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English teachers - CIE IGCSE question

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by tb9605, May 31, 2017.

  1. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Dear English teachers

    if you are doing the CIE IGCSE, what source text(s) do you use for the Writing to Respond coursework? The piece I've been using is very out dated (it's from 2003) and I'd like to use something more contemporary/relevant.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    For assignment 3 I've been using Emma Watson's UN speech about the He for She campaign. It usually sparks off some interesting discussion about gender roles that they can then extend in their own speech/letter to their year group/house/governors etc.
  3. sicalifornia

    sicalifornia New commenter

    Great material to use!

    We've just moved away from the coursework route in recent years. Especially since analyzing the data globally for English, and reading that damning report against Cambridge which points towards how significantly better those children do who do the 100% exam route do!
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Really? That's interesting sicalifornia - have your own results borne that out?

    Thanks for the suggestion mangochutney - I've used that speech for other pieces. My concern with using it for piece 3 is that I agree with her entirely, therefore would find hard to 'respond' to it and guide students to argue with it (which I frankly wouldn't want to do). I want something that we're comfortable disagreeing with..
  5. sicalifornia

    sicalifornia New commenter

    We shall see! Our first cohort to take the 100% exam route have just gone through so will update in August!
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Please do!
  7. bubblegirl83

    bubblegirl83 New commenter

    I use the Jeremy Clarkson rant about tigers (can't remember it's exact title) or a Janet Street-Porter opinion piece about Facebook. Both work very well, especially the tiger one. It is usually better to find a piece the students really disagree with as it makes their responses a lot livelier.

    However, I agree with sicalifornia in that IME students do better when they take the writing exam instead. Also saves loads of teaching time as coursework is so time-consuming for relatively little end result. I also think the exam is marked more generously (and grade boundaries are MUCH kinder) than coursework.
  8. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    That's interesting. I teach History & Geography and we do the full exam thing because we have to (British Council won't allow coursework in Egypt) but I think it puts our kids at a huge disadvantage. In History, it's one 40 mark question, which they find quite intimidating and given that they are writing in a second language anyway makes it much more difficult. In Geography, the easiest way to teach the paper 4 fieldwork is actually to do a field trip - which is what the coursework would be anyway.

    Bubblegirl83, if you're right about the exam being marked more generously than coursework then that brings into question the validity of the whole thing! No student should be disadvantaged, either through softer marking of coursework or facing an additional exam.
  9. sicalifornia

    sicalifornia New commenter

    This is only in English Language (as far as I'm aware), and it's not that the C/W is marked more harshly, it's just that it's easier for pupils to get into the higher bands by doing less in the exam and the grade boundaries are significantly lower for exam than coursework - which does make sense when you think about the amount of support to complete the coursework those children have probably had. ;)
  10. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Ok, I take your point - but if you know that, surely you allow for it? If you have taught the coursework well and they've got into the 40s, surely that's going to giving the students confidence going in the Reading exam? A bird in the hand, etc...
  11. mangochutney

    mangochutney New commenter

    We've gone down the full exam route too for current year 10. Much less hassle without coursework to manage!

    Students don't necessarily have to argue with the material for assignment 3 but they do need to infer and extrapolate ideas beyond it which I've found easy to do with the Watson speech since the issues are relevant to everyone. I have had bright students write in a devils advocate way in style that does disagree with her ideas though too.
  12. M6teacher

    M6teacher New commenter

    What does the full exam route entail. And what source materials do you use for each part of the exam?
  13. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    There are plenty of past papers on the CIE website - it hasn't changed that much over the years.
  14. M6teacher

    M6teacher New commenter

    I dont know how foreign students can do such an IGCSE exam. I work in ROC and the students here cant even string a sentence together let alone do critical essays. Some students speak extremely well but they are a minority. This is a local public school though not a private intl one.
  15. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Oh the irony.
    lottee1000 likes this.

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