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Written controlled assessments

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by langteacher, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    what most people would do and what they should do are two very different things!
    It is her qualification so she should do the work if she wants credit for the grade. Realistically though, I bet most parents in that situation should help.
    If the board allows it to be done at home, how is "controlled"? Sounds just like coursework to me
  2. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    It's Edexcel. I can't stand the thought of her sitting there memorising mistakes so I went through it with her. What parent with the necessary knowledge wouldn't? But I think it's a farce.

  3. AQA is another board persisting with this nonsense. However, I believe it may be Ofqual - and the previous government probably - who have forced the boards to do this.
    In your position I would have helped her too.
  4. I've also been there this week - allowed to prepare draft at home with our board. Offspring preparing Spanish - which isn't my language. Asked me something - I ducked the issue by saying I wasn't 100% sure, I'd have to look it up. No problem - simply messaged his elder brother, who just happens to be in his final year of a Spanish degree.
    Of course, he's still got to memorise it, and in one sense he's just used a rather efficient dictionary . But then again - other classmates of similar ability don't have access to that "dictionary".
    System is ludicrous and unfair. Guidelines and rules are open to abuse, and can be interpeted differently by people who are genuinely intending to maintain professional integrity. We've spent hours in our dept. debating what is the difference between "commenting on " (which is allowed under our board rules) and "marking" (which isn't allowed) , only to hear anecdotes of people who work as examiners doing what we would definitely define as "marking"
  5. lasketchup

    lasketchup New commenter

    You can't do this with Edexcel. You can do a practice version which can be marked, corrected etc. but then the task has to be changed before it is taken in controlled conditions (hence the name).
    To be honest, if she's never going to do German again, I'd help her. The only reason she's going to need to do it is to show that on one day when she was 16 she managed to do some tasks in German. My sister's got A-level French but would be hard-pressed to put a sentence together. If your daughter is going to do German at A-level, then you're not really doing her any favours by helping her out as she will not cope later.
    I supposed it comes down to whether you think your daughter merits special consideration by virtue of having a German-speaking parent. I wouldn't help in htis case, but then I commit other pecadillos so am in no way angelic.
  6. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    What's cohort referencing, by the way?

  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I'm not exactly sure why her work is full of mistakes in the first place? The new exam allows for pupils to use marked pieces of work to make up their assessment, so in theory there should be very little tweaking between what has been marked as normal work and what she write as assessment notes. Yet another farce...
  8. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    Yes well that's another story. There is not a lot in her mostly unmarked exercise book that is particularly helpful for this assessment. (Actually, there is not a lot in her exercise book full stop.) She is only given 30 minutes German homework a week. Shey NEVER has vocabulary tests. She has various handouts with 'useful phrases' but doesn't understand how to put them into sentences. She is a hard-working, bright girl who is predicted to get A*s in most subjects.
    I have complained in previous years and got nowhere and have given up. I am cursing myself for not teaching her myself but she has totally and utterly lost interest in German now and just wants to get a her GCSE and drop it.
  9. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Then you should have no second thoughts in helping her correct her mistakes. It should have been done at the teaching stage, and she shouldn't suffer because of bad teaching. It is very unfortunate that her classmates cannot have a decent teaching too but you have the opportunity to put this one right in some way so I think it's only fair.
  10. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Of course you should help her. You have helped her all through her life by having decent conversations and providing ( I presume) a stable loving relationship. It's a fact of life that parental support matters more than teaching. My parents couldn't/didn't provide that for me but I'll be dammed if someone says I'm cheating for helping my children in a way I couldn't be helped when I was a child. And no of course she shouldn't learn language that is wrong. As for unmarked exercise books - complain.
  11. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Vocab tests would require her to learn a few things, i.e. put in some effort for herself, and we can't have that, can we? The handouts with useful phrases are nothing more than a jigsaw puzzle, which means that the pupils can never write a sentence for themselves. I once attended a course on this and all sorts of exercises were introduced under the dishonest guise of teaching writing. They amounted to nothing more than re-ordering ready made texts that we had written and jumbled up. Those exercises taught - at best - a spurious version of reading skills, not writing, as the pupils did not produce a word, let alone a sentence, on their own.
    The smug advisor who ran the course considered this to be "good teaching". I consider him to be a numbskull.
  12. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    I have just posted on frenchteacher.net in the Y10-11 section a help sheet for students aiming to get the highest grades for written CAs (French). We are aiming to improve a bit on range this year to get those elusive high grades. I just hope the marking is more reliable next year.
  13. Our head of department said this recently, after attending an AQA feedback meeting. I was astonished - I would never set exactly the same task for CA as had been set and marked earlier. Seems wrong to me.
    Is this common practice?
  14. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    It may not be common practice in that precise form, but we teach a sequence of work over about 4 weeks (stage 1) during which time students write paragaphs which we correct and which are bound to feed into the final piece. We have our bullet points in mind when teaching. It would be daft not to. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you do not correct at stage 2. The system is set up to encourage this sort of practice so we can support the least able.
    Yep. It's open to "abuse" and therefore a poor system.
  15. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I don't understand how you can do it differently. I have been teaching on the topic of holidays since the beginning of October. Whatever work I set my students (and I set a variety, to practise different tenses and skills), it is bound to be useful for their final piece. Particularly for the writing, as the only thing they have to do is to make sure they write to the title. So if the title is "write about your last holiday", anything at all that we've done on the topic of holidays can potentially be used. Now, the introduction and conclusion might have to be invented there and then but the core content shouldn't have to. If anything, students should be in the position where they have too much in their books to use everything and have to select what is relevant.
    I really don't have a problem with that. After all,my students wrote these texts off their own steam (none of this "writing frame" rubbish we used to have with coursework in the old system). No two texts are the same, they are quite original. Sure, some phrases and good expressions are used in several texts, but overall each essay is unique.
  16. I'm not exactly sure why her work is full of mistakes in the first place? The new exam allows for pupils to use marked pieces of work to make up their assessment, so in theory there should be very little tweaking between what has been marked as normal work and what she write as assessment notes. Yet another farce...
    I am going to speak to Edxecel to find out if I have been too harsh on my pupils. I don't allow the above because I thought that this was n't allowed. IMO unfortunately, if students are allowed to do this, then they are receiving a poor standard of education.
  17. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    But can someone please explain how you do any different?? How do you teach on a certain topic and prevent your students from reusing texts you have marked? Unless you haven't made them write anything on the topic or haven't marked any of their work, it is simply impossible! Please explain!
  18. Well on the topic of holidays, you might teach lots of holiday specific vocabulary/phrases in Stage 1, and set some holiday essays on topics like recent holiday, future holiday, ideal holiday, etc. You could take these in and mark them as normal.
    The controlled assessment, however, would be something like "A disastrous holiday" or "My first trip away without my family". Pupils could use their existing work for bits of this, but the central theme would not have been directly covered in a previous essay.
    I am not saying this is the right way to do it, just how we have done up until now!
  19. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    Much of what is said here makes sense but I would advise caution when setting the writing task title as a disastrous holiday or my first holiday without my family are restrictive titles and there appears to be some evidence that material which did not correspond directly with the task title was not considered this past Summer when it was marked. It is therefore prudent to stick to very general titles like Holidays so that everything written can count.
    My groups would have to be very weak or unonservant not to be able to predict the topic titles before they get them, given the fact that during stage 1 I have been covering a certain topic ad nauseam.

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