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Thoughts on this afternoon's AQA GCSE Spanish Listening?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by jasminepoppy, May 23, 2011.

  1. Just wondering if I am over-reacting but I thought the GCSE Spanish Listening this afternoon -AQA - was way too hard. We are having a departmental debrief tomorrow but I know that our most able students came away from the exam feeling very demoralised as the paper was so much harder than the 2 past papers we have done for this new spec. I'm worried that some of them will choose to drop Spanish as an A'level choice & I know some of ours are already thinking of dropping French too after last week's GCSE. Do students in other subjects have to look/listen out for distracters so carefully in an exam? There were so many traps - I only hope our students spotted them. At the moment, we (MFL staff) feel pretty low as we work so hard to get them to a good level of understanding and then we are faced with exams like this afternoon's. Rant over but I would appreciate some reassurance that I am not alone in thinking that this GCSE cohort are going to be the scapegoats of this awful new spec.
  2. Hi Jasminepoppy
    You aren't alone! I was the reader for the foundation paper and didn't think that was too bad. I did a revision session with my groups at lunch and by pure chance some of the words like pilas came up. They found the recycle bin section particularly hard. When my higher lot came out they were so upset. My A* candidates looked really worried. The higher paper was awful. Considering the French higher reading had a section where they had to fill in the gaps I am tempted to do revision on this just in case it comes up. The last paper I saw with a gap fill was back in 2005/2006 (definitely NOT the new spec).
    Let's keep our fingers crossed that if everyone felt awful about this paper the grade boundaries will reflect this.
    So frustrating-tempted to complain. Out of curiosity was averia on the vocab list?
  3. I agree, foundation paper was fine and all the kids came out with a smile on their face. I entered 10 kids in for Higher, all of whom have A*-B grades on past papers. This one was particularly difficult language wise and tricky too. I am now wondering why they bother to send a sample paper out when the real exam is so much harder. Fingers crossed the reading is not so awful for them.I'm disappointed with the exam board for their choice of questions for this years paper.
    We are the same- worked our backsides off all year to increase numbers. We have 40 kids doing Spanish and 13 wanting to do A-level. Im guessing some may re-think this after todays higher paper. grrrrrrrrrrrr
  4. I agree that the paper was difficult and I have exactly the same fears. I was confident going into the exam that the group was well prepared to face the paper. We had done all the available practice papers and all were performing consistently well on these. My most able pupils (4 all predicted A/A*) came out completely demoralised and I had to work really hard to get them in to a positive mood again ready for Thursday's exam. They are all excellent A level candidates and I am worried they may change their minds. We are a small independent school and to have a group of 4-5 pupils for language A level is unheard of but I honestly thought this was going to be the year. I will have to wait and see now.
  5. Checked vocabulary lis and averia is on the list as is averiado.
  6. I meant list.
  7. I have spoken with a couple of friends in nearby schools and everyone seems to feel the same about the difficulty level... higher kids were all feeling down about it. This has to be reflected in the marking!
  8. My 3 dual linguists felt the Spanish exam was actually harder than the French one. I also felt it was unfair to have all those questions on employment. I know one was under the guise of future plans but still much harder than anything we had seen before. The AS paper would have been easier for them!
  9. Misboohoo- you are right about it being on the list. How annoying-hopefully they picked up on atasco in that question. I had about 40 of 60 in for the higher paper. I'm hoping that if so many of us feel deflated it will be reflected in the old grade boundaries.
    Any predictions for the reading?!!!!!!! I've got 4 wanting to do AS, if the reading doesn't go any better I can see us with no linguists in the future! It'll put them all off.
  10. Charlington

    Charlington New commenter

    I bumped into a group of my students after the exam, and my A/A* candidates were looking completely traumatised. They said it was the hardest exam they have done, and was much harder than specimen paper and last year's listening.

    Am glad (if that's the right word) that others have found it so grim ... Hopefully the grade boundaries will be fairly low.
  11. I'm so pleased to find all these messages on here! I felt like crying after the Spanish Listening! My poor students were horrified and no longer want to take Spanish at A level. I wrote a strong leter of complaint the following day expressing my concerns and I advise you all to do the same asap!!!!
  12. *letter
  13. I completely agree, as a department we are currently looking in to making a formal complaint to the exam board. We are not going to let it go!

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