text/film they are marking. Our visiting examiner from AQA arrived to assess Das Leben der Anderen in the A2 oral to tell us he has never watched the film - total farce.
    At least WJEC examiners are familiar with all texts/films for assessment and can reward candidates for their knowledge and understanding of the text.
    But, what else would you expect from through-other AQA??? Over half of our centre's GCSE German marks have just gone up a grade as they (very lately) identified a rogue writing examiner ie. someone who has never been in a classroom and hasn't a clue what GCSE German actually involves!
    Move, move, move! Apparently CCEA have a great spec as well for A-level German.
  2. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    I think you may be mistaken on one issue Mr DRH. Although the examiners may know the prescribed texts the mark scheme should not let them award marks for knowledge of the texts as such. Ofqual do not allow this and all exam boards' mark schemes work on that basis.They can award marks for structure, answering the question and quality of language.
    I agree that it is an anomaly that AQA examiners may not know the texts (same goes for Edexcel). In the oral this is barely an issue at all since candidates can explain what they know to the examiners and, once again, they are not being tested on knowledge anyway.
    As for rogue examiners, I daresay they crop up with any board.
    The freedom to choose topics is one which many teachers cherish. That is why AQA kept it when coursework was banned.
    I have no real complaints about AQA at A-level. GCSE is another matter at the moment.

  3. I like the WJEC papers. They seem fair, and there's loads of time in the exam for checking work and taking time with questions. I feel sometimes the Reading comprehension questions are a little unclear on what answer they're looking for, even if you understand the text, but otherwise no complaints.

    The A2 cultural topic is from a prescribed list for the essay question, but in the oral it's pretty much free choice. It makes sense really.

    Also, the visiting examiner that came to our school was such a lovely and pleasant man.
  4. Sorry spsmith45, I think you are the one who is mistaken!
    You might be referring to the removal of AO4 which assessed cultural understanding - this is no longer allowed.
    However, have a look at the mark scheme for CCEA A2 2 and you will see that candidates are assessed on their knowledge of the literary text. www.ccea.org.uk/french
  5. Many thanks - I have set up a meeting with teachers from a local school who currently use WJEC, but I'm pretty sure that we will be moving on....
  6. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Then he is not fit to be an examiner. Das Leben der Anderen is hardly an obscure piece of work, and given the output from German film-makers over the last few years he should be familiar with Goodbye, Lenin!, Der Untergang, Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, Sophie Scholl - die letzten Tage, and Die Welle, all of which are popular with A level students. An examiner worth the name should have watched them all. I find it irresponsible at best and downright insulting at worst for an examiner to say he'd never watched the film. Perhaps he should read the chief examiner's report for the last few years to get an idea of what A level students can actually do.
    It reminds me of the old joke about teachers of literature: "Read it? I haven't even taught it yet." Funny as an anecdote, but not when examining for a major board.

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