3 Oct 2014
Which is to say: phew!
That's the sound of languages teachers (at least modern foreign language teachers) heaving a sigh of relief at Ofqual's announcement about assessment in the new GCSEs. The key aspects generating this reaction being:
Tiering is to stay (at least in the most popular languages)
Speaking (though not listening) is to remain non-exam - presumably teacher assessed, though this hasn't been stated yet. It will contribute 25% - listening, reading and writing will contribute equal proportions via exam.
MFL teachers had been worried (according to our ongoing research consultations) about the impact on performance, especially of lower attaining students, had assessments been based on a single exam only for all entrants. They are still somewhat worried that this means that controlled assessment may remain, even if reduced. Still, the investment in all those tape recorders won't be wasted.
English teachers however, may well feel a little irritated about the fact that foreign languages get this treatment while English has no tiering and speaking will not contribute to final grades. Ofqual justify this difference by explaining that MFL is not subject to the same pressures as English. Is this a coded way of saying not as important?
Speaking is apprarently more important in a foreign language because the pronunciation is more important. Though currently it's worth only around 5% in most specs.
Anyway, our subject-by-subject overview guide to the changes in assessment at GCSE has been updated to reflect these changes.
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Au revoir! **
* Translations courtesy of Google.
** Not this one.
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