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Edexcel French A2 - Unfair Literature and The Arts Question (6FR04)

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Le_Jardinier, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. I agree with you whole-heartedly. At first I thought the question referred to the social setting of the novel, our students studies Sac de Billes, but I also am aware of the other more French meaning of 'milieu social' as social background, or as we would say 'class'. I think the question was totally unfair and amibiguous. Our students I know referred to the Jewish situation within occupied France and I hope that the examiners will mark favourably on the quality of the writing and the structure of the essay. A very unfortunate first question on this paper from Edexcel.
  2. Hopefully, now the results have been published we are all happier with this unfortunate situation. Our candidates seem to have been marked fairly. I have read the principle examiner's report (available on Edexcel's ResultsPlus website) and am wryly amused by their statement
    "some candidates struggled to understand the phrase 'milieu social' in the title"
    - yes, indeed, so did some question-setters! The report clearly shows they meant social setting, which is, of course, part of the specification, but in which case why did they not phrase it as 'contexte social'? 'Milieu social,' as stated in an earlier post, means social class or social standing. The purpose of the exam is not to see if the question is understood but to see if the book, film etc, has been studied in depth. A similar situation occured in the German with the word 'Ereignis' which the examiner's report confirms baffled many candidates. One of ours panicked because of this and thereby seriously underachieved. Why is it not possible to have the question translated into English? The aim of the examination would not be undermined, indeed it would be faciliatated.
  3. I have now had back a couple of scripts, so that I can look at the marking. I confess that I am now completely confused as to what exactly we are supposed to be teaching our students. One of my students received 28 out of 30 for the content of his essay. The work in question was Les Justes.
    • He mentioned the title and the author
    • He set out that it was set in Tsarist Russia in the early 20th Century (but gave no precise date).
    • He talked at some length about a reign of terror and a need to fight injustice.
    • He named two characters (Dora & Kaliayev) towards the end and touched briefly on their abandonment of personal fulfilment in favour of the cause.
    He did NOT mention any other aspect of the play itself, and at one point referred to it as a book. In short, his knowledge of the work could have been gleaned from reading a synopsis, which in no way constitutes 'indepth research & understanding'.
    Naturally, I am happy that my student did well, but my concerns about this question have been heightened.
    Clearly, the marker had no knowledge themselves of the play and so was blind to the deficiencies in the candidates answer. This was predicted by many colleagues as an inevitable consequence of allowing a completely free reign for centres to choose what work to study.
    Can I now tell my students that they hardly need refer to the work at all and they will still get a good mark?
    Had I been marking the paper in question, the answer would have been awarded a mark from the band below, as it was not completely without merit.
    I would be interested in getting other people's feedback on this (Subject Advisor, can you help?)


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