English as a Second Language Stage 4 by alendar


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									  T A S M A N I A N
  S E C O N D A R Y
                                                                    English as a Second Language Stage 4
  A S S E S S M E N T
                                                                    2000 External Examination Report
  B O A R D
                                                                    Statistical Summary

Award Summary

          Outstanding Achievement (OA)          14
          High Achievement (HA)                 25
          Satisfactory Achievement (SA)         56
          Reassessed into neighbour             34
          Total candidates                      129

Gender Breakdown

           Males                                62

           Females                              67

Ratings awarded (internally and externally)

   Criterion                          A                     B                   C               D
                                int       ext         int   ext           int       ext   int   ext
   Criterion 1                  55        25          34    38            38        40     0        18
   Criterion 2                  74                    21                  28               5
   Criterion 3                  45                    35                  41               4
   Criterion 4                  38        28          41    38            43        40     4        14
   Criterion 5                  26        2           52    27            47        58     3        31
   Criterion 6                  45                    45                  26               8
   Criterion 7                  27        3           38    16            49        51     6        49
   Criterion 8                  38        12          49    21            36        37     3        48
   Criterion 9                  17        16          39        9         58        58     9        38
   Criterion 10                 44                    31                  42               7
 T A S M A N I A N                                           ES818
 S E C O N D A R Y                                           English as a Second Language
 A S S E S S M E N T

 B O A R D                                                   2000 External Examination Report

 General Comments on the Oral Examination

 Most of the students appeared to be well prepared for the oral examination and the topics for the research component
 were varied and interesting. Some students presented their year’s work. Students who had a particular topic on
 which to focus appeared to be much more comfortable and confident in discussing it than those with too little work
 or too broad a folder.

 •   once again the presence of some teachers’ marks appeared in the folio – on the final piece of work submitted –
     we feel that they can colour the examiners’ opinion and should not be included.
 •   the ‘research’ essay is to provide a focus for intelligent discussion so it is important that the essay is on a
     topic of genuine personal interest; a topic that has been explored, developed and understood. The majority of
     students did this but those that had only one piece of work floundered.
 •   once again students who had based interviews and creative writing on their topic were able to converse more
     enthusiastically and confidently.
 •   some students came with prepared notes – there is no need for this as the examination does not involve a
     prepared talk.
 •   one student had learned his/her topic and this greatly hampered fluency until he/she was encouraged to broaden
     his/her discussion.
 •   appropriateness of address – one student cheerily called out ‘See you later alligator, don’t forget your toilet
     paper’ as she left the room.
 •   personal presentation can make assessment easier'; long hair over both eyes makes it more difficult to
     maintain communication and a hand in front of the mouth while leaning on the desk are both off-putting.
 •   confusion with ‘much’ and ‘many’ was a common fault – ‘many informations, many homeworks, many
     pollution, not much customer.

 The folios were, on the whole, very much fuller than last year. However very few were really ‘research’ folios.

 Written Paper

 Section A

 This section has been reduced to one question only, a passage with multiple choice answers. Students found this an
 easy task and the majority gained an A or a B. Only 5 students were assessed as D. The high marks on this section
 were, however, balanced by the lower assessment on Criterion 5 in the summary (Section B).

 Students need to be reminded to answer this question in the answer booklet – one student answered it on the question
 sheet and the answers could easily have been overlooked.

Tasmanian Secondary Assessment Board                                              2000 External Examination Report
                                                                                    ES818                             2
                                                                                    English as a Second Language

 Section B

 The summary is a difficult task and provides a challenge to most students. It is a valuable skill and one that students
 only get good at with a lot of practice. In this exam there were a few very good summaries. Most of the students
 seem to have understood the main issues in the articles, but were not always adept at expressing them in their own
 words. In many cases the task was poorly done.

 Copying: In some cases, the summary was completely composed of sentences copied verbatim from the original
 articles. If students did this, they automatically failed criterion 7. Others cobbled large pieces from the original texts
 together with some of their own words in a fairly incoherent fashion and they did not do well either. It was
 disappointing that students lost out in this way.

 Some students also acknowledged and quoted (usually at some length) the exact words of the people mentioned in the
 article. This should be strongly discouraged.

 In general, before students begin writing the summary they should make a quick list of the essential points to ensure
 that these will be covered. Some students spent too much time on the first part – causes of the declining birthrate –
 and did not write enough on the second part – addressing the issue.

 Students should not give their personal opinions on the topic or add any extra information that they think of. Some
 gave their own advice and also added information that did not occur in the passages.

 Some students only summarised the first article and ignored the other two. There should be some points included
 from all articles. A couple of students summarised each article separately. Obviously the summary should be a
 synthesis of the points in all the articles.

 Length: Most students kept to the prescribed length. Just a few either wrote about 100 words or wrote too much
 (240 to 300 words). If the summary is too short, it is unlikely to be adequate. If it is overlength, then it does not
 demonstrate the student’s ability to summarise within the limits. Students must keep to the prescribed length or
 they will be penalised.

 Section C

 Some concern was expressed at the lack of a clear division between Questions 3 and 4 in this section as this could
 have caused 2 students to miss Question 4 altogether. The other students were obviously well-informed about the
 contents of the paper and aware they had to answer 2 questions rather than one.

 Question 3

 The number of words required for the comparison was expanded this year to 200–250, giving students more
 opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of Australia. While many students were able to demonstrate sufficient
 skill and proficiency to do well on Criteria 7 and 9, it was disappointing to find that nearly half the candidates failed
 on Criterion 8. This task provides all students with an opportunity to improve their overall assessment as all they
 have to do to achieve a satisfactory assessment for Criterion 8 is to give 7–8 factual details about Australia while
 discussing the chosen topic.

 The most popular topic was ‘School’ and the main deficiencies were:
 •    giving little or no information about Australian schools;

Tasmanian Secondary Assessment Board                                                  2000 External Examination Report
                                                                                  ES818                             3
                                                                                  English as a Second Language

 •      giving incorrect information, eg failing to distinguish between what happens in Tasmania and what happens
        in other states (other states do not have Senior Secondary College), or assuming that what happens in
        Colleges is normal for all primary and secondary schools (freedom of subject choice, no uniforms, using
        teachers’ first names);
 •      giving information of a very vague or general nature, a particular problem for those who wrote about ‘The
        attitudes of parents to teenagers’.

 Question 4

 The most popular task was 4(c), a letter to a friend. In general, students did well on this and many of the letters were
 a pleasure to read. Some neglected to use the correct letter format, failing to give an address or date and using
 inappropriate salutations at the beginning of the letter. Others set out the address incorrectly.

 About 20 candidates applied for the part-time job 4(a). Some had obviously had plenty of practice at this task and
 knew how to go about it, but several responses were quite inappropriate and unlikely to make a favourable
 impression on the prospective employer.

 Only 3 students tackled the task based on the graph and their school newspaper articles were excellent.

 Section D

 Question 5

 Most candidates chose either Topic 3, with its 'Looking back on it , I really should have planned ahead', or Topic 6,
 'A day I will never forget'. Some of these essays were controlled and engaging narratives; others reflected a belief,
 perhaps, that choice of a narrative topic gives one licence to throw off the shackles of planning and structure.
 Similarly, some candidates used Topic 1, 'The importance of the Internet', as an opportunity to write text that would
 have been more appropriate in a journal than in an essay. These candidates wrote rambling reflections on their own
 experience of the internet, or catalogues of what information technology can do. Students should maintain a critical
 distance from their subject and should be mindful of purpose and audience. Topics 2, 4 and 5, on travel, money and
 genetic engineering, were chosen by only a few candidates.

 The best essays showed evidence of careful planning and were clear and well-structured. They were interesting and
 they bore evidence of a questioning intelligence. These essays reflected a broad vocabulary, good knowledge of
 English grammar and careful attention to spelling and punctuation. Generally, however, the work was
 disappointing. Too many of the essays were below standard on Criterion 9.

 Students should be reminded to copy the essay topic accurately. Some essays need a title that is different from the
 topic. An essay on Topic 3, for example, might be called 'Disaster on Cradle Mountain'.

                                 All correspondence should be addressed to:
                                       Tasmanian Secondary Assessment Board
                                            PO Box 147, Sandy Bay 7006
                                      Ph: (03) 6233 6364 Fax: (03) 6224 0175

                                        Email: reception@tassab.tased.edu.au
                                       Internet: http://www.tassab.tased.edu.au

Tasmanian Secondary Assessment Board                                                 2000 External Examination Report

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