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GCSE Results 2013

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by NowaMrs, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. I totally agree with you, but the problem is all of the exam boards seem to have been as bad as each other this year, so which board should one move to?! I was tempted to move, but with the differences to approach to CA tasks and the forthcoming overhaul of GCSE anyway, am not sure would not be jumping from the frying pan and into the fire....
  2. Fortunately, I got an A*(271/300) overall by one UMS mark but my marks are quite ridiculous:

    Listening(60/60) a*

    Reading(60/60) a*

    Writing(74/90) a

    Speaking(77/90) a

    The Speaking is correct because this is the mark the teacher gave me and I'm not very good at pronunciation and messed my 1st speaking up a bit but my Writing is ridiculous because when I looked at the AQA website and compared them to my own I thought I would get an A* and close to full UMS.My teacher predicted I would get a secure A as the lowest possible mark if the moderators were extremely strict and the mark is probably slightly under her worst possible predictions.I did my German Writing in Year 9 and got (79/90) and I am certain my French Writing was much much better.

    Its quite sad for the students who have missed out grades due to the Writing and haven't been as fortunate as me.
  3. Can I urge all MFL teachers to join the Association for Language Learning? As a well-respected national association they can represent us on the issue of severe / inconsistent grading among many other issues.
  4. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    Has the ALL made a statement about these experiences of teachers re the marking of the CA element of writing, do you know ? I haven`t seen anything.
  5. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    "I think we should replace the whole lot with a simple test - parachute all candidates into the relevant country for 24 hours and see if they can perform certain tasks. ;-)"

    Sounds like a good idea to me.
  6. I've just finished my NQT year and so this year was my first results year. After seeing the results and having similar problems ,(AQA Unit 4 marks were way lower than I had predicted- by 2 grades in some cases) I was rally worried that my inexperience as a teacher was having a detrimental effect on my students' results. After reading this thread though, I am just angry with AQA and their inconsistency. I too have been to their training and moderated with them, and of course have moderated my own students work with other more experienced teachers. I just feel let down By AQA but I feel vindicated that many here feel the same about the Unit 4 in particular.
  7. Whilst it's always great to see support for MFL, I am not really sure that these address the common issues which have been raised on this thread...
  8. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    It is only Rachel Hawkes , the President elect of ALL who has remarked on the drop in A-Cs grades . The significance of the downgrading of the written controlled assessment marks seems to have passed everyone else by. Congratulations on slowing the decline in numbers taking up languages is immaterial if the pupils are only going to be dumped on, come results time next year. How will we increase A level and graduate take up, if pupils are constantly thrown a curve ball when it comes to getting the grade they deserve? And how are we, as teachers, to proceed when we so obviously don`t know how to mark writing tasks against the exam boards criteria. Have we all ( Or a good proportion of us ) turned stupid ?
  9. kate2521

    kate2521 New commenter

    It's not the teachers who don't know how to mark. Can you get yours re-marked? I've seen your comments on the other thread and totally agree with you. I had the same issues in 201, and had to put up with my HoD not listening and telling me we had to learn from it, but last year's were all spot on. I did nothing different. I didn't have a class this year, just one pupil, and he did better than I thought he would so there doesn't seem to be any consistency in the exam boards' marking. It is soul-destroying but please don't think it's you. I don't know what the answer is - more pressure on the exam boards, but my Head actually told me to stop emailing AQA in 2011! I was questioning them too much and arguing with them about the boundaries and marking. AQA do read this forum - not sure about the other boards. Have you contacted your board at all and would your Head support you?
  10. kate2521

    kate2521 New commenter

    Sorry - 2011!
  11. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    I am sure I will get a 100% support from school but I suspect the exam board will just go its own sweet way.I could make myself ill over this, but as the overall grades were ok, I will just have to accept that for next year, whatever I tell the pupils re their performance on the writing component , I will have no control over what they receive in the final analysis. I may have to tell the children and parents this as well. No exam board seems to be immune from this madness, so I will stick with what I have got.It is a bitter pill to swallow but when you know that you and your pupils are the only ones who care in the whole education system , what can you do ? The hierarchy/ they who rule the roost, seem to be congratulating themselves on the rise in uptake of MFL and they are ignoring the drop in A-C grades. The future looks grim to me.
  12. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Don't give up. Similar thing happened in 2011 and this forum was one of the main ways we at least got it sorted for 2012.

    We found out:

    1. The importance of relevance to task title.

    Task being the first line, before any scene setting or bullet points

    Relevance meaning being judged simply against the title, with the potential for bullet points (eg "your future plans" in a piece about "School") to actively lose marks.

    2. The need to watch out for titles that include 2 parts, because both would have to be covered pretty equally ("School and future plans").

    3. The non-automatic link between good or fancy language and a good mark. A good range of tenses even subjunctive getting a C or lower.

    4. The importance of a well-structured piece of writing, avoiding repetition, and developing ideas. Overal coherence, no irrelevance.

    5. The danger of concentrating on quality of grammar where that meant that vocab range was restricted.

    6. The fact that the difference between an A* and a D is marginal and has little to do with the language element, more to do with the quality as a piece of writing.

    So now we need to do the same thing. Centres who kept copies of pieces or work or who have asked for work to be returned shared them so we could see for ourselves what to tell pupils they needed to do. And in 2012 we did it. We did all of the above and were much happier with the results.

    So now in 2013 we need to do the same thing: Find out what the exam board now want for a good grade, and pass on that information to next year's pupils.

    Meanwhile it would be good if someone could pass on to AQA that the marking ought to be about evaluating the pupils' work. Not about the pupils having to find out about the marking and match it.

    The way the whole "relevance to the title" pedantic nonsense outlined above has been accepted and not brought the process into total disrepute is one example. How can AQA justify marking down a GCSE candidate writing in a foreign language because they include a section on "future plans" in an essay on "school"? There is nothing worthy in such an approach, just a preocupation with "consistency" gone mad.

    Whatever it is they are doing this year will come out. We need to keep going until we find it. The 2011 GCSE results thread on this forum may have 6000+ posts, but it was useful (even if only for 2012's results).
  13. MrsAThomas

    MrsAThomas New commenter

    We use WJEC and our results overall are slightly down, but what is more concerning is the seemingly random pattern, with some students doing better than expected and others worse for no apparent reason. Our speaking marks were accepted but with warnings that they were a bit too generous and we could be marked down next year - this despite the fact that we have followed the same procedures as before and have not been criticised in previous years, this is a clear sign that markers have been told to get tougher. Also many of our students have a grade lower in MFL than they do for other subjects this year. This is not going to encourage them to take languages in future!
  14. copperbeech

    copperbeech New commenter

    I marked for Edexcel and there were a couple of points which could have badly affected a student's mark. For example, with Communication and content there should be no ambiguity at all for the top 13-15 box. If the work is excellent overall with just one blunder it is allowed to get 13. This could mean that a piece that would have gained full marks back in the day of coursework did not get the top mark. A degree of individuality is also needed for the top box. Formulaic or text book language immediately put a piece into the 10-12 box. This is a bit tricky for students talking about topics such as the environment where they have few ideas of their own apart from those provided by the text book or teacher.

    On the other hand the base-line for a piece which was all comprehensible was 10 this year rather than the 9 of last year.
  15. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    All this evidence that we should be downgrading connected writing at GCSE? Too subjective. Hard to produce an effective and reliable mark scheme that rewards both pre-learning and creativity. Also, should we really be giving equal weight to writing as speaking; more than listening too??

    Great post from Vincent, by the way.
  16. I've just had an e-mail from a pupil who is now wondering if she will cope with AS French as she only got a B in her writing at GCSE (along with A* in R, L and S, including 100% in the L). I had judged her writing to be A/A* borderline...
  17. Thanks to veverett for the comprehensive post (which I will share with my colleagues and my pupils)...but I am concerned about one sentence:

    "So now in 2013 we need to do the same thing: Find out what the exam board now want for a good grade, and pass on that information to next year's pupils."

    We did that in 2011. Are we now on a cycle where we have to "find out what they want" at regular intervals? Why is it that what they wanted in 2011 and 2012 is now not what they want in 2013? The syllabus has not altered...althought the list of FAQs (for AQA at least) has lengthened considerably.

    I would really like some suggestions on what I should say to my Year 10 going into Year 11 pupils...
  18. Thanks Veverett, will also share this with the rest of my dept. I am still exhausted/befuddled and annoyed at the dramatic inconsistency with my AQA writing marks. I am at pains to discover as to how I could be 100% accurate with the speaking (I followed the rules to the letter) and thought I had played AQA's game with the writing, but obviously not. I feel such a failure as a teacher (and HOF) as to how I could have been 25 marks out over a candidate's 2 pieces........makes me feel like I havent a clue.

    Interestingly, I had a GCSE German cohort this year (German is my 2nd language and I only had them because there was no one else who could teach German) and I had never taken a German class through before; ALL of their writings were pretty much spot on (bar 1 or 2 marks diff, but no shocking results) And I wouldnt even say I confidently knew what a German A grade piece was like (I thought I would know an A French piece) but seems like I did!! Very strange......

    Feeling very ineadequate ahead of seeing my class of 26 Year 11s in a week, as we gear up for a CA very shortly after term starts.....feel like I don't know what I am doing.

    As someone said, it is ridiculous that AQA get so hung up on bloomin' task titles.....it's so silly, just let the students write! Judge them on that!!

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