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GCSE Speaking - minimum length?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by mkid, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. mkid

    mkid New commenter

    Is anyone else finding that their candidates are not getting past the four minutes?
    Quite a few of mine are answering accurately but it's all over in 3:30. Does that mean their communication mark will be limited?
     
  2. They have to be between 4 and 6 minutes for Edexcel. Getting to 4 minutes hasn't been a problem for my students and the good ones want to keep going after 6. Why not prepare some more supplementary questions to ask them.
     
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    With AQA we were told you just keep asking them surprise questions but only the first one counts towards content, the other ones are just filling. If you plan seven questions plus mystery it should be enough (particularly if you ask questions nice and slowly, it tends to help the kids relax and speak slower as well!).
     
  4. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    I tend to have 6 bullet points - 5 known in advance plus mystery. I tell pupils to aim for 40 secs - 1 min per prepared bullet point and I ask supplementary questions in between to get them up to this point.
    E.g. bullet point "something about the subjects you learn at school" - supplementary questions, depending on what the pupils say, could be "what's your favourite subject? / what don't you like? / what did you drop last year? /what will you study next year? / what do you think of X? / would you like to learn Y? / is A better than B?" etc. These should fill the time nicely to the next bullet point question.
    Noemie - do you find that some pupils run out of time with 7 + mystery if they are very hesitant? That's my worry about adding more bullet points.

     
  5. chriszwinter

    chriszwinter New commenter

    Noemie and FrauSue are both right. AQA only wants you to ask further questions on the main bullet points if the student hasn't covered the point completely. As the principal examiner said at the training, it's a memory test, and I have good candidates with good memories who deliver the goods in 3 minutes flat. Taking them beyond 4 minutes means that they are then asked to add more to each main bullet point. And the AQA guidance for the unprepared element is that is is answered as soon as a verb is heard and you don't have to ask further questions. Meanwhile, those with poorer memories are still dealing with the first bullet point. It's a good job with AQA that the marks for the unrecorded test are accepted unchallenged - we might as well give them all 30/30.
     
  6. 30/30
    Indeed. No evidence required - in fact, did we even need to record them in the first place? In fact, do we even need to conduct them at all? Why not just guess?
     
  7. chriszwinter

    chriszwinter New commenter

    Exactly!!!
     
  8. lifereallyistooshort

    lifereallyistooshort New commenter

    30/30 indeed.

    As I was filling out the marksheets this struck me too. It's a cheats' charter. There I was painstakingly recording results which in some cases were disappointingly weak compared to the pupils' marks in their other controlled assessment. What is to stop unscrupulous characters from inventing a credible unrecorded score and putting that in??
    How long before the new exam loses what is left of its credibility?
     
  9. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Although if you look on their website they've just put a disclaimer that in the case of grades being widely different between recorded and unrecorder they may ask for evidence to be submitted, i.e. recording! I've covered my back and recorded everything, as I suspect most schools will have done. And they do say that in future years they may change that rule and ask for everything to be recorded (I give them a year to make it compulsory, which still doesn't address the issue that as there is no scope for exam boards to inspect the examining practice, cheating will still go on in most schools).
     
  10. lifereallyistooshort

    lifereallyistooshort New commenter


    Surely not? I'd like to think that the vast majority of my colleagues nationwide play by the rules. Like you, we have recorded everything. We have also put down the higher of the two controlled assessment marks as the recorded mark and the lower one as the unrecorded mark, but the loophole remains for unscrupulous types to bring the second mark up to the level of the first.
     
  11. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    I've had several candidates who have gone over 6 minutes because they're hesitant. I've been asking them to make sure that what they've prepared is actually more than 4 minutes and less than 6. ie. They HAVE to time themselves in their own time. If it's any consolation we were told as long as the surprise question has been started within the six minutes then they will mark it the answer. The 'padding' questions work well to encourage the candidate to keep talking, it makes them less nervous and gives them thinking time - I'm only using these for 'C' target candidates and below and weak 'B' candidates.

    MM
     
  12. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    That is why I keep listing all the ways of cheating I have thought of, in the vain hope someone, one day, might be reading this.
    Also, I've reported them all to the nice QCA guy who came to interview teachers in my school about what we think of the new GCSEs. So they do give the impression of asking teachers what they think. Of course, the cynic in me knows they won't do anything about it, they'll just patch up quickly what they can (i.e. what can be done by others instead of themselves) and headteachers will continue to see their results go higher and higher and claim it's down to the good teaching and their good management of the school.
     
  13. I have just taken this from Edexcel Examiner's Report for last year
    more than 6 minutes• Stop listening and assessing at the end of the first sentence after 6 minutes have elapsed"
    Hope this helps
     
  14. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    Slightly offtopic: writing!
    I was told to get a certain student to achieve a C. My response was that the pn;ly way I could do that was to look out the student's written work, re-write at a B and get them to copy it up, which would be cheating.....the look I recieved was strange!
     
  15. Hi,

    I emailed my regional AQA advisor and he said that students can't get the top marks in communication in the speaking. So they could get a maxiumum of 8/10 (on the AQA spec).
    So, in theory they could still get 28/30 despite being less than 4mins.
    I've kept the email from him-I can forward it to you if you like?
     

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