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OCR A Level Modern Foreign Languages - Hints and tips for teachers


Title: OCR A Level Modern Foreign Languages - Hints and tips for teachers Author: OCR Keywords: MFL, French, German, Spanish, Hints, Tips Last modified by – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: OCR A Level Modern Foreign Languages - Hints and tips for teachers

AS/A Level GCE Modern Foreign Languages
Hints and tips for teachers
A Level French H475
AS French H075
A Level German H476
AS German H076
A Level Spanish H477
AS Spanish H077
AS Speaking
  • Preparation
  • At the beginning of the course, candidates may
    benefit from hearing a role play conducted
    entirely in English. This will help them to
    understand what theyre aiming for, without the
    language barrier.
  • Train candidates to use the 20 minutes of
    preparation time wisely. They should avoid
    writing out full sentences instead they might
    like to jot down key words, highlight statistics,
    or spend time thinking about their own ideas.

AS Speaking
  • The initial questions
  • Practise the initial questions which the
    candidate must ask e.g. work on all the
    possible question words. Even able candidates can
    struggle with this part!
  • Train candidates to decide whether the formal or
    informal mode of address is appropriate look
    closely at the context.
  • Practise changing possessive adjectives e.g.
    changing his/her daughter to your daughter.

AS Speaking
  • The conversation
  • Practise some opening gambits for suggesting the
    activity/ product/job on offer get candidates
    off to a confident start.
  • Use of stimulus is worth 15 marks (grid A)
    make sure candidates are aware that they need to
    convey almost all of the information from the
    stimulus text, and when you practise past papers,
    refer to the main points on the mark scheme to
    see what information was credited...
  • ...However, this is a role play, and not a
    summary exercise. Candidates need to demonstrate
    that they can respond to the examiners questions
    (Grid B). Interaction is key it should sound
    like a genuine conversation.

AS Speaking
  • General tips
  • Spend time practising numbers, addresses, e-mail
  • Train candidates to find ways of rephrasing
    words/phrases which they dont know. It is not
    normally necessary to use precise wording to gain
    the mark for a key point, and its better to
    talk around a word/phrase than to invent a
    non-existent cognate!

AS Speaking
  • General tips
  • Candidates who play the part and give a
    convincing performance tend to score more highly
    than candidates who are worried about making
    mistakes. Quality of language (Accuracy) is worth
    just 5 marks (Grid C.1) whereas conveying the
    information and responding to the examiner are
    together worth 25 marks.
  • Candidates should aim to use imagination and
    initiative throughout the role play, not just in
    the extension questions. They should be
    encouraged to go beyond the scope of the stimulus

AS Speaking
  • The teacher/examiners role
  • Your role as teacher/examiner is vital! Prepare
    each role play carefully and ensure you know the
    full answer to each question about the stimulus
    material. This will enable you to
    prompt/encourage candidates to supply missing
  • Avoid giving away key vocab if you say the
    word/phrase first, the candidate cant be
    credited for it! The questions in the booklet are
    worded to avoid this happening.

AS Speaking
  • The teacher/examiners role
  • Play the part e.g. worried parent or concerned
    customer. Ask questions such as What if...?,
    Should I...?, How can I...?
  • The two extension questions are important. If the
    candidate gives very short replies, ask follow-up
    questions to elicit more ideas and opinions.
  • Finally, timing is important the limit is 6

AS Speaking
  • Choice of topic
  • The topic chosen MUST be linked to the AS topics
    or sub-topics in the specification. The idea is
    that candidates choose something which has been
    introduced during the course and which they are
    interested in researching further.
  • At AS level, candidates should choose something
    relatively straightforward and should show a
    personal response.
  • Candidates are more likely to be successful and
    to enjoy their preparatory work if they choose
    something which they are genuinely interested in.

AS Speaking
  • Choice of topic
  • If candidates choose one of the more common
    topics, taking an individual angle can catch the
    examiners attention.
  • Candidates are allowed to choose a literary text,
    film or play... BUT they must concentrate on the
    ISSUES arising from the work and link it to one
    of the AS topics/sub-topics e.g. a film about
    school might fit under Education and training.
    They must avoid simply describing the

AS Speaking
  • Choice of topic
  • The topic discussed MUST be rooted in a target
    language country/community. Candidates selecting
    something generic like Obesity in France should
    ensure that the majority of their research is
    specific to the target language country/community
    e.g. what the French government is doing to
    combat obesity, what French schools are doing...

AS Speaking
  • The discussion
  • The discussion should be as natural and
    spontaneous as possible, based on the five
    headings the candidate has chosen.
  • Candidates are not penalised when prepared
    material is used flexibly to respond to the
    teacher/examiners questions...
  • ...However, discussions should not sound
    scripted candidates and teachers should not be
    working from a prepared list of questions. Train
    candidates to know the difference between
    well-prepared and over-rehearsed.

AS Speaking
  • The discussion
  • Giving developed opinions and exploring ideas in
    depth is important ideally candidates will do
    this throughout the discussion, justifying their
    ideas with the research they have done.
  • Candidates can use this part of the exam to show
    off their knowledge of the language, but they
    should use phrases and structures which sound
    natural in spoken language, rather than more
    formal, written ones.
  • They should pay particular attention to the
    pronunciation of topic-specific vocabulary.

AS Speaking
  • The teacher/examiners role
  • Listen carefully to what the candidate has to
    say. Encourage an exchange of views throughout,
    rather than a strict Question and Answer
  • Encourage candidates to speak naturally and take
    the initiative they dont have to wait for the
    next question.
  • Be ready to challenge and react to statements
    made by the candidate e.g. ask Why? or In
    what way...? or Whats your view?
  • Be ready to interrupt if a candidate seems to be
    reciting a long paragraph of pre-learnt material.
  • There is a strict time limit of 10 minutes.

AS Listening, Reading Writing
  • Candidates should practise completing listening
    tasks independently so that they are familiar
    with the equipment they will use in the exam.
  • They may find it beneficial to read the questions
    BEFORE listening to the text...
  • ...And they should listen to the whole text
    BEFORE starting to write their answers.
  • Practise question words regularly.

AS Listening, Reading Writing
  • Practise language manipulation exercises e.g.
    verb to noun, noun to adjective. Starter
    activities in class can be good for this.
  • Train candidates to look at the mark allocations
    two marks means two distinct points are
  • Task 4 is always related to Task 3. It may be
    possible to glean some relevant vocabulary for
    the writing task from the listening text.
  • Train candidates to find alternative ways of
    expressing the same idea, rather than attempting
    a literal translation in Task 4. It is the
    meaning which matters!

AS Listening, Reading Writing
  • In Task 6 (answers in the target language),
    candidates may lose marks if they copy phrases of
    more than FIVE words from the text...
  • ...BUT they do not need to find a synonym for
    every single word a change in a grammatical
    structure may suffice.
  • For Task 7a, candidates should concentrate solely
    on the text. They do not need to interpret it,
    draw conclusions or offer personal opinions...

AS Listening, Reading Writing
  • ...However, for Task 7b candidates DO need to
    move away from the text, expressing and
    justifying their own opinions.
  • An idea/opinion will only be credited once, so
    there is no point in repeating or rewording it.
  • In 7b, the better responses are often those which
    consider both sides of the argument.
  • Candidates should be encouraged to plan and
    organise their ideas before starting their essay
    it is time well spent.
  • They should also allow time for checking once
    they finish the essay.

AS Listening, Reading Writing
  • Experience suggests that longer does not
    necessarily mean better longer essays often
    contain more errors and lack concision.
  • Quality of language is assessed over both 7a and
  • Finally, candidates may like to think about what
    order they do the paper in. Some like to start
    with Section B (Reading Writing) and finish
    with Section A (Listening Writing). Try it
    different ways and see what works!

A2 Speaking
  • Articles cover both AS and A2 topics.
  • There is no randomisation sheet you as
    teacher/examiner can choose which article to use
    for each candidate. Just make sure it doesnt
    overlap with the candidates chosen topic for the
    Topic Conversation.
  • Discourage candidates from writing extensive
    notes during the preparation time they should
    not write out summaries of each paragraph!
    Encourage them to jot down key words/phrases,
    highlight important information and think
    carefully about their own opinions.
  • Practise numbers, dates, unfamiliar names,

A2 Speaking
  • As the teacher/examiner, ensure that you are as
    familiar as possible with the articles before the
    exams start.
  • You do not have to stick to the suggested
    questions use all, some or none of them! Feel
    free to adapt them, extend them, simplify them...
  • ...Because it is good practice to differentiate
    according to the candidate in front of you. Some
    questions are designed for stretch and
    challenge you dont have to use these, or you
    can adapt them to suit your candidates.
  • Keep track of the time as for the AS role play,
    the limit is 6 minutes.

A2 Speaking
  • (Please note that many of the tips given for Unit
    1 Topic Discussion are also relevant here.)
  • The topic chosen MUST be linked to the A2 topics
    or sub-topics.
  • The A2 topics reflect the need for candidates to
    demonstrate greater analytical/evaluative skills
    than at AS...
  • ...However, ideas and opinions are still
    essential (see Grid M Development of Ideas).
  • For A2, candidates prepare TWO titles, but the
    second is only discussed if the candidate cannot
    sustain 10-12 minutes of discussion on their
    first topic.

A2 Speaking
  • If they want to discuss a literary text, film or
    play, but find that it does not work under the
    Culture topic, they can choose a work which
    they can link to one of the other A2
    topics/sub-topics e.g. A sci-fi novel might
    work under Science and technology.
  • There is not always a literary question on the
    Listening, Reading Writing paper
    (F704/F714/F724), so the Topic Conversation is a
    good opportunity for candidates to discuss
  • As at AS, the aim is a genuine conversation
    between candidate and teacher/examiner.
  • The time limit is 12 minutes.

A2 Listening, Reading Writing
  • General
  • For the Listening element, train candidates to
    work under timed conditions 30 minutes for the
    two texts.
  • Section B carries 5 marks for Quality of Language
    therefore candidates should spend a few minutes
    checking accuracy.
  • In the Transfer of meaning exercise candidates
    should use good English. They should not be
    afraid to alter word order etc to achieve this...
  • ...However, they should stick closely to the
    original meaning and should avoid missing out any
  • Beware of words which look like English but have
    a different meaning false friends!

A2 Listening, Reading Writing
  • Candidates should keep an open mind about which
    topic they will choose in the exam. The essay
    titles give scope for a whole range of answers,
    drawing on what individual candidates have
  • There is nothing to stop candidates from choosing
    a title on the same topic as their Topic
    Conversation (F703/F713/F723). However, they
    should take care to answer the question in front
    of them and avoid including irrelevant material.
  • Practise essays of the required length 250-400
    words. There is no advantage to writing more.

A2 Listening, Reading Writing
  • Train candidates to identify factual evidence
    which will justify their argument. Avoid putting
    in facts just for the sake of it!
  • Encourage candidates to read and research outside
    of class. Information, facts and public opinion
    can be gleaned on newspaper websites, target
    language radio, TV etc.

A2 Listening, Reading Writing
  • Tips for candidates on approaching the essay
  • Decide what your overall argument will be, what
    points you wish to make and what evidence you can
    use to back these up (Relevance and points of
    view 10 marks, Grid N).
  • Work out a logical plan for your essay and be
    clear from the start about the conclusion you
    will reach, so that the essay has a sense of
    purpose and direction.
  • Ensure that your analysis of the question flows
    from the introduction through to the main body
    and finally to its conclusion (Structure and
    analysis 15 marks, Grid O).
  • Leave time to check accuracy (Quality of
    language 20 marks, Grids C.2 F.2).
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