Assessment Report

Level 2 French 2016

Standards 91118  91121


Part A: Commentary

Those candidates who achieved, demonstrated their understanding of the texts which used words from the NCEA Level 1 and 2 vocabulary lists. The vocabulary lists form the basis of the examination texts and are a key resource for examination preparation. Candidates with a more confident knowledge of the lists were able to more effectively justify their responses by using their understanding of lexical items in the texts.

Reading and responding specifically to the question is what’s required. Some candidates’ responses were complete transcripts of what they had heard or translations of what they had read. Others wrote answers which, while loosely based on the text topic, bore very little relevance to the question being asked. To achieve at Merit or Excellence level, candidates must show that they can select information appropriately. The explanatory notes of the standard explain clearly what is required to demonstrate “clear” and “thorough” understanding of a text.

Part B: Report on Standards

91118:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of spoken French texts on familiar matters

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • provided some relevant pieces of information
  • focused on smaller parts of the text that they understood
  • demonstrated some knowledge of higher frequency lexical items
  • made some use of the listening notes boxes.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • responded with completely incorrect answers
  • left whole sections unanswered
  • wrote contradictory responses
  • responded with two or three-word phrases
  • made little or no use of the listening notes boxes.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit

  • showed knowledge of both higher and lower frequency vocabulary and language
  • responded with detail to the sections in each question
  • made substantial use of listening notes boxes
  • selected information appropriately for use in their responses
  • wrote succinct and clear responses that accurately answered the question.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence

  • made extensive use of the listening notes boxes
  • used information they had heard and constructed well thought out responses
  • justified their responses with substantial details from the texts
  • provided clear and legible responses that had been proofread for accuracy
  • showed thorough comprehension of all aspects of the text
  • had excellent vocabulary and language knowledge including high level nuance.

Standard-specific comments

Candidates who made good use of their listening notes boxes tended to perform better in this standard. Using their listening time to create thorough and well organised notes gave them a solid base for providing well-reasoned and justified responses to the questions.

Weaker candidates wrote anything they could in each section which detracted from the overall quality of their response.

Illegible or overly messy handwriting was a concern. Candidates are advised to proofread their answers and ensure their handwriting is legible and responses are clear to read. It is also advisable that they check to ensure their responses don’t contradict themselves. For example “Justin Trudeau has three children, he hopes to one day become a father”.

Some candidates used their own prior knowledge of contexts and topics in their answers, for example, with Amira the Syrian girl who went to live in France and also the BlaBla Car website. At all times responses must be based on what they have heard. Extraneous information and details do not contribute to a clear and thorough understanding of the text. 


91121:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of written and/or visual French texts on familiar matters

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • understood key vocabulary and ideas
  • attempted to give detail but often repeated themselves
  • followed instructions. Simple, yet relevant answers
  • drew conclusions with a degree of ambiguity
  • expressed themselves legibly with a degree of clarity.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • wrote illegibly
  • selected irrelevant material to respond to questions
  • had a poor command of vocabulary and language analysis
  • did not follow instructions
  • repeated the same idea multiple times
  • drew on their own opinions and ideas rather than concrete evidence from the text.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • included supporting details
  • had a good command of vocabulary
  • drew conclusions from the text
  • attempted Excellence level answers, but may have missed key details
  • expressed themselves well and unambiguously, sequencing ideas logically
  • argued convincingly to support their opinion.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • selected relevant material from different parts of the text and synthesised ideas, information and opinions
  • provided personal justification for opinions
  • demonstrated comprehension by complete, articulate and well-detailed answers
  • identified language features as well as meaning of individual lexical items
  • expressed themselves clearly, fluently and logically.

Standard-specific comments

Knowledge of the vocabulary list for NCEA Level 2 is key to be able to demonstrate clear and thorough understanding of the texts in the examination resource booklet.  Understanding « ne…que » for example, shows understanding of both vocabulary and how it works in a sentence in French, and the impact that has on meaning.

Equally, candidates are advised to revise vocabulary from lower levels of the curriculum as these words also help shape the exam. Vocabulary such as the days of the week for example, were poorly answered by some candidates.

Adding relevant details and justifications in responses are vital to success in this standard. It is not sufficient to put some basic information or words as a response without tying it together in a way that makes sense. Some candidates wrote fragmented ideas and information that made little sense as a response to the question.

It is not appropriate to fill answers up with extraneous detail. Success at Merit or Excellence level is dependent on the ability to select information correctly and use that information in responses.

As with Standard 91118, candidates are advised to spend time proofreading their responses to ensure they make sense and are clear and legible. Practising responding to questions that take different formats (for example, charts and tables) could be a helpful exam preparation strategy. 

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