Assessment Report

Level 2 French 2018

Standards 91118  91121


Part A: Commentary

Overall, this examination was accessible to students. Most candidates were able to show understanding of a range of language. Most candidates made good use of the listening boxes to help them formulate their responses.

Candidates who performed well demonstrated a good grasp of lower-frequency items and could apply their knowledge of language structures to assist them in giving detailed responses. The most successful candidates were able to interact with the text, link ideas, give explanations and include both nuance of language and implied meanings in their responses. They expanded on the basic translation of the French, while remaining true to the text, supporting their responses and opinions with evidence from the 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:

  • showed an understanding of the prescribed Level 1 vocabulary
  • included incorrect details, such as "played professionally from age 6", "apartments 40 or 50 storeys high"
  • based their responses on the understanding of discrete items of vocabulary, which resulted in a mostly incorrect response; e.g. "came to play basketball for fun", "the Spurs have a secret code"
  • identified straightforward evidence such as "he is the star of the team", "it was a beautiful experience", "you have to study French"
  • failed to pay attention to the detail of the language, which led to ambiguity in the response; e.g. "moved to France for 3 months", "she calls Vianna when she sees her", "the town is magnificent but the cathedral is better"
  • did not recognise more complex language such as "promenade en bateau"
  • knew only one meaning of a word that had multiple meanings according to the context, such as été — summer or past tense, réussi — succeed or pass, passer — spend or pass
  • demonstrated lack of proofreading skiills, which resulted in often illogical responses, such as "won the competition 4 times in 2001", "began to play professionally at age 10", "the apartments were old but new"
  • confused similar words — milieu / meilleur, fille / folle, apprendre / attendre, avait / allait.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • demonstrated understanding of lexical items but did not demonstrate understanding of the text as a whole
  • provided isolated facts based on understanding a few words
  • were inconsistent in their responses and did not fully answer the question
  • based their response on evidence not in the texts; e.g. "he is a good basketball player because he is tall", "the judges didn’t turn around", "it’s pretty because of the lights"
  • connected words to form incorrect ideas; e.g. "you can go on holiday to Noel", "the stairs are difficult for children"
  • confused ideas such as "Tony played for the Spurs in France", "Cerise sang for Disney and travelled a lot", "the apartments cost $40 or $50"
  • left whole sections or whole questions blank
  • used their knowledge of English to incorrectly translate French words — chose / choice, attendaient / attended, joli / jolly, marché / march, ville / village
  • copied entire sections of the text in French
  • incorporated French words in their response, mixed in with English, leading to a response that did not demonstrate overall understanding.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • gave detailed responses that were supported with evidence from the text
  • provided some incorrect information / detail
  • focused on the nuance of the language and detailed information; e.g. "since 2011 he has been playing…", "one of the fastest players", "she wasn’t too sad because she knew that there were lots of things waiting for her", "students who would like to improve their French"
  • gave full translations of the text without attempting to connect ideas, reach conclusions, or include implied meanings in their response
  • attempted to include an implied meaning or conclusion without success; e.g. "this shows he is multicultural".

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • showed thorough understanding of the language including nuances
  • connected and explained ideas; e.g. "although he used to play football, he must have been influenced by his father who was a professional basketball player, because...", "she remained positive after being rejected on The Voice, because…", "since both the apartments and the school are in town, it is easy to travel …"
  • gave full answers that demonstrated a true command of the language – both vocabulary and structures
  • demonstrated the ability to explain inference or implied meanings
  • integrated inference / explanation / conclusions as part of the response; e.g. "not only is he one of the fastest players in the NRL, but he has been equally successful in the French national team, as…", "she wasn’t confident before the meeting in the studio, she thought it couldn’t be here, but actually ...", "the exchange runs over 2 years", "in the first year you …. and then".

Standard specific comments

Although the texts were generally accessible, some candidates did not focus sufficiently on the detailed language, which resulted in ambiguities in their responses. Equally, lack of attention to detail resulted in a response that demonstrated understanding only gist.

Most candidates found the first text straightforward, although some weaker candidates used their knowledge of the NBA or sport as a basis for their response, rather than the information in the text.

Understanding only one meaning of a vocabulary item led to unclear responses. For example, "she didn’t pass", rather than "she didn’t succeed""in the context of The Voice competition, does not demonstrate clear understanding. Equally, “she will pass the holidays", rather than "she will spend the holidays", does not demonstrate clear understanding.

Some candidates interpreted "support your answer with details from the text" as a need to quote directly from the text.  This is not only unnecessary, but also often resulted in a poorer response, where students often left out important detailed information, and did not demonstrate deeper understanding.

Some candidates also tended to interpret the "support your answer" requirement as a need to add "because in the text it says that …", which also detracts from the quality of the response.

Candidates should be encouraged to proofread their answers, and look at their responses with a critical eye focusing on logic. Some responses tended not to make sense overall because of how the French was translated into English, or were illogical. 

The text about Cerise was often not answered in the third person, which the question required. Rather, candidates began their responses with "I…" translating directly from the text, instead of formulating a response to the question.


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

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed a basic understanding of vocabulary at Level 1
  • did not demonstrate understanding of more detailed information or nuance of language
  • based their responses on what they heard
  • made good use of the listening boxes.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not demonstrate understanding of key vocabulary or key facts
  • provided inconsistent responses
  • provided incomplete answers
  • used listening boxes ineffectively
  • failed to demonstrate understanding of the gist of the text.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • supported clear understanding of the text with appropriate detail
  • included some inaccurate information as part of their response
  • made good use of listening notes and added details during repeated sections
  • showed good understanding of the prescribed Level 1 vocabulary.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • demonstrated thorough understanding of texts
  • supported their answers with relevant details, including justification of interpretations of nuance and / or implied meanings
  • provided coherent responses linked directly to both the question and the text
  • demonstrated understanding of less-frequent vocabulary and words with multiple meanings.

Standard specific comments

Candidates were generally able to achieve success at a range of levels. It is important that candidates take note of the context and apply this in their responses (New Caledonia rather than France).

When including inference, this needs to be based on the spoken text rather than candidates’ own experiences or assumptions; some candidates included information that was not in the text (including their opinions) and did not justify their ideas with evidence from what they had heard.

Homonyms and also words that sound similar resulted in misunderstanding in some responses.

It is important that candidates apply logic when proofreading their answers, providing a coherent response that relates directly to the question.

Candidates should read the question carefully and provide all the information being requested.



French subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 42KB) 2016 (PDF, 216KB)

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