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MFL GRADE DESCRIPTORS IN STUDENT SPEAK

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by mpc, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. mpc

    mpc

    I thought I'd copied these from a link provided by a kind soul on a GCSE thread but now can't find them. Could anyone give me the link again? I've tried a forum search but with no luck. Humble apologies.
     
  2. mpc

    mpc

    I thought I'd copied these from a link provided by a kind soul on a GCSE thread but now can't find them. Could anyone give me the link again? I've tried a forum search but with no luck. Humble apologies.
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I saved them - leave your address and I'll email them to you.

    H
     
  4. mpc

    mpc

    Thanks to you both for replying so swiftly. Yes, that was the link I was after.
     
  5. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    Didn't know about these- thanks for the link !
     
  6. mpc

    mpc

    I'm now happily in the process of trying to edit them a little further either as a potential display or as a 'stick-in' for KS4 exercise books. If I'm feeling really brave, I might give the kids a card sort and ask them to identify the grade!
     
  7. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    Or you could give those cards to your kids and tell them to burn them. Total waste of time.

    Well, that's my view.
     
  8. Ah, but you're such an old cynic. I am aware that some of our parents have heard of these new-fangled levels, and so I tool along some sheets with them on to parents evening. What with my other leaflets and bright smile no one realised I don't know the kids names, far less have a register, and what's a mark book?
     
  9. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    Your modus operandi rings a very familiar bell Gorgy... were we separated at birth?
     
  10. I never bring my mark book to parents' evening because then they'd see I have no marks1
     
  11. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    I'm not alone !!

    Incommunicado - we're talking about GCSE grade descriptors here - are they rubbish as well as KS3 level descriptors then ?
     
  12. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    Thanks, Geekie... my mistake.

    I'll look again then comment.

    (This is why you are an AST and I'm not!)
     
  13. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    Actually, it?s too late now for a long, considered view, but after a brief glance can I put it this way?

    All the comments within the Grade Descriptors, referring to what ?I can do?, are to me very subjective, and do not reflect the (comparative) extent of an individual?s active and passive vocabulary, which for me is perhaps the B-all and End-all of proficiency in a foreign language. Frequently the same ?I can?? statements could be made equally by 2 kids with respective vocabularies of 200 and 2000 words. There is a glaring lack of ?level? (for want of a better word) at which the kids perform what they ?can do?.

    I can play tennis?. Roger Federer can play tennis. Does that make us equal? No, there is the question of ?how well?? to be brought in.

    The same statements could be made by a GCSE candidate, or an Honours Graduate. If they are supposed to ?inform? people of the linguistic capabilities of any individual, I fail to see how they can possibly do the job.

    I?m not claiming for a second that I have any better scheme in mind, of course. I don?t think, personally, that a satisfactory scheme can be drawn up until the knowledge required for a GCSE Grade can be demonstrated very clearly in terms of vocabulary and grammar.

    One thing that does puzzle me is the way that, say, Reading is described at various levels, for example at GCSE Grade A : ?I seem to be able to understand most things I read, some of them quite long and complicated. I understand what people have written about their feelings, opinions and points of view, as well as more factual information. I am using a dictionary less and less, even when the language is new and complex?.
    In my experience a kid has to demonstrate his ?prowess at Reading? by trawling through a text, in search of some word or phrase which means the same as something else in the TL; or they have to perform other inane, tedious tasks, such as working out which of a number of people quoted would have said such-and-such. What I am getting at is that the very tasks that kids do to get a Reading Grade militate against their entitlement to say ?I understand what people have written about their feelings, opinions and points of view, as well as more factual information.? My cynical view? more likely they have given up the will to think things through and ticked, fortuitously, a few correct boxes.

    PS I am still passionate about my work, and see a real value in the acquisition of FLs by students: but the whole GCSE process needs a total re-think. Remember that the MFL was almost the least popular subject in the KS4 timetable, and in my view it was ridiculously unreal and tedious GCSE tasks (which polluted language lessons through having to be practised) that played a major part in bring this about.

    Night night, Geekie? if there was any danger of our not being able to sleep tonight I bet I?ve cured that. : )
     
  14. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    PS.. posts 8, 10 and 11...

    WONDERFUL to be in touch with colleagues from the real world !!! : )

     
  15. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    I was already asleep when you typed that Incommunicado !!
     
  16. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter


    To my colleagues in posts 8, 10 and 11:

    there is always the option of filling in a few columns in your mark-books to make it look as if you have been keeping detailed records of results. But do remember to use different pens for different columns, including the odd green one, so as to really make it look as if you have filled them in on specific days in the past, rather than in one long session.
     
  17. Incommunicado....don't think I haven't done that! And it works for marking books too!
     
  18. Ah yes - the old green pen, red pen and pencil technique when one of the ******* hasn't handed their book in all year, and parents evening is coming up! My favourite is when I write out a word correctly and make them do it again three times, having myself forgotten an accent. That one entails finding the pen that one originally used to mark and write out the word, in order to put in the accent. Then, if you like the kid you ask "You used a really nice black/blue pen to do your corrections - please may I borrow it?" You then surreptitiously pop in the accents yourself. if you hate the kid you just put in your own accent and then make the kid do it six times. They need to learn.
    Incommunicado - how very dare you, you are MUCH naughtier than me - I am only joking you know!Oh by the way - #16 - first catch your mark book...
    XX
     
  19. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    Take mark book and pupil's book to parents' evening ?

    No !

    Just a copy of their report will do me !
     

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