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Briefing Session for HKDSE

Category C Subjects
HKEAA 14 September 2017
Cameron Smart
Rundown
The exam: structure & constructs
2017 Results
2017 Candidates performances
2018 exam
Change to exam structure for Hindi & Urdu
Teacher support provision
Q&A

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Exam Structure

Component Weighting Time


1. Speaking 30% 20 mins.
2. Reading & Writing 50% 1 hr. 45 mins.
3. Essay 20% 1 hr. 30 mins.

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Structure of Paper 1

Section Mark Allocation Time


1. Presentation 20 3 mins 30 seconds
2. Topic conversation 40 7 -8 minutes
3. General conversation 40 8-9 minutes

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Paper 1: Timing logistics

Examiners will use a visible timer


It will be set at 20 minutes
A 1-minute sign will be held up after 2 mins.
30 secs. of presentation
Section 1 will finish approx. 16 mins. 30 left
Section 2 will start at approx. 16 mins left
Section 3 will start at approx. 9 mins left

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Paper 1: Speaking

Test constructs
What is being tested?

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Section 1: Presentation (20 marks)

Three domains:
Content and presentation (10 maximum)
Pronunciation and intonation (5 maximum)
Language (5 maximum)
Section 1: Presentation (20 marks)
Content and presentation (10 maximum)
Coverage of topic
Organization and coherence
Opinions and facts
Delivery
Interest

N.B. If no specific reference to society or cultural


heritage of country where language spoken- half
marks for this domain, i.e. max. is 5.
Section 1: Presentation (20 marks)
Pronunciation & intonation (5 maximum)
Accurate pronunciation and intonation
Mother tongue influence / comprehensibility

N.B. Not necessarily native speaker for full


marks. May have some hesitation and errors
for full marks.
Section 1: Presentation (20 marks)
Language (5 maximum)
Feel for language
Fluency
Accuracy
Use of relevant idiomatic language
Range of structures
Range of vocab
Clarity of meaning
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)
5 domains
Comprehension & responsiveness (10 max)
Accuracy (10 max)
Feel for language (10 max)
Range of vocab & structures
(Providing info & opinion) (5 max)
Range of vocab & structures
(Seeking info & opinion) (5 max)
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)
Comprehension & responsiveness (10 max)
Problems in understanding examiner
Naturalness in responses
Spontaneity and initiative
Ability to defend point of view
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)

Accuracy (10 max)


Frequency of errors
Understanding of grammatical usage
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)
Feel for language (10 max)
Naturalness
Fluency of expression
Appropriate idiom
Influence of or translation from mother tongue
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)
Range of vocab & structures
(Providing info & opinion) (5 max)
Variety
Confidence in use vs. limiting expression
Section 2: Topic conversation (40 marks)
Range of vocab & structures (Seeking info &
opinion)
Ability and number of questions asked
Spontaneity
Initiative
Accuracy and variety of question forms
Comprehensibility
Section 3: General Conversation (40 marks)
5 domains
Comprehension & responsiveness (10 max)
Accuracy (10 max)
Feel for language (10 max)
Range of vocab & structures
(Providing info & opinion) (5 max)
Range of vocab & structures
(Seeking info & opinion) (5 max)
Section 3: General Conversation (40 marks)
Same as Section 2
Structure of Paper 2
Passage Question Question type example Mark
allocation
Passage 1 1 Vocabulary: seeking synonym in 5
text
2 Grammatical manipulation 5
3 Comprehension questions 20 (15+5)
Passage 2 4 Comprehension questions 20 (15+5)
Passage 5 (a) Summary of details from both 20 (10 +5+5)
1&2 texts
(b) Personal response

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Paper 2: Reading & Writing
Question 1 : Seeking a phrase: Do not to omit words or to include
extra words.
Question 2: Rewriting phrases: Answers should fit back into the
original text, retaining the same meaning.
Questions 3 and 4: Comprehension of texts. Answer in their own
words.
Direct copying of four or more words from the text will usually invalidate
an answer.
Question 5(a): Summary: Introduction, conclusions and vague
generalizations not required. Specific, relevant details attract marks.
Question 5(b): Personal response: Give a point of view and, if
possible, offer ideas which have not appeared in the texts.
Total of 140 words / 280 Japanese characters for both parts in Question
5.

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Structure of Paper 3

Word guide Mark Allocation


250400 words 40 marks total:
(600800 characters in Japanese).
24 marks: Quality of Language
16 marks: Content

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HKEAA website
http://www.hkeaa.edu.hk/en/HKDSE/assessment/subject_information/category_c_subjects/
Results 2017 examination
(in number of candidates)
A B C D E U Total
French 8 6 9 8 9 21 61
German 3 3 0 2 1 0 9
Hindi 1 1 0 1 1 4 8
Japanese 100 57 29 15 5 7 213
Spanish 3 1 2 2 2 4 14
Urdu 8 3 4 1 1 2 19

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Results 2017 examination
(in percentages)
A B C D E U Total
French 13.1 9.8 14.8 13.1 14.8 34.4 100
German 33.3 33.3 0.0 22.2 11.1 0.0 100
Hindi 12.5 12.5 0.0 12.5 12.5 50.0 100
Japanese 46.9 26.8 13.6 7.0 2.3 3.3 100
Spanish 21.4 7.1 14.3 14.3 14.3 28.6 100
Urdu 42.1 15.8 21.1 5.3 5.3 10.5 100

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Results 2017 examination
French
40.0
35.0
30.0
25.0
20.0
15.0
10.0
5.0
0.0
A B C D E U

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Results 2017 examination
Japanese
50

40

30

20

10

0
A B C D E U
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Exam Components

Component Weighting Time


1. Speaking 30% 20 mins.
2. Reading & Writing 50% 1 hr. 45 mins.
3. Essay 20% 1 hr. 30 mins.

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Performance: French
General comments
The majority of candidates were aware of the requirements of
the examination and performed reasonably well.
Candidates at the lower end had some difficulty in understanding
the Examiner and in constructing basic responses. Candidates
at the upper end spoke fluently, accurately and idiomatically.
Pronunciation was generally acceptable, with a number of
instances of first-language interference, which, in one or two
cases, made comprehension difficult.
Performance: French
Key messages
It is important to express not only facts, but ideas and opinions in
the Topic Presentation.
Candidates are reminded that they should ask more than one
question of the Examiner in the conversation sections to be
eligible for maximum marks.
Performance: French
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
A wide variety of appropriate topics was offered, including Le Systme de Sant
Franaise, Le Burkini, Lducation en France, La Famille, La Nourriture
Franaise etc.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
All topics sampled allowed wide-ranging discussion. All candidates made an
attempt to develop the ideas of their presentation, although they were not all able
to maintain the same level of language in this section.
Section 3: General Conversation
Not all candidates asked questions and not all focused their question or
questions on the subject being discussed. However, candidates did not always
seem aware of the requirement to ask more than one question in order to gain
maximum marks. Questions were often poorly formulated or formulated without
variation.
Performance: German
General comments
The candidates had been thoroughly prepared for the requirements of the
examination.
In the General Conversation section, they were mostly very responsive once
they were clear as to the question being asked.
Responsiveness was again better than Comprehension, and though there has
been a clear improvement in this respect, this is an area that could be
improved still further in future.
All candidates were aware of the requirement to ask questions of the
Examiner in both conversation sections
Quality of language varied, as is to be expected
Pronunciation was another area where improvement was evident. However,
some candidates had occasional difficulty in making themselves clearly
understood when it came to natural conversation.
Performance: German
Key messages
The interests of the candidate should be the main factor in their
choice of presentation topic, which should clearly refer to the
culture or society of a German-speaking country.
It is important to structure the presentation to fit into the
allowed 3 minutes, and to express not only facts, but ideas
and opinions.
Candidates should focus on the questions asked of them and
make sure they answer what is asked.
When asking questions, candidates should make them relevant
to the topic under discussion.
Performance: German
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
There was some variety in the topics offered, but environmental
issues seemed to be the most popular.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
Candidates were mostly enthusiastic about their topics. Many of
them made an excellent attempt to develop the ideas of their
presentation and some were able to maintain the same level of
language in this section as in the presentation.
Section 3: General Conversation
An area for improvement in future would be to concentrate on
the accuracy of the questions put to the Examiner.
Performance: Hindi
General comments
Even when candidates were apparently of high level the examiner still
needed to work hard to create opportunities for candidates to
demonstrate their ability to use complex sentences, wide vocabulary and
a variety of tenses.
Performance: Hindi
Key messages
The interests of the candidate should play a part in the choice
of the subject for the presentation
When asked questions, candidates should try to answer as
fully as possible in order to maintain the Examiners interest
and keep the conversation moving forward
Performance: Hindi
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
Candidates presented their prepared speech on a given topic. The chosen topics were
Pollution, Young Generation and Education. The best presentations were well-
researched and structured and offered ideas and opinions.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
Candidates should be prepared to ask the Examiner questions in order to seek
information and opinions. Candidates could be better prepared for this.
Section 3: General Conversation
Most candidates remembered to ask at least one question of the Examiner. These
questions did not always arise naturally out of the conversation, and candidates could
improve this by practising how to ask questions naturally as part of a conversation.
Performance: Japanese
General comments
There was a very wide range of performance. At the top end, candidates
were well prepared, fluent, confident and spoke with a wide range of
vocabulary and sentence patterns. At the bottom end, however,
candidates seemed ill-prepared for the examination, and in some cases
they struggled to speak for more than a couple of minutes in Japanese.
Candidates who had prepared for the presentation were able to use a
wide range of interesting vocabulary, and were also able to compare and
contrast Japan with Hong Kong, and / or give well justified personal
opinions.
Pronunciation and intonation remains an area for improvement, and
candidates should be encouraged to listen to native speakers to improve
their pronunciation.
Performance: Japanese
Key messages
Candidates need to:
make sure that they have prepared a presentation that is of the
correct length and is related to Japanese culture or society.
take more initiative in developing longer, fuller answers.
improve the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
Candidates should remember that they are expected to ask
questions of the Examiner in both conversation sections.
Performance: Japanese
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
Many candidates had chosen a topic which was personally meaningful for them, and thus were well
motivated to research and present the topic. One way to improve further would be to give better
verbal signalling of the structure of the presentation.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
The strongest candidates had extra material that they did not use in the presentation available to
bring out during the topic conversation. Candidates should be reminded of the importance of
considering this part of the test when they choose their topic, to ensure that it is broad enough to
support a follow-up discussion and that they have considered how such a discussion might develop.
Section 3: General Conversation
This year it was evident that the language used by a number of candidates was influenced by their
exposure to Japanese films or anime. The language used in these genres is highly informal, and often
inappropriate to be used in an oral examination. Candidates needed to be mindful that language
from one situation does not always apply in another; an awareness of the complexities of Japanese
register was needed in these cases.
Performance: Spanish
General comments
Candidates were generally well prepared and familiar with the
requirements of the test. They took care to include some Hispanic
references in their presentation topics, and for the most part were able to
maintain momentum in the topic conversation. Many made contrasts and
comparisons with their own experience and the Hispanic situation. Most
candidates managed to offer some relevant opinions on the issues
discussed, both in the topic conversation and the general conversation.

To improve, candidates should remember that they are outlining


situations or topics to an uninformed but interested listener. They should:
ensure they have sufficient material and ideas for the wider general conversation;
consider their own attitudes and opinions to issues;
adopt a strategy to deal with unexpected, unprepared questions;
be prepared to offer and defend an opposing view if necessary.
Performance: Spanish
Key messages
The interests of the candidate should play a part in the choice
of the subject for the presentation, and clear reference should
be made to Hispanic culture or society;
It is important to structure the presentation to fit into the
allowed 3 minutes, and to express not only facts, but ideas
and opinions;
Candidates should focus on the questions asked of them and
make sure they answer what is asked;
Candidates should remember that they are expected to ask
questions of the Examiner in both conversation sections.
Performance: Spanish
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
Candidates gave their presentations with reasonable fluency, though there were
some occasional hesitations. Some presentations were recited in a monotone
rather than spoken more naturally.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
Quality of Language varied. When answering predictable or prepared questions,
candidates used appropriate language, a variety of tenses and appropriate
abstract/concrete registers of language.
Section 3: General Conversation
The candidates coped reasonably well, but weaker candidates could not always develop
a theme beyond prepared material.
Performance: Urdu
General comments
Most candidates had been well prepared for the examination and
were able to speak in a confident manner for all three sections.
Pronunciation was generally acceptable, with some instances of first-
language interference, for example use of Punjabi or English words. In
order to improve candidates should try to incorporate the use of
idioms.
Performance: Urdu
Key messages
it is important to structure the presentation to fit into the
allowed 3 minutes, and to express not only facts, but ideas
and opinions
when asked questions, candidates should make sure they
answer what is asked not what they hope was going to be
asked
Performance: Urdu
Specific Sections
Section 1: Presentation
There was a wide range of topics from the importance of education and sport to the
provision of facilities and services in Pakistan.
Section 2: Topic Conversation
Most candidates made an attempt to develop the ideas of their presentation in the Topic
Conversation and understood the examiners questions, tackling them well.
Most candidates asked just one question and struggled to ask meaningful questions. In
order to improve and score full marks candidates need to ask further questions, for
example what are your thoughts on this issue?, how did you overcome difficulties?
and so on.
Section 3: General Conversation
At the top and middle of the range of ability candidates were able to handle a wide range of
questions using good vocabulary. Conversation covered a wide range of interests for example
education, family issues, issues of migration and politics. Most candidates succeeded in
maintaining the examiners interest.
Exam Components

Component Weighting Time


1. Speaking 30% 20 mins.
2. Reading & Writing 50% 1 hr. 45 mins.
3. Essay 20% 1 hr. 30 mins.

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Paper 3: Essay Key Points
Select the title with which they feel most comfortable.
Write a response that is clearly relevant, well illustrated, coherently
structured and well informed.
Use target language which is accurate and of a suitably advanced nature,
as well as demonstrate a good use of idiom and appropriate topic-related
vocabulary.
Use sentence patterns which show some evidence of complexity in a style
which is easy to follow.
Leave some time at the end of the examination to check for avoidable
language errors.
Stay within the prescribed word limits (250-400 words / 600 800
Japanese characters).
Do not to use transliterations of English words instead of the appropriate
vocabulary items in Hindi / Urdu.

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2018 Examination Entries

No of candidates
French 65
German 5
Hindi 11
Japanese 327
Spanish 18
Urdu 28

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2018 Examination

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


French 88 89 65 59 64 61 65
German 3 1 4 12 8 9 5
Hindi 10 8 6 12 0 8 11
Japanese 135 114 140 199 203 213 327
Spanish 9 20 14 7 11 14 18
Urdu 5 13 16 15 30 19 28
TOTAL 250 245 245 304 316 324 454

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2012-2018 entries
350

300

250
French
200 German
Hindi
150 Japanese
Spanish
100 Urdu

50

0
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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2018 Exam (Nov. 2017 series)
Dates:
Paper 1 (Nov. series)
7 October 22 October 2017
Paper 2 and 3
3 October 7 November 2017

http://www.hkeaa.edu.hk/DocLibrary/HKDSE/Exam_Timetable/Cat_C_Nov_2018_Timetable_E.pdf

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CIE AS level
Language Syllabus Exam paper structure
Code
Subject with French 8682 Component 1: Speaking (29%)
speaking test German 8683 Component 2: Reading & Writing (50%)
Component 3: Essay (21%)
Japanese 8281
Portuguese 8684
Spanish 8685

Subject Afrikaans 1 8679 Component 2: Reading & Writing(70%)


without Arabic 8680 Component 3: Essay (30%)
speaking test
Chinese 8681
Hindi 8687
Tamil 8689
Urdu 8686

[1] Optional speaking test available but is reported separately and does not contribute to overall final grade.

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Change in Exam Structure in Hindi &
Urdu
To adopt international version of Hindi and Urdu
In order to align them with international practices
Effect from 2020 examination

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Teaching support provision

Other Languages Resource Corner (OLRC):

http://334.edb.hkedcity.net/EN/other_languages_resources.php

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Teaching support provision

Jack Wong (Education Bureau):


chunkiwong@edb.gov.hk

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Examination support

Exam logistics:
Christine Lee: yhlee@hkeaa.edu.hk

Speaking exam administration:


Cameron Smart: cjsmart@hkeaa.edu.hk

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