Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.
Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by emilytaber, Aug 24, 2011.
I'm currently marking year 10 French writing CA and am quite worried it's a complete waste of time !
We do the OCR board and all our speaking results seem to have been accepted without change. The writing was a different question, though, with lots of Ds and Es where we had thought Bs and Cs were the minimum they would get. We are now beginning to wonder why we spent SO much time on teaching them to do the writing for such little return, when they all did so well on Listening and Reading with little extra input from us!
My German writing and speaking and my Spanish speaking c/w marks for Edexcel have all been upped slightly (particularly the German ones) but my Spanish speaking have all been significantly marked down. I've requested form E9 via my Exams Officer (moderator's report) and wait to hear why they've been downgraded. I didn't receive a phone call - perhaps it depends on whether individual moderators bother to call. This has bumped several C/D borderline candidates down to Ds .....
Our school has also had Edescel speaking marks moderated down, with no explanation as to why in the moderators report. In the case of German this meant that students gained about one grade lower than expected overall. One student for example got B in every skill except the speaking where she got F. This just doesn't make sense.
definitely, pupils who did French and Italian consistently told me they used more complex language in their writing and speaking in French, be it in GCE or GCSE, it seems that every year Italian grade boundaries are lower or examiners are more generous in their grading. This year, what I would consider as A* writing assessments have been graded as B in French, some of my pupils told me they didn't use demonstrative pronouns and adjectives, the subjunctive, direct and indirect object pronouns, the pluperfect, idiomatic expressions in Italian as they did in French, yet their grades were better in Italian. i just don't understand and most of all I think it is not representative of the linguistic skills of the pupils.
I am feeling a tidal wave of relief wash over me after reading this thread.
I was the only teacher to have a GCSE Spanish class in my school and with a tiny class of about 15 all predicted A* - C, the signs were good for success. However like many of the posters on here, I have failed the kids miserably according to the school. Students who should have achieved highly have instead dropped 2-3 grades in speaking in writing. No phone call was ever received by exams officer to advise about the adjustments in marks but unfortunately due to the perceived lack of importance of languages, no further investigation will take place by my school....unless I get involved....
I am absolutely gutted for the kids and initially listened to all the rubbish excuses people told me about my teaching things like 'it is your first class at this school taking a GCSE class through two years' and 'you are still new to teaching - what did you expect?' (I am going into my 4th year of teaching, relatively new to the field but not exactly green around the ears!!!) I do understand what these colleagues are saying and perhaps there is an element of truth in it but oh my I worked hard and so did the kids - coming in after school to do more and more speaking assessment practice when they had the demands of other subjects and reams of out of school work etc.
Anyway I am definitely going to be scrutinising the E9 report once the exams officer receives it and ensuring if there are grounds for mark changes that I fully persue it.
Good luck to everyone who are contesting their marks and fingers crossed we all get the results our kids deserve. Us MFL teachers have enough of an uphill struggle with all the bad press about the teaching of languages to contend with - think its about time we get ourselves a nice break from it all
Has anyone found the conversion charts for raw scores to UMS yet for speaking and writing? I have spent a long time looking for them in the labyrinth that is the edexcel website. Many thanks to redpens for the grade boundaries but it would be so useful to be able to see how all the raw scores went to UMS for revising predictions for the incoming year 11. I am now worried that my current ones (based on the June 2010 raw score to UMS) are unrealistically optimistic given what happened this year. Also, having calmed down a bit I went through how my speaking marks have been down scaled with a fine toothcomb and have noted that in one case the candidate came down by 3 grades! Also the downscaling is not consistent which suggests to me that there is an error. So one student with UMS 62 in the sample was scaled down to 59 which actually didn't change the grade yet another, not in the sample but also scaled, went down from 62 to 52. This shouldn't be allowed to happen as the down scaling is supposed to be consistent throughout to make it fair (ha ha!). This suggests shoddiness to me and if the marks come back from appeal unchanged I will be raising it in an appeal against the appeal's result. I am really fortunate in having a very supportive school but I urge you all to check for this type of error which may be about poor admin rather than anything else. Good luck to us all!
Has anyone sent any papers off for remarks and had any results back yet? Some kids in my class were predicted an A* grade and some achieved very low A grades and in the worse case a B!
We sent some off last week and so i'll let you know how it turns out. Some of ours were marked down by 3 grades and one by 4!
Back on Inset and suddenly had a very interesting idea... (As we're all fed up having received nothing back from Edexcel) What would some of you (especially the Edexcel moderators!) think of potentially moderating one of my students' pieces of work and if I were to moderate one of yours..... If we ended up being very close and found that Edexcel had marked them very easily/harshly, then it would be more ammunition...
Is this allowed? I could remove all identity information. Am just really "hacked off" with them!!!
I was planning on taking some pieces to the Training Course i will most likely be required to attend but we know full well they won't commit to marking or passing judgement on work that hasn't been approved and moderated. I'm still going to take some anyway!!! I am also planning on doing some moderation of my Y10 pieces with staff from other schools in the local area (the pieces i gave A* to and so will probably end up as C's when submitted!) We had 3 staff moderate ours anyway!!! Awaiting re-marks.......
Reading this is refreshing... I am not alone and nor are my students.. I have been really annoyed at the fact that our writing marks have gone down by two sometimes 3 grades. I have not had a moderator report as yet and I am not sure we will get one. Our oral marks were absolutely spot on and not altered at all. How can we be so right with one skill and yet so wrong with the other.
I have gone through the specs, the moderator report and can't find any clues as to why this might have happened.
Taking the cynical approach I can only think that there were far too many A and A8 in languages and as writing is the only skill that Edexcel has real control on they manipulated the criteria in order to considerably lower all the grades.
We are going to write to the subject advisor to try and find out why or what seems to have gone wrong but frankly I am not holding my breath .... I am however very concerned for my new Y11 who have done most of their CAs and I am starting to wonder whether I should be doing them again bearing in mind that I was so wrong with the marking or my guesstimates ...It is scary because Edexcel does not seem that overtly concerned....
Is anyone thinking about redoing Y10 work in view of their experience with grades being lowered??
Hi fellow sufferers!!!
Happy Rentrée!? Not for everyone it seems! I had to wait til today to be able to triple check that the marks sent off on the OPTEMS sheets were correct and the random downgrading of between 2-8 marks was not just a clerical error! Unlike some of you we didn't get the courtesy call to inform us we'd have our speaking results moderated down. In fact I don't even know if EDEXCEL are aware that they've just devastated several potential A-level linguists who have now had to change their options.
According to our moderator, a Mr C of Coventry, apart from a couple of content marks deemed to be "a little generous" the "rest of the sample was close to the agreed standard". Which therefore begs the question WHY HAVE OUR KIDS SPEAKING RESULTS GONE DOWN BY 1 OR 2 GRADES?
When comparing the speaking marks with the results in the other skill areas it is clear that there must be some sort of mistake, but I was told that I'll have to apply for a re-moderation: of 5 pupils it'll cost us £154.40 and a further £15.50 for each additional pupil. Perhaps, as someone else has mentioned, it's a money-making scam?!
No like you we did not get a phone call. i asked my exam officer to check on the website for reports and that's where we found out that we had had no changes made to our marks for the oral. Nothing for the writing.. It is either a money scam or they have suddenly realised that the writing and the oral exam are both a farce as anyone with a good memory could score very highly with very little language skills...
I don't really know what to think.. I am so confused .. I have been teaching 20 years and This is the first year ever i am so so wrong with marking ...
I have students who got A,A*,A and E for writing??? Not sure what to say to those kids who in the past have trusted my judgement and valued it...
Edexcel is committed to supporting teachers - Please refer to the following post on the Edexcel Languages Community:
Languages Subject Advisor
I would really not change to Edexcel. They charge you for every little thing, their languages advisors on the email reply with generic emails and often give conflicting advice and when you phone them up it is almost impossible to speak to somebody who knows about MFL. You do not get any feedback specific to a unit in your centre and our writing marks are all over the place. Many of our almost bilingual students have not achieved A* when their writing was absolutely outstanding while others who were barely within a C range scored the same marks on accuracy! It makes absolutely no sense! An all they invite you to do is apply for remarking, which costs each time, so they are making even more money from this.
We have this problem not just in French but also in German. The other three skills are fine, which shows that our high achievers can speak fluently and spontaneously and gain A* in the speaking - how can their writing have been marked so low? We are very unhappy with this as well as Edexcels response!
Our E9 report included information that referred only to the administration of the Speaking Unit. I am quite aware that i sent all the paperwork off on time but i would like to know WHY my students have been marked down.
Interesting how Edexcel's ESTEEMED (ahem) advisers have managed to find this post when I sent them a very ratty reply asking them to look at the thread.
We're looking at changing our exam board but can't possibly do that for this year's Year 11s as it's too late in the day.
This reply - saying nothing - supposedly looking as if they are committed to helping teachers when in fact what they've done is more than treble our workload - is testament to just how badly they rate us.
We didn't even get a COVER LETTER with our results! And our writing is fairly accurate with some students on maximum UMS (not necessarily those I would have thought either, if I could be so bold as to add that) - I am still outraged about their lack of information on why they have taken 4 marks off some of our (solid) A* candidates who turned in work I would have been ecstatic about in an AS oral.
Incredible. Truly incredible.
To anyone who has waded through 11 pages of this thread and was ever considering it - DON'T MOVE TO EDEXCEL. Just don't do it!
I have only seen the breakdown of grades today and am outraged at how the speaking assessments have been downgraded. I am a very experienced teacher and under the old syllabus, never once had marks for writing altered, yet I was so far out with this year's speaking grades. I have not had any feedback from the moderator yet, or a phone call as mentioned by some of you, but I have read the examiner's report online. Within that document it basically states that where students did open interaction tasks they did less well and when I looked at my students this was definately the case. I specifically chose those assessments as they were produced by Edxecel and felt therefore that they could in no way be deemed unsuitable. However it is apparent that these tasks are far too challenging or unrealistic and students are heavily penalised for not asking enough questions, yet in bold type it states that they do not have to ask questions at all in presentations and picture based discussions. How does that make all 3 types of assessment of equal merit? As a result I will be ensuring that all students will now do a presentation and photo based discussion as they are marked far more generously.