MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE
COPYRIGHT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, FIJI, 2013.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
FIJI SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION – 2013
A total of 12, 058 candidates sat the English paper in the 2013 Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination.
This report is based on the comments received from the 44 markers who marked the candidates’ scripts in 2013. It has been compiled to reflect on the performances of students, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Recommendations are also made for the HODs and teachers of English to reflect on.
The paper was structured and weighted as per prescription and previous years papers. 20% of the questions in the paper tested students’ knowledge, 30% of the questions tested comprehension while 50 % of the questions were on analysis. The questions asked were discriminatory in nature as they could very well discriminate between those who know and those who do not. The report therefore attempts to:
• create awareness amongst the English teachers on particular areas that require specific attention. • advice teachers on how to improve their teaching of the basics of English and the skills of writing, reading and interpreting information.
• provide an overall analysis on how candidates answered each question. • allow teachers to reflect on their methods/strategies of teaching. Overall, teachers should be commended for their tireless efforts in teaching English as a second language.
The number of students who attempted expository essay increased compared to previous years as topics were familiar and contemporary. Letter writing was the popular question and report writing was the least attempted. However, it was sad to note that most students were prepared only for a letter of invitation rather than learning all the types of letter as in the prescription. This was evident in the content of some scripts where instead of writing a job application letter, students wrote a letter of invitation to an awareness campaign. Therefore, teachers need to take note that they should not teach according to the examination papers only but teach the different forms of formal letter writing according to the prescription.
Even though, common weaknesses were recurring, the majority had shown improvement which reflects on the efforts of the teachers.
Candidates who performed exceptionally well were confident with their choice of topics, which clearly reflected exposure to current issues in the classrooms. • Valid arguments were exemplified, illustrated and justified with evidence of maturity in ideas. • TEXC Model was well utilisedused by candidates.
• Variation in sentence patterns and appropriate vocabulary featured in many brilliant answers that scored excellent marks.
• Appropriate formal tone with the use of the passive voice and appropriate style of writing were used.
• Clear Introduction and Concluding statements.
• Consistency in letter format.
• Fluency due to appropriate use of linkages and connectives. B.
Responses were limiting in nature and lacked depth and substance. Generalizations and sweeping/run-on statements indicated limited knowledge and exposure. Organization of ideas reflected poor planning.
Use of many personal pronouns which affected the tone.
Errors in spelling, agreement, punctuation and tense and others such as inconsistent verb form were still evident thus affecting fluency.
Poorly structured sentences affected the overall meaning.
For Speech, students failed to use the appropriate register and features. Some students wrote Letter to the Editor instead of a speech.
Letter writing: there were still some errors in the placement of dates, Re, Yours sincerely used instead of Yours faithfully, using of own address instead of the one in the question paper and signing of names after the name.
Misinterpretation of questions resulted in the misconception that students had attempted the paper well. For example, option (d) the importance of environmental education in schools, some candidates were discussing the importance of keeping the environment clean but not about environmental education in schools while some concentrated on education alone. Poor handwriting and excessive use of twink created difficulty in reading the scripts for the markers.
Refer to your 2010, 2011 and 2012 Examiners’ Reports for important features of different styles of writing that should be strengthened in the classroom and in students’ writing. •
A lot of practice either in groups or individually on the skills of writing.
More exercises must be given to students on identification of formal tone and how it is achieved. Differentiating passive and active voice and the use of compound and complex sentences should be thoroughly explained.
Grammar rules must be taught in an integrated approach with a lot of language exercises that should be marked and corrected collaboratively by both students and teachers. Continually and constantly discuss with students their performances to bring about improvement in writing.
Exposure to different forms of literature on current affairs and related issues and on many means of communication will help students learn and master organization and development of ideas in an essay.
Dos and don’ts of formal writing must be emphasized. For example, contractions, slangs and incomplete sentences are ‘doubts’ in formal writing.
Verbosity and redundancy must be discouraged.
Appropriate use of linkages and connectives in order to logically develop content into cohesive paragraphs should be emphasized.
Most students find writing difficult. Thus there is a need for a lot of practice to achieve perfection. The onus is on the creativity of the teachers.
Teachers are commended for facilitating students’ learning of English. Some improvements included the decrease in the use of text language; Languages Other than English [LOTE] and vulgar language. This indicated that teachers have been adhering to the comments and suggestions in the Examiners’ Reports.
• Those who scored well were both familiar with the theme, progress and were also linguistically very good.
• Evidence of mature insights, analysis, a variety of quotations, effective title, good use of personal examples, appropriate register, format, style, tone, relevant and well chosen vocabulary.
• Clarity of the central idea/theme and direct focus earned students very good marks for content.
• Sentence structure was varied according to registers used. • Very good answers were reflective of those students who read widely and are being exposed to media reports on current issues and events.
• Grammar was still a problem as students lacked the basics in subject – verb agreement, punctuation, tense, preposition, parts of speech, and articles to name a few. • Organization and discussion of ideas could be improved quite a bit, to make it clearer. • The central idea/theme was not clear enough which could be improved by focusing them on topic sentences.
• Letter to the Editor – Local Newspaper is still being used as the name of the newspaper. Students should name it, The Fiji Times or Fiji Sun.
• Expository style was still used in most places especially for descriptive and picture essay. • Merely describing pictures and failing to relate to the theme.
Personal letter – Formal language was used and even signed off with, Yours faithfully, signatures and full names.
Diary Entry: students not naming their diary and some concentrated on describing the preparations and meeting of friends instead of talking about what the question is asking and relating to the theme.
Dates are important in letter and diary writing, ½ mark is deducted if this is missing. Students not mentioning anything on the theme. Thus marks are deducted from content.
• Achieving the tone according to the register must be emphasized to students. • Emphasis on grammar rules.
• Teachers to continuously remind students that the theme is being put for a purpose and that it should be reflected in the writing.
• Teachers are encouraged to involve students in collaborative learning and discussion of current local and international issues.
Learning should be interactive and exciting/ interesting. An exposure to all forms of writing should be done and HOD’s should strictly monitor that this is done at all levels. SECTION B
COMPREHENSION AND SUMMARY WRITING
The passage was relatively comprehensible for the students as it was evident in the scores that they attained. Reading with comprehension skills is vital thus this must be integrated in all other English language activities and must not be studied in isolation.
• Multiple Choice...