Aqa Spanish oral exam

(7 Posts)
Christy62 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:58:57

Please can somebody explain to me why my son had to memorise 5 paragraphs of Spanish for his oral exam today? Are they testing their ability to speak Spanish or their memories, what harm does it do for them to read from a card? Also does anyone know what percentage of the final mark comes from this oral exam and the next one which I believe is in January. Thank you.

CountingStars Mon 11-Nov-13 18:11:50

If it's anything like my exams were, it's 15%, and he will be asked some spontaneous questions.

Snargaluff Mon 11-Nov-13 18:19:21

They send off the two best marks and they come to 30% The written one is another 30.

Yes, it's a test of memory really.

StrokeOfBadLuck Wed 13-Nov-13 14:48:17

I think it's one (!) spontaneous question.

This week, my son's doing the Spanish written paper... but you write it first at home (thanks, Google translate), memorise it, then go into the exam with a piece of paper with 40 words to help you, and a dictionary. Great for those mediocre at languages, but with a good memory!

Hope your son does well, Christy. smile

slickrick Wed 13-Nov-13 17:45:56

Its so ridiculous it is not testing language its testing memory.

daphnedill Thu 14-Nov-13 22:46:07

I hope he didn't actually rely on Google translate! I mark GCSE written papers and I can spot Google translated sentences a mile off!

It shouldn't be written at home - if it has been, the school is breaking the rules.

Yes, it's a test of memory (and most MFL teachers disagree would prefer a terminal exam), but it depends on the quality of what's being memorised. It's quite surprising how many candidates still don't use different tenses or opinions and/or don't stick to the task.

Candidates in small classes and/or with somebody who can help at home have a distinct advantage.

Oral tests are more difficult to "fiddle", because candidates have to interact with the examiner in addition to memorising a chunk of language.

StrokeOfBadLuck Fri 15-Nov-13 11:49:10

He certainly uses Google translate, but I hope he didn't rely on it! grin. We shall see. I don't know if he gets results for individual papers. It's his first GCSE, so I don't have much of a clue.

They were given the topic, and he spent ages writing up different pieces on the topic at home, underlining different tenses etc. Is that not allowed? How can the school stop you doing that, as they don't know whether you've done any preparation at home?

We don't speak any Spanish. You certainly would have an advantage with these type of assessments if you had a parent who could help. For the oral test, there was only one extra question, so really that wasn't that much of a challenge, in my opinion. At least not compared to O-levels in my day - old fogey alert wink.

I guess there was some preparation at home even then. When I did German O-level, the whole class wrote "Die Sonne scheint aus einem volkenlosen Himmel" for the story based on a cartoon strip, and the exam board commented in their critique that year that many entrants had used the same sentence!

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