GCSE MFL Examinations

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1 GCSEs in first languages available from the three main GCSE examination boards: OCR, AQA and Edexcel. It does not list the IGCSE examinations. The languages covered by these boards are Dutch, Gujarati, Persian, Portuguese, Turkish, Bengali, Panjabi, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian, Urdu, Arabic, Greek, Japanese, Russian. For each board, there are details of how to download the specification, access past papers and other information. The deadline for entry is usually in February for the summer exams. Entering pupils for first language exams: At Admissions, collect data about first language. Find out if pupils are literate (they may be literate in more than one language), and if they have adult support in their first language at home or if they attend community classes. It is not recommended to enter pupils until year 9 or 10 for GCSE as they may not be sufficiently mature to sit an external examination, especially the Speaking units. In year 9, check the data and talk to the pupils identified that they may be entered for their L1 GCSE in year 9 or 10. Write to parents. Remind pupil that it may be a relatively easy GCSE for them, and it is important to have certification of a skill in their first language. It counts towards both the pupils and the schools performance. The full courses also count towards the English Baccalaureate (but not the Short courses). Suggest pupils read and write as much as possible in their L1. Do they use social networking sites to communicate with friends from their country of origin? The Forum library in the centre of Norwich has some dual language books available, or the school may have some in the library. 1

2 Bi-lingual dictionary. Make sure the pupil has one. You will need to make sure the schools exams officer also has a clean/new copy of the same dictionary, as it is necessary for some units of the examination (and often for other GCSEs). In the autumn term of year 9/10, talk to each pupil again about entry. Show them the appropriate website and how to download past papers. You will need to decide together if the Full or Short courses are suitable, and go through the detail of each unit. Notre Dame High School ( ) runs the speaking units for a limited number of languages. They charge about 20 per pupil for this service, but you will need to book your pupils in as early as possible, as places are limited. If you need to find an examiner for the Speaking unit, see the notes for each individual board to see who is acceptable for this role. Contact MAAS to help identify oral examiners for other languages. Otherwise, you will need to train them beforehand, and a mock exam is highly recommended. They will need to be paid for their time on Instructors rates, or supply rates if they are teachers. You will need to work closely with the exams officer throughout this time. General notes for Speaking units Speaking units are externally assessed but administered and recorded by the centre The tests can be conducted between March and May see the individual specifications for exact dates Candidates are required to: use a variety of vocabulary use different clause types use different tenses and time frames speak with clear, confident and accurate pronunciation and intonation. Assessment is outcome based, so the examiner should ensure that they ask questions that are sufficiently challenging to maximise pupil performance. In particular, candidates aiming at Grade C or above will be expected to express personal opinions, present information and show an ability to deal with unpredictable elements, to use a variety of structures and tenses as well as interact effectively with another person speaking the language. 2

3 Dutch, Gujarati, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, Turkish Examining Board: OCR General Notes: There is only one tier for entry. A family member can be the examiner for the Speaking unit if necessary provided he or she respects the strict rules of confidentiality required. The examiner will need to be trained and the exam supervised. Full course: each unit is weighted at 25%, Short course: each unit is 50% Dictionaries are allowed for the Writing unit and for the preparation time only of the Speaking unit ( the latter in order to align with the speaking controlled assessment that pupils complete for GCSE French, German and Spanish) This course is linear. Full Course (4 skills, or Units 1, 2, 3 and 4) Unit 1 Listening (Dutch A801/Gujarati A811/Persian A821/Portuguese A831/Turkish A841) Unit 2 Speaking (Dutch A802/Gujarati A812/Persian A822/Portuguese A832/Turkish A842) Unit 3 Reading (Dutch A803/Gujarati A813/Persian A823/Portuguese A833/Turkish A843) Unit 4 Writing (Dutch A804/Gujarati A814/Persian A824/Portuguese A834/Turkish A844) 3 Course Code

4 Dutch Full Course Short Courses: Spoken language Written language Gujarati Full Course Short Courses: Spoken language Written language J733 J033 J133 J734 J034 J134 Persian Full Course Short Courses: Spoken language Written language J735 J035 J135 Portuguese Full Course Short Courses: Spoken language Written language J736 J036 J136 Turkish Full Course Short Courses: Spoken language Written language J737 J037 J137 4

5 Accessing information and past papers: GCSE MFL Examinations Go to > Qualifications > By Subject > Click on the chosen Language from list > Scroll to GCSE (from 2009) > View all Documents Specification and Summary Brochure gives details of the exam, including grade descriptions, vocabulary and grammar In addition, there are Assessment Materials, Specimen Papers etc 5

6 Unit 2 SPEAKING in more detail 10 min oral examination 50 marks total 25% of the total GCSE marks or 50% of the Short Course Dictionaries are allowed in the 10 minute preparation time of the test but no dictionaries are allowed during the taking of the test. There are two parts to the Speaking unit: Part 1: Presentation and discussion Part 2: General conversation Part 1 Presentation and discussion Presentation (maximum 1 minute) Candidates can use up to 5 visuals or objects and their Notes on the Speaking Test form (provided by OCR). No other notes are allowed. Note that OCR will NOT provide the topic for Part 1 each pupil can choose ANY topic of interest to him/her. The teacher/examiner will need to know of the topic from the Notes for Speaking Tests form, given to the teacher/examiner at the start of the pupils 10 minutes preparation time. Candidates introduce their topic for no longer than 1 minute, explaining why it is of interest and importance to them. The topic can be either one of the OCR main topics OR one of the OCR sub-topics OR a topic of their own choice. Discussion (maximum 4 minutes) The teacher examiner develops a discussion of the topic by asking a range of questions including unexpected ones. Candidates are required to give information about the topic, about events related to the topic and explain ideas and points of view (their own and/or those of others). Part 2 General conversation Candidates choose 1 of 3 topics offered by the teacher-examiner from a list prescribed for each examination series by OCR. This topic must be different from the topic discussed in Part 1. Note: Candidates must not be told what the 3 topics are in advance of this part of the test. 6

7 Bengali, Panjabi, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Chinese (Mandarin), Urdu, Italian, Spanish, German Examining Board: AQA Chinese (Mandarin), Urdu, Italian, Spanish, and German: The Speaking and Writing units require Controlled Assessments which have to be delivered over some time by a teacher who speaks the language. Bengali, Panjabi, Polish, Modern Hebrew Full course: each unit is weighted at 25%, Short course: each unit is 50% Pupils must have access to a bilingual dictionary for the Writing tests only, but not for Speaking, Listening or Reading. There are different tiers for entry for both Bengali and Panjabi: Listening and Reading are tiered; candidates can enter for either Foundation or Higher Tier. Speaking and Writing are single tier Where someone not on the Centre s staff is to conduct the speaking tests, the Centre must contact AQA in advance for permission. Centres should either write to Margaret Elvidge, Candidate Support, AQA, Devas St, Manchester M15 6EX, or Reading and Writing Tests are conducted in one single session Note for Bengali: many of our local pupils speak a dialect, Sylheti. Although they may be able to understand the Bengali (Bangla) on the assessment materials/past papers, they will be unable to answer appropriately in the Speaking or Writing units. Only enter them if they speak/write in Bangla, and not Sylheti. 7

8 Panjabi Unit F; 46801H Unit F; 46802H Unit Unit Short Course: spoken language: unit 1(tiered) and unit Short Course: written language: unit 2(tiered) and unit Full course: units 1(tiered), 2(tiered), 3 and Bengali Unit F; 46351H Unit F; 46352H Unit Unit Short Course: spoken language: unit 1(tiered) and unit Short Course: written language: unit 2(tiered) and unit Full course: units 1(tiered), 2(tiered), 3 and Polish Full course Short course: Spoken Language Short course: Written Language Single tier Single tier Single tier Modern Hebrew Full course Short course: Spoken Language Short course: Written Language Single tier Single tier Single tier 8

9 Unit 3: SPEAKING in more detail Pupils will attend one session of between 10 and 12 minutes. This test will be conducted and recorded by the teacher/examiner, and marked externally by an AQA examiner. Pupils may take into the examination room for this part of the test a cue card, containing a maximum of five short headings for each of the contexts chosen by the pupil. There must be no conjugated verbs or full sentences on the card. As pupils will have done their preparation beforehand, they do not need any preparation time before the test. Pupils must not have access to a dictionary during the test. The test will consist of two sections Section 1 - Presentation and discussion Section 2 General conversation Section 1 Presentation and Discussion The candidate s Presentation and the Discussion that follows it will last no more than 3 minutes in total, with up to 90 seconds for the Presentation and a further 90 seconds for the Discussion. Pupils will be expected to speak for between 30 and 90 seconds and to answer questions on their presentation for a further 30 to 90 seconds (up to approximately 3 minutes in total). Candidates choose the subject of their Presentation in advance of the test and may take into the examination room a cue card with up to five short headings. There must be no conjugated verbs or full sentences on the cue card. Candidates may refer to their cue card during the tests. Visuals may be used as well as, or instead of, the headings. The subject of the Presentation can be based on a Context, Topic or Purpose from the specification or can be drawn from outside the specification. Section 2 Conversation This section should be between 7 and 9 minutes, with the time split evenly across the two subjects. The Conversation is based on two subjects chosen by the candidate. These can be based on a Context, Topic or Purpose from the specification or can be drawn from outside the specification. They must avoid overlap with the subject chosen for the Presentation and Discussion. The topics and the questions suggested in the Teachers' Notes are not compulsory 9

10 Accessing information and past papers: Go to > Qualifications > GSCE > Languages > Select your chosen Language from list > Key Materials Specification gives details of the exam, including grade descriptions, vocabulary and grammar. Specimen Question Papers and Mark Schemes Teacher resource bank contain past papers, assessment materials etc. 10

11 Chinese, Italian, Urdu, Arabic, Greek, Japanese, Russian Examining Board: Edexcel Chinese, Italian, Urdu The Speaking and Writing units require Controlled Assessments which have to be delivered over some time by a teacher who speaks the language Arabic, Greek, Japanese, Russian NOTES: There is only one tier for entry, but with Foundation and Higher type questions Pupils must have access to a bilingual dictionary for the Writing tests and for the preparation only of the Speaking unit The tests are linear The speaking tests will be conducted by a teacher-examiner in the candidate's own centre. If a teacher examiner is not available centres should arrange for the candidate to take the test at a host centre. It may be possible for a list of host centres to be sent in March to centres who request this on the L1 form. If a host centre is not available then it is acceptable for a candidate s relative who speaks the language to conduct the test. However, it is imperative that the centre brief this person on the requirements of the test and an invigilator is present throughout the exam to ensure that the requirements of the specification are not breached. Under Exam Materials look for Instructions for the Conduct of the Examination - Lesser taught for more details. 11

12 Unit 1 Listening and Understanding 23% of Full Course or 46% of Short Course Unit 2 Speaking 27% of Full Course or 54% of Short Course Unit 3 Reading and Understanding 23% of Full Course or 46% of Short Course Unit 4 Writing 27% of Full Course or 54% of Short Course Unit 2 SPEAKING in more detail The Speaking examination features two tasks: 1. A focused, picture-based discussion or presentation (with follow-up questions related to a theme chosen by the pupil). 2. A general conversation related to a theme chosen by the pupil. Each task should last for approximately 4-5 minutes and the total number of marks is 50. The examiner should be familiar with the general content of pupils presentations in advance so that they can prepare questions accordingly. The focus of the speaking unit will be chosen by the centre in advance in consultation with the pupil and will relate to the following themes: media, travel and culture or sport, leisure and work. Examples (not prescriptive): Media, travel and culture Music/film/reading Fashion/celebrities/religion Blogs/internet Holidays Accommodation Eating, food, drink 2. Sport, leisure and work Hobbies/interests Sporting events Lifestyle choices Work experience/part-time jobs Product or service information 12

13 Pupils prepare on an individual basis with access to an appropriate bilingual dictionary during their preparation time, but may not use a dictionary during the actual speaking exam. 1. Discussion or Presentation: Pupils must engage in a discussion related to a picture (or other visual) that they have chosen in advance or give a presentation prepared in advance (1 to 2 minutes maximum) and then respond to a series of linked follow up questions and answers. It is intended that pupils use the picture as a prompt to discussion and that it relates to something they have some interest or involvement in (for example an activity, a club or a place). It is not envisaged that pupils will be presented with an unseen picture a few minutes prior to assessment or that they are asked in-depth questions on every aspect of its visual content. Similarly, pupils giving a presentation must be able to choose its content and prepare on an individual basis in advance of the assessment. Pupils wishing to give a short presentation (one to two minutes maximum) may refer to an A5 sheet of paper with bulleted notes (30 words maximum). 2. A general conversation This activity is linked to a different theme from the one selected in the previous task. Course Code Arabic Full course (4 skills) Short courses: Arabic Spoken Language Arabic Written Language 2AR01 3AR0S 3AR0W Japanese Full course (4 skills) Japanese Spoken Language Japanese Written Language 2JA01 3JA0S 3JA0W 13

14 Modern Greek Full course (4 skills) Modern Greek Spoken Language Modern Greek Written Language 2GK01 3GK0S 3GK0S Russian Full course (4 skills) Russian Spoken Language Russian Written Language 2RU01 3RU0S 3RU0W Accessing information and past papers: Go to > Qualifications > GSCEs from 2009 > Select your chosen Language from list of subjects >Scroll down to download the Specification : this gives details of the exam, including grade descriptions, vocabulary and grammar. >Exam Materials >Sample Assessment materials 14

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