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Edexcel AS French

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by cowiegillian, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. cowiegillian

    cowiegillian New commenter

    My AS students just sat the Edexcel AS French Paper 1 exam on Monday. I am totally disillusioned at the level of difficulty of this new exam. It has been a real challenge this year to even teach the massive amount of content on a wide range of complicated topics as well as a film and the excessive demands of the speaking test.
    To find the examiners had included in the reading section a literary text from Madame Bovary was the last straw! In what universe could they think that, on top of everything else, a 19th century novel from Flaubert be accessible to AS students ( one year after the old-style GCSE!). I am in a state comprehensive where recruitment is a constant worry and it seems to me that even my most talented students are likely to see that if this is the level of difficulty of AS it is not worth continuing to A Level. Does anyone else have a similar experience?
     
    pascuam49 likes this.
  2. jujul

    jujul New commenter

    I agree with you. It is a very demanding course. I am glad my student (a bright Year 11 student who had sat IGCSE early and was keen to start the AS course) and I decided to postpone taking the exam for another year. Even if I had had more lessons with him (he only had 3 hours a week and had to learn alongside the other Year 11 students studying for IGCSE), it would have been a struggle to cover everything.
    I am also disappointed Edexcel hasn't provided more than one specimen paper. There was also very little guidance as to tackle Theme 2. I am still trying to get my head round how I am going to cover this.
    I would be happy to share ideas.
     
  3. Byardo

    Byardo New commenter

     
  4. Byardo

    Byardo New commenter

    Same with this year's AQA. So so hard. Are they setting exams for native speakers these days?

    What a joke!
     
  5. parkert

    parkert New commenter

    I'm also in a state comp but we don't have A level as we never have enough numbers. However, I totally agree. It's the same at GCSE now too with the new spec. It really is killing the joy of the lesson. All "fun" activities have gone now as we just have to focus on grammar grammar grammar and then all that content! For years they complained about the lack of uptake in MFL in the UK and how German is slowing being dropped by schools...and then they go and make it so much harder. Not only is there the grammar and content to get through, there is also all the exam skills to get through! There is no time available. We have 2 lessons a week but are having to cut Y7 and 8 to one a week as we do not have enough staff and no budget to recruit because we had to make redundancies since the govt is not giving us the annual pay rise!!! It's all a bloody joke and makes we want out of teaching.
     
  6. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    I haven't seen any papers yet, but one consolation for you is Ofqual's "comparable outcomes" policy which should ensure a similar spread of grades to recent years. We'll see.
     
  7. Byardo

    Byardo New commenter

    HMMMM, Am increasingly finding that students are even more reluctant to do MFL at A level as they perceive (rightly) that it will hamper their chances of being accepted at better Unis as they realise that they won't get high grades. My own daughter said that she wished she'd done sth like Health and Social care so she'd get a good grade as despite her (and mine) best efforts she won't get a high grade. Too many native speakers being entered these days and very little on the paper for your average students. Quite simply a waste of time. I'm getting to the point where I do not want to teach it as I know that I can't do well for them. Depressing!!!
     
  8. nicola_lons

    nicola_lons New commenter

    I have finally got hold of the paper today after our exams department misplaced it (I work in a very large FE college so these things do happen)

    I gave it to my students who did not sit the exam officially as an end of year test. I feel so sorry for them. I think that understanding inference is one thing but they have gone too far. I found the last large reading question especially ambiguous to the point where I wasn't even sure that my answer was what they were looking for!! Not a question of comprehension but the phrasing of questions can often be confusing. This is where my students are falling down; they know where the answer is but can't phrase it appropriately to answer the question.

    The grade boundaries must be lower to ensure a similar distribution of grades. Upwards of 45% for a pass on this paper would be crazy!
     

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