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WJEC French higher

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by smicer07, May 16, 2011.

  1. smicer07

    smicer07 New commenter

    Anyone else have a class taking this today? There was a ridiculous question in Q1- "What is her ambition in 2012"- Answer: To have twins. Couldn't believe that. Also there was a mistake in the final question- it said "je me suis mariee il y quarante ans"- someone can't proof read....
    Kids thought the listening was hard too.
  2. Linguo24

    Linguo24 New commenter

    We did the OCR Higher Listening today and there was a recording about stray dogs in Montreal having learnt to travel into the city centre by undergroung and back out again and also having learnt to wait at the pedestrian crossing until the light turned green! I kid you not. I was trying to work out out which of the topic areas this came under-Travel and the Wider World, perhaps!
  3. Mine did the WJEC today, and yes even a A* candidate thought the question might have had something to do with the olympics as she didn't recognise the word jumeaux!
    What did you think of the gap-fill task? I haven't read it properly yet, but I was surprised to see it. I wasn't expecting this type of question.
    On the whole, I thought the listenings were pretty fair.
  4. EHD


    Totally agree - what a bizarre paper. Nothing like last year's paper the New secifcation one, which had two texts followed by ticky boxes. What's going on?
    The Listening paper was much harder than any previous GCSE listening exams and the last question (g) didn't make any sense. Should we complain?
  5. smicer07

    smicer07 New commenter

    I wasn't expecting a gapfill either- that was more of an AS question- some really tricky bits, especially the "amuse/amusee" option. Bit unfair. I've never met anyone who's "ambition" it was to have twins either!!!!
  6. Following the exams, one of my best pupils came and stood at the classroom door, looking at myself and my HOD, initially unable to speak and obviously distressed. I have no doubt that there are many, many WJEC French candidates whose morale and confidence will have been dealt a severe blow by the contents of the paper. We had spent many homework hours thoroughly analysing past papers, even going far back to the old-fashioned, English-medium questions of the 90's; my colleague and I had re-vamped recent papers, formulating suitable English questions, etc etc. I had felt that my class could not have been more thoroughly prepared; now I feel as if I have let them down very badly, and no doubt they are wondering why on earth I hadn't anticipated the grammatical content of the paper, let alone the errors therein.
    My observations include:
    • 45 minutes was insufficient, considering the huge amount of information, some of which was ridiculously demanding.
    • "je sais que j'aurais du etre heureux" - WHAT??? Are we on A-level now? Question 5/5 was actually based on this, so this construction was, frankly, an unreasonable inclusion
    • the numbers of injured in the train crash question did not tally, there was no clear explanation in the text for the "why" in question 2, and pupils could not have been expected to explain "s'est effondré".
    This was the candidates' first day of exams: several diligent, intelligent pupils went home tearful and distressed - I was almost in the same state myself. So what if the pass mark is lowered - the point is that a confidence demolition job has just been carried out on the whole range of candidates, many of whom had worked tremendously hard for the (hateful!) presentation exam to gain the best possible grade.
    Now we're wondering if anyone will be actually brave enough to risk doing French A-level...
  7. As posted on another thread
    Why oh why have the changed the whole layout of the paper from the 2010 exam and the specimen papers?
    We have spent hours preping students (even coming in at the weekend to work with them) supporting them through the "style" of questions that would come up and only had the 2010 papers really to work on.
    We have looked at "random" vocab abd structures but none compared to those in this exam.
    They then hammer us with all questions in English and a gap fill. It's totally different.
    Thank you for shafting us once again exam boards.
    And I have to go infront of my head yet in September and justify (potentially) poor results - we have worked so bloody hard and so have the kids - they were quietly confident and felt prepared.
    I am writing to complain.
  8. copperbeech

    copperbeech New commenter

    <font face="Calibri">Reading</font><font face="Calibri">General observations</font> Text very dense. Students had to spend a long time reading to find the relevant answers so struggled to complete it in time (both Foundation and Higher)
    <font face="Calibri">Foundation reading</font> Why 3 long texts rather than just 2?
    <font size="3">3 (iii) Definition of hardly ever? Is it 2 ou 3 fois par mois or je trouve difficile de regarder les &eacute;missions en direct ?</font> 4. Why 12 options to choose from to find 6 correct ones. Too many distracters trying to trip up students who are hurrying to get through the amount of material on the paper.
    6. Wording of question confusing : What did they fail to do on Boxing Day?
    <font face="Calibri">Higher Reading</font> More text than last year.
    Crossover questions see above
    1. (viii) How can an ambition be to have twins?
    4. Letter should have been signed off Olivia so that students were reminded that it was written by a female and that agreement would be needed? Is this meant to be a test of comprehension or of grammar?
    5. Again the amount of options where the questions aim to trip up students is excessive.
    Use of word chiefly in (ix) could be ambiguous for target age group.
    6. Numbers of injured different in 2 different paragraphs. Use of touch&eacute;s rather than blesses. Use of conditional perfect to suggest alleged reason. Is this not AS standard?
    Phrasing of (ii) lines so busy was ambiguous/misleading.
    Use of s&rsquo;est effondr&eacute;. This is not vocabulary one would expect at GCSE even at Higher Level
    <font face="Calibri">Higher Listening</font> 4. Section 2 &ndash; There were in fact only 3 not 4 correct answers as heard only that there would be floods and droughts but no mention of wheter they would increase or decrease.

  9. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    I've just looked at the specimen paper here: http://www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/4478.pdf
    ...and all questions are in English. And there's a gap-fill (on the foundation paper).

  10. But 2010 papers - no gap fill and only first questions in English.........Higher paper.
    They need to decided on a format and stick to it - they can't keep changing.
    So specimen papers are totally different to the actual papers.

  11. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Don't know about the 2010 paper...
    But there's some dodgy questions on the specimen.
    e.g. Higher Reading, Q3. Candidates have to slect 7 correct statements about the text. I found 9. I checked the mark scheme and the following were considered as incorrect statements:
    L&rsquo;accident a eu lieu apr&egrave;s soixante minutes. (In the text it says "apr&egrave;s environ une heure" - so it's that word "environ" that makes all the difference...)
    Antoine a &eacute;t&eacute; bless&eacute; gri&egrave;vement. (in the text it says he was bashed against the rocks and broke an arm and a leg - sounds quite serious to me, as I've never broken a bone... All down to subjectivity. Interestingly, one of the 'correct' statements was: Antoine s&rsquo;est fait mal &agrave; la jambe. - an expression which could equally describe a bit of a scratch or a bruise...)
    (And that's the only question I've looked at...)
  12. I remember thinking the same - being bashed against the rocks is certainly not a slight injury!
  13. smicer07

    smicer07 New commenter

    Thanks for all your responses- I'm just disappointing for all the teachers and students who have worked their *** off for 2 years only to find out that the question paper is a radically different format to last year's "specimen". If they're going to change it, surely they should be informing schools in advance. As for the question about the girl's ambition, someone today suggested that by "jumeaux" the girl may have meant "twin medals"? Although that never even crossed my mind.
    If we, as teachers, have to think twice about some of the answers, I think there's a massive issue.
    Even some of the English questions were terribly badly worded I felt. The foundation question about "Who should you go to to get served?" was stupid also. Lady in red? Ridiculous.
  14. smicer07

    smicer07 New commenter

    Just noticed the different amount of people injured in the 2 separate paragraphs on the last question, actually. Who on earth (if anyone) proof read this????

  15. We have been horrified by the Listening Higher and Reading Papers, too.
    The amount of longer texts on the foundation paper seems incredibly high for a foundation
    standard paper and 35 minutes. We will be raising this with the board,too, I hope that you all do
    the same. I feel very deflated like you all do. We enter all children and have done well in the
    past. This will not be the case this time and I feel we will be in the firing line when results
    come. Most of our foundation and higher kids looked absolutely distressed after the paper
    which is not a good sign. I felt really sorry for them and it will do very little to raise the
    popularity of MFL in the future.
    I am really annoyed and quite shocked to be honest.

    Kind regards


  16. We thought both Readings were difficult our students looked quite deflated as they left the exam room. As previous poster rightly says, this will do nothing to encourage uptake of French, KS4 or 5, regardless of any adjustments that may or may not be made to the grade boundaries.
  17. I have emailed Jean Rawlings, the MFL subject officer at WJEC. I suggest that you email her your concerns jean.rawlings@wjec.co.uk but I'm yet to receive a response. I have spoken to our head teacher about it also.
    If/ when anyone does receive a response can we keep each other informed on this thread please?


  18. I am sending mine this weekend and also copying in Derek Stockley.

    Another point to note is in text 1 and text 2 - belle mere in text one meaning mother in law and belle mere in text 2 meaning step mum.
    When reading the first text I put step mum and it wasn't until I re-read and saw the next word mon mari that realised they wanted mother in law as answer. A little bit devious and confusing for students.

    Look foward to hearing replies

  19. Shouldn't either answer be accepted? Just because she's got a husband, no reason why she shouldn't have a step-mum too. I've got both! Our department is preparing a resonse to Wjec this weekend too.
  20. Mmmm - thinking about it yes because think it mentioned visiting.....so yes!

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