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Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by cassiopee, Aug 26, 2011.
Not actually true. I mark for AQA and they have lots of experienced teachers marking for them.
I absolutely agree-this was my experience examining GCSE too this summer. I am a teacher, not a native speaker. Some schools had clearly not checked the TPFs at all.
There is a survey here about the 2011 MFL Results and also a Flashmeeting on 26th September about this year's results. Info about the Flashmeeting can be found by googling it.
I am hoping that you might be able to shed some light on our results...
Even though I have feedback from my speaking moderator saying our speaking marks were within tolerence and therefore upheld, the marks displayed on the the mark breakdown sheet (Mark range) are all lower by between two and eight whole marks, as well as students speaking grades being lowered by a grade in some cases!
Am I missing something here? Is there a formula used? I have asked AQA but they said the marks should match and if I am not satisfied then I need to send for a re-mark. This is the first time for me doing this and I don't want to make a fool of myself by having missed something obvious. Can anyone help please?
We have experienced the same with OCR. One native speaker, and two 'definite' A* candidates were all given the same mark 88/120 in the writing. This is the top grade possible for a B grade, so it appears that some kind of criteria (ie, if you haven't done such and such, you can only get a B) has been applied. I have been through the criteria in the documentation from OCR and cannot find anything which is relevant. I have been setting/marking coursework for (too) many years and have never been 2 grades out. Would be really grateful to hear if anyone has worked this out. We are sending all our candidates who got a lower writing mark than expected back for a re-mark.
I am completely disgusted with the way that AQA have treated our students. Many of my class have done brilliantly in all skills except for the writing - being 2 grades below expectations. I even have two pupils who have been given the same marks, of which I marked as an 'A' and a 'C/D' - the SAME marks!!!! I have been teaching for 10 years and I know the difference between a C grade and an A grade piece of writing!!!
It is so expensive to have them remarked - we are going to do a few and see what the outcome is.
What I'd like to ask these 'examiners' is - "What more do you want / expect out of students"? If you want A-Level standard, then go and mark A-Level!
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest
Exactly my experience, Lynnehiggs. I gave one candidate an A and one a C and they've left the C the same and marked the A down to a C! I've been marking coursework for 15 years. Did you see the survey on my previous post?
The new Grade boundaries that you are all referring to, are they to be found on E-AQA? All I can find under key materials is the 2010 Grade boundaries.
A small glimmer of hope today....
1 candidate's writing came back after a remark (AQA German).
She went from a B to an A* (giving her an A* overall).
We are awaiting other remarks.
Just the same for us and for all the schools around here - can we get this some sort of national coverage?? It is absolutely ridiculous, the AQA people seem to live in a fantasy world and have not noticed that they will soon all be out of a job (like the rest of us) if they don't do something about this. It is a bad exam -boring rote learning of presentations that is particularly difficult for lower ability students, lets face it any exam that requires two FAQ booklets of several hundred questions is just plain bad!! Then they follow up with ridiculous marking... do they not have computers which would alert them to the fact that every single one of 138 candidates scoring their lowest grade on one paper might just point towards a problem with the marking??? We marked every piece before it was sent off and the final marks bear no resemblance, and yet our Speaking marks were accepted so we can presumably read the mark scheme! One of our students was an able boy who had done his entire education in a French school until 6 months before the exam - he got a A* .. but only just, his paper had a few mistakes, but the sort typically made by French teenagers, seems that's not good enough for AQA!!
Another factor that irks me is that with a drop of tens of thousands of entries one has to assume that the exam is being taken by the more able - after all in these days of league tables who is going to enter the weak ones? - therefore logic would dictate that there would be a significant rise in the "pass" rate... has this happened? Apparently not.
All this stuff in the press about kids not taking up languages seems to have missed a really important point - kids are aware of this sort of thing and they just don't want to take the risk.
What is the purpose of learning a language at GCSE level? I would suggest communication and being able to "make your way" that is certainly the level that most Europeans aspire to - only we seem to have a "mafia" of examiners who think that it is vital to have swallowed a grammar book and that most 15 year olds spend their time in earnest discussions about the environment.
I have been lucky enough to sit in on French advanced level oral exams and they do not jump through all the silly hoops that ours have to - they just have a conversation, in this case selling a product to a client, the level of English was not fantastic but it was graded on their success (or lack of) in getting the product over - surely what the country might need?
Excuse the rant but I have taught ) O Level, CSE, GCSE, NVQ, CPVE. BTEC and probably a few others as well and this latest exam and results are the biggest travesty yet..
( has anyone else noticed that AQA Harrogate is not answering the phone.... wonder why???!)
The boundaries and conversions for June 2011 are on the home page of the AQA website, not under Key Materials. You need to scroll down to the very bottom to find this year's, then scroll down for the subject and component you want. They're not in alphabetical order. You can print them off but need to enter any raw mark first to get the table.
Did you get a paper copy of the marks? I didn't get a break down at all this year and had to get everything from the e-aqa enhanced results website. Our exams officer said that the usual paper copy was not sent this year. If you had one, I'll contact the board to get a copy for ourselves. It took so much longer to analyse all of the results this year with the website. Plus I missed the column where the actual grade was matched against the predicted grade given by centres.
I echo many of the remarks on this forum. Our Writing marks were considerably lower than our Speaking (which AQA deemed satisfactory and upheld) even though we had marked and moderated these in house before sending off. In some cases they awarded half the marks we had for content, and in another case a student who had spent most of his childhood in France before returning to England achieved a C and a D for his 2 submissions. We are puzzled as to why we got it so right with the Speaking but so very out with the Writing. We are in the process of arranging remarks and drafting a letter of complaint to AQA and JCQ, which I urge other schools to do aswell.
Hello Russell (Harrogate59)
I sympathise with your post. I wrote to AQA and did get a holding reply from the principal examiner for French. Still scratching my head. Remarks are taking a long time because there so many.
Our orals were unchanged, but Unit 4 marks were way of what we normally get for writing.
This whole business of allocating grades is a mystery. A former colleague and now a chief examiner at OCR in another subject says that Ofqual use all sorts of data to establish grades, including national prior attainment data. Even for her it is hard to grasp. She was told to resist putting up marks too much with remarks.
I have witnessed the number of A* grades dwindle over the years, notably last year and this, with students who have the same ability profile every year. The simply have not been able to deal with the falling cohort issue adequately. That, added to the severe grading issue, makes it an uphill struggle for language teachers and students.
Maybe with the Ebacc we shall see the goalposts move in our favour for a change.
I read that one in eight remarks lead to a change of grade. That can't be a good thing. Maybe we should do more multi-choice and take out the subjective element as far as possible.
Whilst we use Edexcel, I know that in the Wakefield LEA there have been massive problems with the AQA marking of the writing component, just as there is nationally. Our LEA advisor is in the process of putting a document together to send to AQA which includes examples of the poorest descrepencies from all departments, (examples of pupils being marked down by 10 raw marks) to ask the exam board to justify itself in black and white against its own mark scheme. Our next HoDs meeting is at the end of September, where hopefully, we'll have a reply.
On a bigger level, I think all the exam boards shoot themselves in the foot with regards to entry numbers due to the way they set up the Foundation and Higher papers. Ive had numerous conversations since 2004, with kids who enjoy languages and are good enough to get a C but who don't want to take the risk. They see that on the Foundation papers that the maximum you can get is a C (and pretty much need to get the whole paper right to do so) which does not reward their strongest, receptive skills well enough. They then worry that the speaking element will be their weakest suit, maybe getting an E on it, as it is now untiered, and they think what's the point of wasting 2 years of my life to get a D, when I can get a B in RE.
The exam boards need to add one or two B/C grade defining questions on their Foundation papers and change it so pupils can get from a U to B on the Foundation paper to help languages be more attractive as a subject for pupils.
The saga continues...
We have requested re-moderation of our speaking assessments......but today, in the post, we received the memory stick and all the paperwork...which we now have to send back so they can re-moderate....
Our Writing re-marks are taking a long time. I suppose they are having to do so many.
I agree. Something has to come out of this calamity this year. Figures don't add up, marks have been severly downgraded. The exam analysis meeting with SLT with residuals of -4 and -5 is going to be such a joy. Once again MFL treated unfairly in my view.
We've only just received the address to send ours back to, and were told to make copies as they wouldn't return them after re-marking. I don't feel at all confident about next year after this debacle. My HoD keeps saying we need to learn lessons and make sure every pupil is getting at least 28/35 on the Foundation Papers but that's what they were getting all year on practice papers, or even more. Flashmeeting on Monday 26th, where this topic will be discussed, among other things.
Brighton - sorry for delay in replying. Everything I got was from EAQA. I have now asked for remoderation of Spanish Speaking. Let's wait & see....