Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
French 2016

Standard 93004

Part A: Commentary

High achieving candidates engaged with the ideas in the texts, analysed them, and then produced perceptive and insightful responses. This higher-order thinking appeared to be the most challenging aspect for many candidates, regardless of whether they were answering in their first or an additional language.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • identified the key points in the texts, to synthesise and evaluate these points with a personal response that demonstrated independent reflection and extrapolation
  • integrated their personal experience using light touches in their responses, and went well beyond the stimulus material, opening the debate and introducing new angles to consider
  • challenged views presented in the texts, or expanded the definition offered in the text
  • addressed some of the implicit meanings in the texts, e.g. what is meant by the idea that clothing is a passport, or that silence is power
  • demonstrated sustained and controlled use of written and spoken language at a high level
  • used French confidently and any language errors that were made did not hinder the communication of the message
  • performed at a very high level across all three questions.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • analysed and evaluated the key points in the texts
  • made connections beyond the stimulus material
  • demonstrated perception and insight, as well as independent reflection, but not consistently across all three questions
  • offered discussion beyond the stimulus material, sometimes quite conventional in nature, or relied heavily on personal anecdotes
  • used written and spoken language at a high level, but with some inconsistency across the three answers
  • made some language errors that did not interfere with the communication of the message.

Other candidates commonly:

  • produced responses that were descriptive rather than analytical or evaluative
  • recounted what was said in the texts, but did not go beyond the text in any convincing way
  • showed understanding of the explicit meaning of the texts, but not of the implicit meanings
  • attempted to go beyond the stimulus material but stayed very much in the personal zone, recounting personal anecdotes connected with the topic rather than discussing the ideas
  • used the topics of the texts as a springboard to write general essays about technology or fashion, rather than demonstrating an awareness of the key points raised in the texts
  • did not connect their answer with the key ideas mentioned in the question
  • made general statements such as ‘it’s important to have a good balance between noise and silence’ without offering any supporting detail, examples or discussion
  • were not confident in their use of French at curriculum level 8
  • made errors in French that significantly hindered the communication of the message throughout their responses to question 1 and 3
  • were very casual / informal with their spoken French, at times using colloquial language inappropriate for a formal assessment.

Further comments

In question 1, the text was on adolescent clothing choices, and appeared to be equally managed by male and female candidates. The language was very accessible. What worked particularly well was that it contained a variety of opinions, and that both parts of the question specifically asked candidates for a personal response.

In question 2, this text was relevant, and understood well by candidates. The quality of the answers, however, was not as good when compared to question 1.  Some failed to interpret the question and simply recounted what the text said.

In question 3, some students were challenged by a question which involved comparing the past with the present whilst referring to the stimulus material in their answer. Successful candidates used the ideas in the texts as a springboard to show the necessary independent reflection and extrapolation.

General comment: Most of the descriptors in the assessment schedule are focused on ideas rather than language, and so candidates need to engage with the ideas in the texts, analyse them, and produce perceptive and insightful responses. This appeared to be the most challenging aspect for many candidates, regardless of whether they were answering in their first or an additional language.

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