Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Spanish 2016

Standard 93007


Part A: Commentary

In question 1, several candidates used idiomatic expressions such as “para ir al grano” or “es pan comido” etc. These colloquial idiomatic expressions are appropriate for an informal setting, not for an academic examination.

In question 2, some candidates assumed that the law had in fact been passed already. This misunderstanding meant they did not quite answer the question.

In question 3, the overall response of candidates was of a similar level to past years. It seems that the increase of time for the preparation in the speaking question, for question number 3, has not dramatically changed the general level of the responses. However, I believe that the perception of students about the attainability of this question is better now, and this is important. One of the main issues with the speaking question it seems to be that the students focus more in the reading or writing question. There is a tendency to repeat what had been said therefore not actually answering the question.

Question 3 asked about how New Zealanders will react to shops NOT opening in New Zealand. Instead of answering the question, some candidates focused their attention on speaking about how the change of law allowing shops opening on the weekend in Spain has affected Spaniards. Also, there was a tendency to focus on one idea and repeat the same idea several times.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • showed high-level, accurate and idiomatic command of Spanish and employed an appropriate register of language
  • expressed mature ideas that reflected thoughtful process of thinking
  • explained the arguments in the texts and linked them with broader views to those topics as well as bringing in their own insightful opinions
  • manipulated text in a logical manner and summarised information which resulted in confident and polished writing and speaking
  • made connections of prior knowledge with the topic presented.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed excellent, accurate and mostly idiomatic command of Spanish
  • explained the arguments in the texts and incorporated further information and thoughtful personal opinions
  • organised their ideas clearly and in a convincing way.

Other candidates commonly:

  • mentioned the resource material without developing or taking it further
  • limited their answers to their own thoughts without referring or connecting it to the stimulus material
  • answered the question as if it was a stand-alone essay, giving an introduction that did not answer the question or provide any valid argument
  • stated their opinion without backing it up – for example, question 1, in which candidates say that governments should not know the ethnic identity but failed to give a logical explanation for this
  • concentrated on one single issue for the whole answer – for example, question 3, in which candidates repeated their answer from question 2, concentrating in what happens in Spain instead of concentrating on the New Zealand situation as the question asked
  • showed limited proficiency or accuracy in the language used
  • answered the questions in a superficial way
  • did not engage the audience – especially in the speaking section. This was mainly because of intonation or because of the constant repetition of the same idea.

Further comments

A great number of candidates would often answer just one part of a question in questions 1 and 2.

The importance of carefully reading questions needs to be stressed so that candidates can generate interesting and relevant answers. The discussion generated around ethnic identity and race often overlooked the fact that in the question candidates had to talk about personal identity.

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