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WJEC new format GCSE Language

Discussion in 'English' started by jonathan.peel, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. I have worries as the exams approach, particularly over unit 1. Can anyone help with clarification of the requirements for Q3? The textbook seems to suggest this will always be a question about spotting persuasive devices; the material WJEC sent for use prior to January did not do this; the January paper did, but seemed not to require any explanation of how the persuasive devices work... I have a very able class, all eager to show that they can work to word level and analyse language till kingdom come. I find myself torn between telling them not to do so, since it wastes time and gains no credit, and then telling them to cover themselves by Peeing merrily - but quickly.
    As for Q4 - comparison - I am even more confused. What is the purpose of a comparison question which demands separate paragraphs? We spend ages teaching how to compare in clear prose and then the exam demands that they do something completely different...

    Frustrated. Not felt this uncertain about how to prepare a class since my NQT year!
  2. Have you got a username and password to access the WJEC secure website? If you have, you should find the mark scheme for the January exam - it might help you get a grip on what they are looking for - well, for the last exam, anyway - it might be a pointer in the right direction for May. If you don't have access to the secure site, get your exams officer to set it up for you - they can give you access to exam papers and CA stuff as well.
  3. I have, but my issue is more with regards to the materials that were published over the last year or so, which seem to differ from what was in the exam - the mark schemes are helpful - although there was no Lit2 last time I looked, though offer little help on my question regarding the quantity of PEE type explanation needed in Q3 or what happens if a student does not write the comparison in two paragraphs and instead writes a piece off comparative prose...
    Also worried by the thread on here regarding low marks attained in January!
  4. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    I am a little worried about whether I have approached this question correctly following this post. I have a very able class, who also love analysis and really enjoy it. I've taught mine to look at the approach used by the writer, content of the text - linking to persuasive devices with a focus on effect, structure, language devices, tone and presentational devices. I have told mine to make inferences but the post mentioned that they aren't looking for this?
    The markscheme for the 'How' mentions its partly a matter of "content and partly a matter of language/structure." It also states that "the best answers take the extra step to comment on the detail and language choices rather than spotting them."
    I am worried in case I have approached it wrong.
  5. I am sorry if I panicked you - my attitude is the same as yours, I think. What worries me is the amount of explanation/discussion practical in a maximum of 15 minutes if the student is to cover enough points... in addition the mark scheme for January focuses clearly on points to have made, rather than on suitable explanations.
    This, added to the discrepancy between the assessment material, the text books and so on, suggests that, rahter as in the SATS exams, the student who overdoes the explanation at the expense of straightforward point making may well be disadvantaged.
    Looking at the thread about low marks gained for January's paper, I wonder if this is an issue we should be concerned about.
    Certainly, I am trying to ensure my students explain the effect of language choices - why would they not ?- but want them to alos list as many points as possible to cover their backs.
  6. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    I agree with you. There are a lot of concerns with this paper. There were many similar issues evident in the June 2011 paper as well. I'm not sure if you have looked at the June 2011 paper but the amount of reading material that they given them was even more than the January 2012 paper. The marking for the June 2011 paper was also quite worrying.
    I am following the same method as you. I have told mine to try and cover as many points as they can but also pushing them to analyse the effect of language choices.
    I do agree with the same concerns as yourself and very much so with the timing. They mentioned in the examiner report for June 2011, that they found the answers "very thin" but equally within 15 minutes, it is hard to write pages.
    I just hope everything works out with this paper as I was so horrified with the results last time.
  7. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    These points are interesting. I am also wondering about presentational devices the 2011 June question paper 1 doesn't appear to refer to this, but yet the spec suggests it will be tested? Can any one shed any light? Papers don't seem consistent.
    The paper doesn't seem clear when pupils should be commenting on language and to what extent. Any WJEC markers?
  8. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    At the WJEC meetings held throughout the country where they go through the exam papers and feedback on controlled assessments and exams, one of the WJEC representatives said that the units 1 and 2 are following the same structure as the legacy paper 2. At foundation stage I understood that if students identify say a persuasive technique, quote it and say why it was put in there and followed this simple structure for answering they would cover what was needed. Do you think that this now differs and that more detail is needed because surely that would pop into a higher tier answer? The going into detail and giving a clear reason is what foundations students struggle with.

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